ROCK HILL, S.C. -- In less than three weeks, the bell will ring at South Pointe High School and this year students will have new options to not only receive college credit but also get some real-world experience.

"Accelerate" is a one-of-a-kind, three-year program that provides intense advanced academic preparation and exposure to the real-world of engineering.

"It makes it a lot easier for us to say this is what it will be like in the real world because they're going to see that hands on," explained assistant principal Anthony Thomas.

After 22 years in education, Thomas says students need more experience from people who have worked in the field.

"It was about teaching the content, but that's not how the world works anymore or school, it's about meeting the needs of students because we're the ones who know what it's like in the real world," Thomas said.

This year, the nine rising 10th graders enrolled in the program will start out with two courses: Pre-Calculus Honors and Pre-Engineering.

"As they go through 11th and 12th grade they'll be taking more math, more science and engineering through the Governor's School and getting that college credit," Thomas explained.

While the course will be held at South Pointe, the instructor will actually be at the Governor's School for Science and Mathematics in Hartsville. Students will be able to engage through interactive video conferencing.

And get this: once they graduate they'll have as many as 41 semester hours of college credit to use at Clemson University. After all, every bit of a head start helps, right?

Plus, don't panic, there is no cost to participate in the program. However, parents are responsible for providing transportation to summer camps and Saturday experiences.