By: Dr. Curtis L Ivery
Detroit Public Schools high school students will have more opportunities than ever before to earn college credits through a new partnership with Wayne County Community College District. The program is incorporated in DPS’ five-year academic plan, which vastly increased the opportunities for students to learn outside the traditional curriculum, including more extended day opportunities and a robust summer school program.
The Concurrent Enrollment program will give 11th and 12th grade students at the district’s 23 comprehensive high schools the opportunity to earn six to 12 college credits per year, providing a head start in completing degrees and certificates while earning their high school diploma. Students who are accepted to the program will take classes in their current building after the regular school day has ended.
“This program provides a tremendous opportunity for our students to earn valuable college credits and job training before they leave high school, and it will help create the college mindset in our students even earlier,” said DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb. “More importantly, the partnership takes us a long way toward meeting the ambitious goals of 100 percent post-secondary acceptance and attendance rates outlined in our five-year academic plan.”
About 2,000 DPS high school students will earn college credits in cutting-edge programs such as: green technologies, health care, information technologies science, engineering, mathematics and related transfer degree disciplines, up from about 400.
“We are excited to be able to offer this special opportunity to Detroit Public High School students so they can get a head start on their careers”, said WCCCD Chancellor Dr. Curtis Ivery. “It is a unique chance that we hope many students take advantage of. These programs are designed to build a vibrant educated community for our region and support the need to ensure we have skilled, competent young people who can take on the challenges of the global economy.”
Tuition for a three-credit course at WCCCD typically costs about $240 plus the cost of books, but DPS and WCCCD will cover students’ costs and subsidize the cost of text books. Students will be required to pay only $50 per three-credit course, to help defray the cost of books.
WCCCD will conduct enrollment fairs at each high school this week. Representatives will provide information on the courses available, and students will be able to apply on the spot. High school principals will review the applications and determine the final list of approved student participants.
Student applicants must meet the following criteria to participate:
• Principal endorsement
• 2.5 grade point average or above and no major code-of-conduct issues
• Must be of junior standing
• Must fill out an application
Classes will be available at all comprehensive high schools, with WCCCD instructors coming to students two or three days per week. Starting February 1, students may take one or two courses per semester. Smaller high schools will generally offer one course per semester, while larger schools may offer two. Courses may include Math, English, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Speech and Humanities.
WCCCD and DPS have successfully collaborated to offer dual enrollment programs such as the Detroit Allied Health Middle College High School and Middle College Multicultural Educational Exchange Program. WCCCD’s Middle College High School program also gives 9th and 10th grade students an opportunity to study rigorous, relevant core college academics while in high school.