Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Edison Program Helps College Bound Students Get Head Start

In 2011, Edison Community College began an ambitious joint program with Piqua High School to help students better understand the process of applying for college and begin looking at career paths that would extend beyond their academic years.

The program, called “College 101,” was initially set up to target freshmen and sophomores attending Piqua High School. Now in its third year, it has been altered to cater more to seniors and is providing them with the tools they’ll need to gain an overall understanding of what it takes to be a college student.

“The class is open to any student here, they just need to sign up,” said Beth Rosenkranz, head school counselor at the high school. “It’s designed to help students understand the college process, and our end goal is that they follow through and attend a two-year or a four-year school after graduation.”

Students that take and complete the class can then receive college credit if they decide to enroll at Edison.

In 2012, the program headed to Sidney and was offered at the Shelby County Opportunity School, providing a valuable opportunity for at-risk students who may have not had a chance to explore college options otherwise.

The curriculum covered topics such as career and college exploration, study skills, time management and critical thinking. In addition, students were tasked with giving presentations and working in groups.

“There was a ‘Race To The Top’ grant in place that provided the materials and resources needed at the school,” said Liz Schoonover, Director of Grants Management at Edison. “Edison then provided the instructor to teach the course.”

Following completion of the course, students who were able to maintain a 3.0 grade point average were eligible for scholarships to attend Edison. Of the six students taking the class at the Opportunity School, five went on to enroll in college, with three of them attending Edison for the fall semester.

“We have a great partnership with the administration at Piqua High School and have really explored opportunities for this program to grow even more,” said Stacey Bean, coordinator of admissions at Edison. “Now that we’ve been able to expand the program to Sidney, we have students in both schools being provided with a valuable resource that will continue to give back to the community in many ways. It’s always so energizing to see the students engaged is something that is going to benefit them down the road.”

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