Public School Students Get Boost Toward College

by: Tonesha Townsel Howard University News Service
/ (Photo By Justin Wright, Howard University News Service) /
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(Photo By Justin Wright, Howard University News Service)

High school students from two Washington schools will be able to earn college and high school credit under a new partnership between Howard University and the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Starting next fall, seniors at Banneker and McKinley Technology high schools, who meet the eligibility criteria, can take courses at the university free of charge while receiving high school and college credit.

DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson said the school system was grateful to Howard University for its support.“This collaboration provides our students with unprecedented access to a treasure trove of opportunities,” Henderson said. “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.”

Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick said the program represents a deepening of the relationship between the university and the school system. “Through this program, we are aiming to inspire and develop the next generation of leaders and innovators from right here in the District,” Frederick said. Each student is able to take a maximum of two classes during the normal semester and one class over the summer. 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. Students looking to enroll in the program must complete the Howard University Dual Enrollment Program application, provide PSAT, SAT or ACT scores, have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and provide a personal statement essay, a letter of recommendation from their high school counselor or principal, and written permission from a parent or legal guardian.

According to the university, it was Frederick who suggested the program and partnership with DCPS.

The city is looking to expand the program to all DCPS high schools over the next three years through new partnerships with other local universities, Mayor Muriel Bowser said during the press conference to announce the program. “Our young people deserve and desire more opportunities to expand their academic horizons,” Bowser said. “This new program is an excellent example of a public-private partnership that looks to the future of this city with optimism and hope.”

McKinley Tech Principal Louisa Jones said the program has an additional benefit in conjunction with all the others. “It also helps students get a break on tuition and provides the university with access to talented and motivated students that they may recruit,” Jones said.

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