CH-UH district and JCU partner in early college program for Heights High students
(L-R): Jeffrey Talbert, CH-UH assistant superintendent; Mark Storz, JCU associate dean of graduate studies; Doug Heuer, CH-UH superintendent; John Day, JCU provost and academic vice president; and Marc Aden, R.E.A.L. Early College principal.
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This school year, 49 students in the class of 2016 are enrolled in Heights High’s R.E.A.L. Early College small school. The students may earn up to two years of college credit through Early College, a new collaborative program from Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District and John Carroll University (JCU).
The program is an opportunity for CH-UH students to attend classes on the John Carroll University campus.
If students demonstrate a mastery of their first two years of concentrated high school coursework, they are eligible to enroll in courses at JCU during their junior and senior years. Upperclassmen participating in the program will also enroll in high school electives at Heights High to ensure they still receive a high school experience.
“This partnership with JCU will expose Early College students to a real college setting and college level academics. It will build their confidence and make higher education affordable, a reality some didn’t think possible,” said Marc Aden, R.E.A.L. Early College principal. “Successful participation in the early college high school experience will also significantly increase our student’s opportunities to complete their bachelor degree program after their completion of high school.”
All JCU classes will be taken at John Carroll University with support provided by the Heights High and JCU. The credits earned are considered credits earned at JCU, and all credits are eligible for transfer consideration as governed by each college and university.
“To participate in the Early College program, students follow the same selection procedure that other eighth grade students follow: they listen to presentations from the small school principals,” said Aden. “Students and families are given time to discuss the selection of a small school so that students make a meaningful, informed choice.”
R.E.A.L. students who do not master their high school coursework in two years or demonstrate proficiency on the Ohio Graduation Test will not enroll in courses on JCU’s campus. To earn college credit, students must be accepted into John Carroll University and meet established classroom standards for all students enrolled on the JCU campus. Those students who are not accepted will still participate in the small school’s college-prep model, which is designed to prepare all students for college academics regardless of whether they take a course at JCU.
“John Carroll University is excited to partner with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school district's Early College High School,” said Mark Storz, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, John Carroll University. “We already have a mutually supportive relationship, and this program will give our faculty the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge education reform."
Staff at both Heights High and JCU will provide academic support for students, helping them learn the “soft skills” needed to succeed in college—organizational and study skills, as well as interpersonal skills to help then learn how to form study group and talk to professors. Early College is also pursuing mentors to support Early College students.
Joy Henderson & Angee Shaker
Joy Henderson is the parent/community liaison at Heights High. Angee Shaker is director of communications for the Ch-UH City School District.