Mayor Muriel Bowser joined District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Howard University President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick to announce a new arrangement aimed at exposing high school students to advanced college preparation, something that has been known to aid in college success.
“Our young people deserve and desire more opportunities that will expand their academic horizons and put them on a pathway to the middle class,” said Mayor Bowser in a statement. “This new program is an excellent example of a public-private partnership that looks to the future of this city with optimism and hope. Students will gain valuable experiences that will propel them to greater heights and accelerate their path to the college and career of their dreams.”
Beginning this fall, Howard will open its doors to 12th-grade students at Banneker and McKinley Technology high schools, who will have the chance to enroll in college courses, earning high school and college credit, simultaneously.
The students will be able to take up to two undergraduate courses per semester and one course during the summer session for free. The University will waive all tuition and fees, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education will cover the cost of books and transportation.
“This collaboration provides our students with unprecedented access to a treasure trove of opportunities,” said Henderson. “The benefits of this program go far beyond exposure to rigorous college courses. It will give students the focus, confidence, and foundation that they will need to succeed in college and 21st century careers. We are grateful to Howard University for their generous support and continued commitment to our students’ success.”
To qualify for the dual-enrollment program, students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit a personal essay and a recommendation letter from their school’s principal or counselor. College credits earned through the program can be applied to a degree program at Howard University or transferred to another four-year college or university upon graduation.
“Howard University and DCPS share a rich history of providing students with opportunities to explore their academic interests and advance their knowledge of the world around them,” said Frederick, president of Howard University. “I am proud to deepen our relationship through the dual-enrollment partnership. Through this program, we are aiming to inspire and develop the next generation of leaders and innovators from right here in the District.”
The DCPS-Howard partnership builds on dual-enrollment programs already established at George Washington University (School Without Walls program) and the University of the District of Columbia (College Access and Readiness for Everyone, or CARE, program).
DCPS plans to expand the model to all high schools over the next three years.