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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A new school with a new concept is now open in Charlotte.

Students are being groomed for a career in engineering, while getting both high school and college credits.

Kya Bates didn't know what to expect. The high school freshman is taking classes on a college campus.

"I knew I would get two years of college done before any of my friends and I would have a better future," she says about her decision to attend.

Kya is among the first class at CMS' first ever middle college -- a partnership between UNCC and CMS called the Charlotte Engineering Early College

Principal Will Leach says, "We really narrowed our focus down, there are not a lot of elective choices, the arts is not here, no athletics. If you want to be an engineer you can really narrow your focus."

Because the students all have common interests, Kya says there's a different vibe here.

"The teachers and the principal are so involved, it's like a big family I could say. You don't have to be scared, you can just be yourself in this environment."

The school was ten years in the making and is funded in part through state grants and UNCC and CMS.

Leach added, "The Charlotte community has identified this as a need that the school system has to be able to supply that next generation of engineers."

Kya and the other students here will graduate the five year program not only with a high school degree, but also 60 college credits.

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