Students excel at College Academy at Broward College

Evana Brenelus   

Staff Writer

College Academy (CA) is a two-year full-time dual enrollment public high school with grades 11 and 12. The high school whose motto is “Where a High School Goes to College” is located on two Broward College campuses: North and Central. 

Bardetta D. Haygood is the principal of CA and it is her first year at the school. With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, her interaction with the students has been limited. “I’m enjoying the interaction, even though limited, that I have with the students,” she said. She gets to see students and help them (seniors) reach their final step. She has been working in schools for about 27 years. “The

Haygood would encourage students to attend CA if they want to experience the smallness after being at a large school and a more in-depth experience. “CA prepares students for a level of rigor in a way that I don’t think other schools can compare,” she said. 

She believes that CA professors are part of the school’s uniqueness. “I think that the teachers at CA are very committed to the work that they do,” she said. She also loves the high expectations that they set.  

Michael O’Neill, the political science professor at CA, has been working there since 2014. Back then, there was only one campus and seniors (the population he teaches) took 5-day-a-week classes, he said. He works alongside Professor Aiken (who teaches macroeconomics) as a senior professor. 

He thinks one of the best aspects of being on the CA staff is working with talented and driven young adults. In addition to that, another great aspect is the collegiality they share together as a faculty, he said. The ability to bounce ideas off each other, grow professionally and come up with a plan that helps the student population succeed is invaluable. O’Neill is proud to be a College Academy family member. 

Makenzy Bowerman,18, is a senior at CA North Campus. She wanted to attend CA because she struggled to get out of bed and motivate herself to finish school due to the tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on Feb 14, 2018. Not only was College

Academy an opportunity for new surroundings and a fresh start without the reminders, it was also very beneficial to her future, said Bowerman. She felt surrounded by a lot of immature classmates at a school that had about 3,000 students where she did not feel important. “I was just a number,” she said.  She feels that CA definitely prepared her more for the real world. 

Samantha Husar, 17, is a senior who attends CA North Campus and getting into CA was a fresh start for her. She also attended MSD and felt that at CA she would stand out more because there were less students. “One of the things that stands out to me is definitely the amount of one-on-one time you have with your teachers and guidance counselor,” said Husar. For her, it would have been hard applying for colleges and scholarships if she stayed at a traditional high school.

Andrew Smith, 17, is a junior at CA North Campus. COVID made his transitioning a bit tough because he would be on a new online schooling system. Apart from that, he liked having classes at times he chose and having more free time. “Everyone applying at College Academy wants to get into College Academy,” said Smith. Being surrounded by students who are higher achievers is very encouraging to him. 

Stacyca Dimanche, 18, is a senior who attends CA Central Campus. She wanted to go to CA to get her Associate of Arts Degree early. “The independence” is what she said she enjoys the most about CA. When she was not in class, she could go where she wanted to, and she was responsible for her own education. At the traditional high school, everything was so scheduled and there was no free time. 

Barbara Ruiz, 18, is also a senior at CA Central Campus. Getting into College Academy was an advantage for her because it would help her family save money. The best aspect about being a CA student to her was the constant encouragement around her. “I have people who inspire me to be better every day,” she said. “It was great when I came to CA.” Ruiz will miss CA a lot, it was like a second family to her.

If you want to find out more information about College Academy at BC, feel free to visit their website:

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