Middle College Student Leadership Initiative Tackles Healthy Communities

In this time in our history what could be more appropriate than the question: What Makes a Healthy Community? With natural disasters pummeling our coastlines, prairies, and descending, upending and challenging all our status quos, we need “community” more than ever to offer the support and pool resources. So it was against that backdrop that The Charles School, in Columbus, Ohio framed the 2013 MCNC Student Leadership Conference.

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The Charles School was perfectly poised to lead this discussion as it is unique in the MCNC network for it’s membership in a kindergarten through University network. Educating youth, beginning with the Graham Family of Schools and ending at Ohio Dominican University it reaches a broad spectrum and works with each to address unique challenges, while developing a collaborative network of students and educators. Comprised of four k-12 schools, led by Greg Brown, each institution prides itself for Expeditionary Learning, a feature that engages students in active roles within the community in a variety of ways. The Middle School promotes job shadowing and internships, the high school immerses students in two week long Expeditions each year and partnerships with the University, local hospitals, social service providers, etc connect students to the “real world” and community building from a very early age.

Adding to the excitement of a great partnership and host of new activities, after 20 years of conference development for youth and three years of building a unique program combining college coursework, community service and on line networking, MCNC undertook to produce a 40 minute documentary, “Walk With the Dreamers,” which featured the journey of 5 students from diverse geographical, economic and cultural backgrounds through the steps of preparing, coming and participating in the conference. The film’s first twenty minutes were brought to Ohio two days prior to everyone’s arrival and the final sections were filmed, edited and then premiered on the spot with the assistance of local production teams from Mills-James Media.

MCNC SLI 2013 was a breakthrough in imagination, process and opportunity for everyone involved.  40 Host Ambassadors from The Charles School worked with advisors, Chris Spackman and Michele Lowry for 9 months and created an experience that broke the mold. Students from 24 schools across the country arrived and engaged in an icebreaker designed by Junior, Tobechi Titus. They were sent to rooms to meet their conference teammates from around the country and tasked to create “indispensible” buildings for healthy communities. The buildings were made of painted milk cartons (yay! Recycling) and students painted, papered, and collaged their creations before locating them on a huge model city. Over dinner, they met in tables and began the serious work of talking about serious issues that produce unhealthy communities and using the information and homegrown projects they had spearheaded all year to offer solutions for safety, housing, education, welfare and heathcare concerns. The degree of involvement and quality of proposals was staggering and students bonded around intellectual agendas from day one.

The next day was physically challenging. An entire day of high and low ropes courses, GPS tracking, team sports, archery and tomahawk throws. By the evening’s campfire teams had become families, frightened youngsters had been supported to dangle from belay harnesses and everyone was ready to bed down in preparation for the two days of REAL WORK ahead. Months of planning and working with The Graham Schools’ Debbie Addison yielded 24 sites where students worked, learned, and explored the “healthy” side of Columbus, Ohio. They worked on planting at Franklin Conservancy, organized materials at Habitat for Humanity, observed human dissection at Ohio Health and toured The Children’s Hospitals’ latest innovations in making young children with serious health problems feel like ”kids.” They engaged in two days of Yoga training, worked with autistic youth, engaged in poverty simulations and boxed more food than the Ohio State Football Team in one hour, breaking records at the Mid Ohio Foodbank. Potential journalism students visited the Columbus Dispatch and the local news station and got to cuddle a baby kangaroo!

When all was said and done, the students were exhausted, but still not done with their work. They joined in four groups representing the core pillars of the conference: Healthcare, Social Services, Arts and Recreation and Education and pooled their information and ideas and made a report to the assembled group, dressed in their party best for the film Premiere at the IMAX screening at COSI (Center of Science and Industry).

Needless to say, seeing yourself magnified 10,000 fold is an awesome experience and the film heralded the passion, intelligence and beauty of these students, all that came before to build this program and those who will follow and make it even better in the years to come.

The SLI program is not just a conference or a school trip for deserving students. The conference preparation relies heavily on using social media to spark deep conversation and transfer of knowledge. Each September hosts work with Megan Lee, MCNC SLI Intern and Terry Born, to develop a survey that all national participants take when they join the SLI Facebook Community, MCNC Student Voices @Facebook.com. This survey raises questions and concerns that youth around the country have and starts to conversations within each school. Which has more influence: good or bad communities? Do healthy communities inevitably survive or do unhealthy communities with power hold the most sway? These are some of the issues raised by our young people. As we move, now, to the issue of Social Justice, we foresee explorations of immigration, prison reform, educational equity and opportunity and religious persecution to name a few.

Each weekend MCNC and the hosts post questions that have been grappled with in their classes and in their research and a lively forum ensues including youth from every corner of our nation. These discussions also arise from the initial Pecha Kuchas that are posted by the SLI Innovation Lab schools. The Pecha Kuchas, (10 slides, 10 seconds of narrative) are used to share team focus in each school. As the year progresses students participate in Open Mic and upload original videos of their work in the Community and a mini TED Talk they make for their student body. This year we will be adding the MCNC Poetry Café and Gallery, where members will post original artwork and videos of orginal poetry and Rap

It’s always been our hope that the MCNC Student Conference had an “afterlife” and this year we have seen evidence of that truly happening. From Brooklyn College’s great mentorship project: Senior Letters to the NYC schools volunteering at Soup Kitchens, City Harvest and local pantries, we see the lasting impact this program has on those who have participated. On a recent outing which gathered SLI alumni from four schools, students said:  “We don’t feel like we finished the work with community. The conference only showed us what we could do. Now we can come back to our hometowns and actually do it. “


MCNC Makes a Movie

This year, after 20 years of expanding student leadership, challenges and accomplishment, MCNC produced a documentary. “Walk With the Dreamers” was conceived at the Los Angeles SLI Conference in 2012, when several extraordinary teachers (Alex Brilliandt of Greer Middle College High School and Matthew Osmon of Mott Middle College,  broached the concept to Terry Born, coordinator of the SLI  Program. The Los Angeles experience was so well organized and the students so committed and passionate about their role in shaping the future of our country that it seemed a lost opportunity that no one had captured these young adults in their formative development and the program that honed their passion into positive community change. Twelve schools contributed to the film’s first section which chronicles 5 students: Adina Guzman of RFWagner Jr. SSAT, Ralphy Lopez of Brooklyn College Academy, in NYC, Cesar Romero of El Centro,MCHS in Dallas, Alyx Farkas of Greer MCHS and Chloe Schockling of Brashier MCHS in Greenville, on their journey to the conference. The final segments document the events and learning curve that these students, joined by 200 peers, experience in Columbus. The film is a masterful combination of process and human interest and is designed to be both teaching tool and fundraising vehicle. Written and directed by Terry Born and Megan Lee, it was made possible by the volunteer work of Alex Brilliandt, Matthew Osmon, Alexis Crawford (Academy of Health Sciences in Md.) and the extraordinary contributions of German Vargas, professor of film and video and editor from Costa Rica.

Copies are available at Amazon.com and Createspace.com for a small fee, which will be used to support the program.

You can also make a tax deductible donation to www.mcnc.us/donate and select “film”

A taste of the dream can be seen at https://vimeo.com/51176928



Seattle Public Schools and Seattle University join forces

A memorandum of understanding (mou) was created between Seattle University and Seattle Public Schools.  A  new campus was opened in the city central district.  The new Superintendent Jose L. Banda and University President Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. spoke to the years of work to get this fare. Congratulations are in order.


By Cleo Crank, Teacher, Greenville Technical Charter High Schools, Greenville, SC

“You haven’t made a fire till it has burned.

You haven’t made a dollar till it’s earned,

And no teaching has transpired,

If the child has not acquired,

You haven’t taught a child till he has learned.”


Swen Nater, NBA star player Inspired by John Wooden


Interns Working in Groups

High school seniors often excel in factual knowledge, but fall short in key academic behaviors. How can we better prepare our students for the “real world” of college and work? Greenville TCHS’s career internship program promotes a college career culture and helps make the senior year one that is challenging and meaningful.

“You can be anything you want to be!” Parents and teachers promote this idea every day. It is the American dream….. Right? The problem is, wanting something is not the same as achieving it, anymore than talent is the same as accomplishment. I will never be the next Monet. No matter how many watercolor classes I take or pictures I paint, it is not going to happen. My talent does not match my desire. Unless my dreams match my strengths, I will fail. We have all had students who want to be doctors, lawyers, astronauts, yet they cannot write a good paragraph or complete simple math equations. What about the students who have little aspiration but tons of talent and ability? Are we doing these students a service by encouraging them to be “ANYTHING YOU WANT”? Not really. How can teachers help students maintain their aspirations within a viable, realistic doable frame? Creating the Internship Program at GTCHS gave me the perfect venue to do just that.

Five years ago, I approached our principal about the possibility of starting an Internship program as an alternative to our required senior project. He suggested I do some research to see what other schools around the country were doing. I went to several conferences, talked to local businessmen, and read several articles and books on college/career readiness. Across the board, everything was positive but limited in practical application.

I was left to my own devices to create a program to meet our needs. I spent a summer putting together the current program that is designed for motivated high school seniors interested in a structured, on-the-job learning activity. In providing experiences in workplace settings, students develop workplace competencies, work amicably and productively with others, and acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes they will need to be successful citizens in the 21st century. Students gain hands-on experience by working with professionals in their select career cluster. At the work site, students are supported by a company employee (community mentor) who directs their work and learning. To connect the work experience to school, each student sets college readiness goals.

Students undertake this internship program for a variety of reasons. As a form of independent study, students enjoy the opportunity to engage in a learning experience that augments classroom learning and extends beyond the traditional classroom walls. An internship is an excellent tool for testing out a career interest, giving students first-hand knowledge of a particular professional field. Most important, youth gain real work experience while learning how to conduct themselves in a professional workplace environment. They observe first-hand how skills relating to decision-making, problem-solving, teamwork and technology are employed on the job.

Greenville’s internship program is two semesters long. Most students come to the Internship program with some idea about a career. However, they spend the first three weeks doing on-line personality and career interest inventories. They reflect on the suggestions given by the inventories and how these suggestions influence their career choices. In addition, students do research on their top three college choices. They learn about required SAT scores, other admission requirements, degrees offered, tuition and fees, and availability of student aid. They chart their research and decide on colleges to visit.

During their internship time, students set both college and career goals each quarter and reflect on their progress at the end of each quarter. They also keep daily logs of their work experiences. In all of these reflections, one sees an upward curve of engagement. Students go from generalized ideas about their career and colleges to attend, to very specific career pathways and decisions on the college to attend. One sees the increased engagement in the internship as students go from being primarily observers to full-scale involvement in their work, complete with questions and suggestions for/from their mentors. In their writings you can just see their goals becoming much more specific and targeted and the upward curve of their own involvement in the internship.

In the relatively short time that the program has been in existence, the pool of mentors has greatly increased. In some cases, students or parents seek out mentors. In other cases, previous mentors are more than willing to work with new students. Mentors have had overwhelming positive experiences with students who are excited about their industry and the pleasure of learning about those careers.

I have some incredible success stories. Zach never had any intention of earning a bachelor’s degree. He wanted to work for the sheriff’s department and investigate crime scenes. After interviewing several professionals, he visited the Coroner’s office and did his placement there. Because of his success, he now wants to go to


Zach learning “hands on”

med school and become a pathologist. Devin knew he wanted to become a civil engineer. His mentor was not only a Kevinprofessional engineer but also taught upper level engineering classes at a Clemson University. Devin was able to participate in the University Engineer’s day along with the graduate students. Rebeccah did her placement at a high-end restaurant, was offered a summer job there and is headed to culinary school next semester. Kevin had his heart set on atten­ding the Air Force Academy and com­pleting Combat Rescue Officer School. Through the Internship pro­gram, he com­pleted more than 200 hours with the Emergency Medical Services and participated inall the emer­gency calls while with his mentor. Although Kevin did not get accepted into the Academy, he went to Clemson through the ROTC program and plans to attend Officer Candidate School upon graduation. He is right on target.

Students are assessed in a variety of ways. As part of the requirements, students research their particular career, set monthly goals, keep a daily log, and complete the required number of hours on site. At the end of the year, they meet for “conversation” with their advisor, another faculty member, the mentor and a colleague of the mentor. These four adults have the privilege of hearing about the student’s learning experience and conclusion about the career.

Feedback over the last three years has been very positive. In 2010 when the program began, I started with 20 students. The next year I had 22, and this year there are 31. The program is working. It is a win-win for all involved. The students begin to see a clear path, parents recognize a new sense of maturity and responsibility, the mentor is most impressed with our students, and I have the pleasure of watching all this unfold each year. On the last day for seniors each year, I have a seminar in which the students give me feedback about the experience. Most of the adjustments that have been made come directly from student suggestions. I even have mentors call me now to see it there is a student for this year. WOW!


Underutilized College Resources and High School-College Partnerships

By Sabine Zander, The National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST)


It’s all about relationships. This was the consensus reached among participants of the NCREST workshop, “Taking Advantage of Underused College Resources and Support Services,” at the Middle College National Consortium Summer Professional Development Institute 2012. The four-person panel consisting of Deb Shanley, Dean of School of Education, Brooklyn College; Mary Abbott, High School Counselor, Career Education Center, Denver MCHS; Maria Estrada, College Counselor, Santa Ana College; Joyce Mitchell, Academic Director, Memphis City  Schools; shared strategies and obstacles encountered in developing school-college partnerships at their sites. This provided the context for an interactive discussion and follow-up activity with workshop participants on what can contribute to better partnerships between middle college high schools and colleges.


Partnerships with institutions of higher education are a key feature distinguishing middle college high schools from typical traditional high schools. Partnerships can take on many different forms, but typically stakeholders from the high schools, colleges, and sometimes other external organizations, work together to make key organizational, financial, and academic decisions that will determine the shape of the collaboration—and the school. In addition to being able to take college classes, middle college high school students typically have access to a range of college resources, such as college libraries, computer labs, and tutoring services. However, NCREST’s survey research has found that in many cases, early college high school students are underutilizing these college resources.


According to participants in the NCREST workshop, access to and use of college resources can be increased in two ways: 1) high schools can make students more aware of available college resources and help them to make fuller use of them (e.g. through informal visits to the college facilities or counseling sessions organized in collaboration with college staff) 2) stakeholders can improve the partnership between the high school and college by working together to create new agreements (e.g. putting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place about partners’ responsibilities or organizing monthly meetings with all stakeholders).


What factors influence the development of productive partnerships?


Multiple factors can influence the development of productive partnerships. Reports by Hughes, Mechur Karp, Fermin and Bailey (2005) and the New Schools Venture Fund (2007) emphasize that a perceived power balance among all partners is fundamental to any healthy partnership. In order to reach such a balance, there must be a clear understanding of the purpose of the partnership, roles, and a sense of commitment to the school’s success and sustainability. All the panelists participating in the NCREST workshop underlined the importance of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or other agreements in formalizing the school-college partnership from the start. MOUs can help to outline important issues, such as financing, credit award, access to college resources and facilities, and other related issues (e.g. benefits for all partners involved) and provide a basis for smooth transitions when leadership changes at any of the partner institutions. Panelists also mentioned a college liaison as a key resource when it comes to managing these aspects of the partnership, and facilitating communication between the middle college high school and higher education institution (e.g. by resolving problems related to use of facilities, registrations etc. and working with high school students on education plans).


What are potential challenges associated with the partnerships and how can they be dealt with?


As in any other partnership, relationships between middle college high schools and colleges may experience difficulties that can have a negative impact on students. Vogt and Venezia (2009) outline certain issues that must be addressed in order to develop a healthy relationship between partners:


  • Potential resentment by college faculty toward teaching high school students
  • Understanding both college and K-12 standards and assessments
  • Avoiding teaching a “college lite” version of dual enrollment courses
  • Overextending faculty commitment and time
  • Clarifying relevant logistics (calendar, schedule, transportation)
  • Identifying appropriate faculty and providing support and/or professional development.


A participant of the NCREST workshop at the MCNC 2012 summer conference pointed out that, at her institution, the most problems arise when faculty at the college feel that the middle college high school is putting a strain on resources (space, money, etc.). Another participant expressed the concern that at his partner institution there is a lack of understanding among the faculty of what the early college program is about. In order to avoid such issues, staff at the high school should clearly communicate to the college staff the purpose of the middle college program to elicit support.


Many participants of the NCREST workshop at the MCNC 2012 summer conference expressed that communication must occur in the context of understanding the culture and context of each type of institution – K12, college, or business. Face-to-face meetings were mentioned as one of the most effective ways to have all partners express goals, needs and shortfalls in the current partnership to improve the high school students’ college experience. One participant shared how they organize monthly meetings at their school to which they invite everyone involved in the partnership. This forum serves to lead open discussions and resolve issues together.


Another workshop participant underlined the importance of gaining the college’s acceptance and understanding of the high school students’ potential. It is important to communicate high school students’ success to the college (e.g. high rates of students who graduate with an Associate’s Degree etc.) and to cultivate a sense of pride in the high school. Two participants shared that they spend considerable amount of time doing just this.


How much do MCNC schools’ students use College Support Services?


Participants of the NCREST workshop at the MCNC 2012 summer conference shared that their students often do not take advantage of the college resources provided to them. Data from the MCNC Graduating Student Survey 2012 illustrates how underutilized some college resources are.


The chart above shows, that half of the students never took advantage of tutoring and writing lab services at the college and a third of the students never visited an administrative office at the college or used instructors’ office hours in the past school year. It is also alarming to see that 13% of students have never used the college libraries and 63% of students have never participated in a club or association at the partner institution in the past school year.


During the workshop panel discussion and the follow-up activities working with the MCNC Graduating Student Survey 2012, workshop participants discussed ways to improve student use of college resources. They suggested that school staff first look into the reasons for students’ underutilization of available college resources, and offered possible reasons for this, including: lack of awareness, shyness and intimidation of the college environment, and/or possibly a belief that college resources have no value for them.


Which improvement would MCNC Early College staff like to see from their HS-College partners?

Participants of the NCREST workshop at the MCNC 2012 summer conference were asked to respond to the following question: “What is the one thing you would love to see put in place or have access to (in terms of resources, support, and access) for your organization, staff, students, programs from your partnering school/college?” Responses mentioned the most were the following:

  • Increased student access to college resources (e.g. facilities, labs, etc.) and academic and career counseling services (e.g. tutoring services).
  • Improvements in the communication between high schools and colleges, especially among high school and college instructors.
  • More public support and acknowledgment.
  • Sharing of information databases.
  • Working together to align curricula (including bridge courses).
  • Informal visits to the college campus for students who have never taken college level classes.
  • Middle college staff would also like to find ways to improve students’ knowledge of career fields and access to different kinds of community service, such as “real life exposure.”
  • More staff (counselors, tutors, academic advisors, security guards) in order to accomplish these goals.


Final thoughts


What can your school do to improve student use of college resources? You could start by assessing what kinds of college resources are available to high school students and which of these are underutilized. This may involve communication with students, faculty, and staff at your own school to learn about what resources they currently use and which they would like to use.


Documents and additional information from the NCREST workshop for middle college high school staff to use to start partnership improvement planning are available by contacting NCREST.




  • Hughes, K.L, Mecher Karp, M., Fermin, B.J. & Bailey, T.R. (2005); New Schools Venture Fund (2007). PUC schools: The design and implementation of an Early College High School Program. San Francisco, CA: New Schools Venture Fund
  • Vogt, K. and Venezia, A. (2009). College faculty engagement in early college. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.

Professor Linda Darling-Hammond To Give Keynote Address

Professor Linda Darling-Hammond

Professor Linda Darling-Hammond

Middle College National Consortium is pleased to announce that Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, the renowned Stanford University educator, will give the keynote address at MCNC’s 21st annual Winter Principals’ Leadership Conference. She will be available for a question and answer session subsequent to her keynote address. Professor Darling-Hammond is renowned for her work on school restructuring, teacher quality, and educational equity. In 2006 Professor Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting educational policy for her work, What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future, that led to sweeping changes in teaching and teacher education. She created the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute and the School Redesign Network.

The MCNC Winter Principals’ Leadership Conference will be held from February 14-16, 2013 at the Newport Beach Hyatt Regency. This conference is open to, and appropriate for, all Middle and Early College High School leaders (both official and unofficial), non-Middle College small school leaders, school district staff, personnel from educational organizations, and college personnel involved in education.

The MCNC Winter Principals’ Leadership Conference is a perfect match with Professor Darling-Hammond’s experience. Her policy work has been a game changer. For those people desiring to learn more about the conference, or register, please visit the MCNC website site at: http://www.mcnc.us.

Consortium Matters

Last Spring the Middle College National Consortium (MCNC) held a JAM (an online asynchronous conversation) ongI_77310_cece the role of Peer Review in teacher evaluation. Consensus was that leadership is needed to create a viable Peer Review Process. While we are in a society that wants results immediately, time is needed for a full implementation of the process while teachers learn to give and receive feedback from peers. The Peer Review Process is most effective when the entire staff works to implement an instructional practice to improve student outcomes. Lastly, Peer Review and evaluation can mix when multiple indicators are used for teacher evaluation and there is role clarity and professional development for implementation.

In September of this year the Chicago Teachers Union held a strike. The central issue was that a proposed evaluation system that places a high level of the evaluation on the test scores of the students, is unfair not just to teachers but also to the students. The Chicago Teachers Union eventually settled for a contract that based the evaluation on multiple measures with test scores counting for 30% of a teacher’s rating. This was the first test of the proposals that are currently underway in many states and districts to measure teacher effectiveness with student test scores. If this compromise sets a national agenda, then it is important for teachers to work to define the other measures that will be used for their evaluation.

The central question is, “what is the purpose of these evaluations?” Is it to hold teachers accountable for teaching or to fire teachers? Is it possible to do both?

Isn’t improvement in teaching the most important agenda item that the nation faces to raise the level of education and thereby provide a family living wage for all? MCNC has ample evidence that improvement in instruction comes from “just in time” feedback from respected educators, administrators, coaches, or other teachers.

Using a Peer Review process, that is valued and supported by the school leader and provides regular feedback from other teachers in the school, pays benefits way beyond test scores. Traditionally, teaching has been an isolated profession with professional development done by attendance at scheduled workshops. But like anyone learning a new skill, the role of practice and feedback is critical for improvement. A peer feedback support system that intentionally uses teacher time to visit other classrooms and provide feedback on instructional practice is an effective and cost efficient way to improve academic achievement. Most importantly it relies on the existing resources and expertise that our teachers bring to the work.

MCNC has documented that schools with Peer Review Programs that include a peer hiring system, regular inter visitation, formal feedback from peers and students in end of year teacher evaluations, have higher graduation rates than other schools in the cities in which they are located and have high rates of college credit accumulation for all graduates. For more information visit our website www.mcnc.us.


By Wendy Samberg, Director of Instructional Design and Development, Gateway Community College, New Haven, CT

In New Haven, Connecticut, the city-wide drop­out rate for high school students exceeds 27%. We’ve known for too long that there’s a massive achievement gap in our state, but the elephant in our local community’s room has been the communication gap and lackluster strategies between the high schools and the college. Students who graduate from high school and enter Gateway or one of our state universities should feel confident that they’re ready and able to begin work toward higher educational goals. However, for more than 85% of those incoming freshmen, this has not been the case.

The Gateway Community College Middle Colleges

For high school graduates to succeed as college freshmen, we would need to forge a committed relationship between Gateway Community College and the New Haven Public Schools. We would need flexibility within the education policies and procedures to offer a variety of secondary school options. Our immediate goal was to increase high school and college graduation rates, without the need for remediation. To begin, we had to acknowledge some disheartening facts: Connecticut has the largest achievement gap in elementary and middle school in the nation. New Haven students fall behind in literacy and mathematics early in their academic careers, setting the stage for low performance. If students were going to be successful, we would have to actively help them “catch up.”

For successful projects, leadership is mandatory. Gateway’s President and the Superintendent of New Haven’s schools, agreed to a memorandum of understanding to support the partnership. We joined the Middle College National Consortium. We are consistently updated on national and local initiatives that involve best practices in dual credit programming. We chose three principals from very different high schools who showed interest in having their schools participate in a dual credit partnership with the college. All the agreed to a set of standard procedures including regularly scheduled meetings, testing students for baseline data using the College Board Accuplacer placement test and diagnostic test for more specific information conveying mastery or deficiencies in math and English. Co-Op students as freshmen

We agreed to a series of professional development sessions for both college faculty and high school teachers to be aware of each others’ perceptions and pedagogy. Together we attend the MCNC professional development conferences to stay current in our field. We hired professional liaisons to ensure daily communication between the college and high school classes and tutors to reinforce teacher lessons. We offer summer programming at the college so that students have a continuous educational experience, while earning up to nine college credits over six weeks.

Funding has been secured through grants and foundations and the College has waived the cost of fees. Ultimately, legislation at the federal and state level is needed to ensure long-term success.

All partners believe strongly what research has confirmed – that students who participate in academically challenging high school curricula are more likely to be successful in college. More often than not, rigorous courses are geared to an “elite” tier of high school students, leaving students with inadequate academic and social skill levels at a distinct disadvantage. The Gateway Middle Colleges promote an environment where students can learn the skills to be engaged, academically challenged, and to feel socially and emotionally secure.

Gateway Middle College Partnerships Common Components

  • Gateway seeks out students who might otherwise not have considered themselves “college material” to participate in a rigorous academic program beginning in 9th grade.
  • Students have the opportunity to accrue anywhere from 30 credits to a certificate or an associate’s degree. Programs are developed that complement the “theme” of the school.
  • Parent participation is an integral part of the program. There are two parent-student gatherings each semester and one before the summer. Parents are introduced to the faculty and given syllabi. Parents are part of a list serve that’s set up to keep information flowing back and forth.
  • Summer programs offer students a full day of programming for six weeks. Students can earn up to 9 college credits at the same time they are meeting new peers, professors and staff, and finding their way around the college campus.

Gateway Middle College at Co-op

The Cooperative High School for the Arts and Humanities (Co-Op) was Gateway’s first Middle College partnership. The students were selected as second semester freshmen on the basis of attendance and an interview. Students, with the support of Middle College, were able to successfully complete college courses at Gateway in the morning and during the summer and finish their high school requirements at Co-op. Four years later, they are graduating with upwards of 30 credits, entering college as sophomores.

Our students have been offered admission and scholarships to many colleges and universities including: Gateway CC, Manhattan College, Morehouse College, Penn State, Quinnipiac University, Smith, St. John’s University, Tuskegee University, and UCONN.

Gateway Middle College at Hillhouse

The after school partnership staff consists of two English teachers and two math teachers and a student teacher for each as an aide/tutor. The Parent Coordinator has been very successful in meeting with parents one-on-one, phoning families for all absences, and collaborating with other members of the team. The program meets 4 days per week (2 days of math and 2 of English) from 2:30 to 4 pm. Several students have sacrificed sports or other after school aspirations to focus on their academic growth. In addition, two computer classes are being taught for college credit.

All Hillhouse freshmen were given an assessment in December to determine strengths and weaknesses in areas of mathematics considered necessary prerequisites for college level math courses. The results of these assessments were used to develop focus areas for instruction in our two groups of after-school math classes. In March, after two months of the program, assessments indicate that one group advanced by an average of 14% and the other by an average of 28%. Both the group and individual progress is substantial for only two months.

Gateway Middle College at New Haven Academy

All NHA students participate in a four-year sequence of Facing History and Ourselves seminars, civics, and social justice courses. The Middle College at NHA works with the co-principals to find courses, for dual credit, that fit in with their curricula. This semester, students were enrolled in a Criminal Justice class taught by the former head of up the Correction Department’s academic programming. In addition to traditional coursework, students attended a court session with the presiding judge where they were able to view a voir dire session of potential witnesses.

The most exciting part of our student success plan is that it’s a continuum. It took years for the college community and our high school partners to realize that we are not going to win the achievement gap war with a single battle or strategy. It’s going to take all of us, armed with good will, a passion for our jobs, love for our students, respect for each other, motivation and a powerful resolution that, together, we’ll do what it takes to ensure our young people succeed in higher education.


OPEN POSITION: Principal – Greenville Technical Charter High School

Greenville Technical Charter High School (GTCHS) is a US Department of Education top 15 Charter School, National Blue Ribbon winner, and US News and World Report Bronze Medalist. We are an Early/Middle college high school allowing our students to complete college credit coursework while in high school.  We are active members of the Middle College National Consortium and the Charter School Alliance of South Carolina.  We are currently seeking a high energy and dynamic individual to lead our school with passion and dedication. We want someone who will work with our governing board to guide this nationally recognized charter school to the next level of achievement as we prepare our students to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.



  • Certified Administrator
  • Master Degree in Education or related field
  • Outstanding communication skills
  • Previous building level administration in a non-traditional school preferred


Demonstrated Skills, Responsibilities, and Outcomes


Program Development and Management

  • Maintain and grow our culture of high achievement, performance, and accountability among students, faculty, and staff
  • Develop new educational programs and monitor existing programs for effectiveness
  • Drive student, faculty, and staff performance through innovative use of new and existing technologies
  • Supervise the project-based learning programs to develop academic and technical components based on a hands-on-environment
  • Cultivate critical and independent thinking skills of students, faculty, and staff
  • Maintain and strengthen the relationship with Greenville Technical College


Public Relations and Communications

  • Actively participate in promoting charter schools at the local, state, and federal levels
  • Actively participate in the Middle College National Consortium and the Charter School Alliance of South Carolina.
  • Work to grow the community reputation and involvement of Greenville Technical Charter High School
  • Develop opportunities for Greenville Technical Charter High School to demonstrate the commitment to the community through avenues including student community service projects and community partnerships


Financial Management and Administration

  • Manage current accounting and bookkeeping procedures to ensure accuracy and compliance to federal and state regulations
  • Work with the Business Manager and the Board of Directors to create, implement, and monitor the school’s budget
  • Work with the Audit Committee to review and monitor audit and compliance practices and processes
  • Ensure that the budgeting and actual spending line up with the school’s stated mission by focusing on the linkage of rigorous academics, technology, and careers



  • Maintain current relationships, eligibility, and preferences with existing grantors
  • Work with the current faculty and staff to identify and secure new sources of grant funding



  • Oversee the administration of personnel procedures that will include: payroll, employment decisions, contract negotiation, and work flow
  • Work with the faculty and staff to develop professional development objectives with appropriate performance metrics and accountability measures
  • Recruit, train and motivate top tier teaching talent


Board Relations

  • Work closely with the Board of Directors to develop the school’s long term strategic plans along with implementation milestones and performance metrics
  • Involve the Board of Directors by utilizing their skills and experience to assist in the development of the school, strategic planning, and significant decisions




The previous leadership of GTCHS has elevated our school to a level of top national performance. To maintain this leadership role, we must continue to challenge ourselves as we innovate education in America. This means the responsibility of being principal of GTCHS will not be an easy role to fill. There will be a constant push needed to stay a top school and only a special person will be able to pick up where we are and take this school to the next level of success, accomplishment, and recognition. The challenges will be there. We need someone who is versatile and able to fill several roles for which a larger school would have additional staff. We need someone who will work together with Greenville Technical College to make a profound difference in the lives of students on their way to becoming leaders in their fields. If this describes you and you are up for the challenge and the rewards, we invite you to apply and demonstrate to us your ability, conviction, and attitude.


GTCHS Mission

The school will provide equitable opportunities for all students to acquire an education focused on linkages among rigorous academics, technology, and careers to produce graduates who are prepared for success in the global workforce of the twenty-first century.


GTCHS Vision

Greenville Technical Charter High School aspires to create an equitable community of learners in which mutual respect, trust, integrity, and the pursuit of ideas are valued and appreciated.




  • Resumes should be submitted to the school at the following address:



Mr. David Setzer

Board Chairman

Greenville Technical Charter High School

506 S. Pleasantburg Drive

Building #119, Mail Stop 1201

Greenville, SC 29607





  • The deadline for resume submission is Friday, January 11, 2013.


  • A minimum of three (3) candidates will be selected for interview.  Only the names of final candidates for the position may be subject to disclosure.  All other applicants for the position will remain confidential.


  • Interviewing for the position does not guarantee future employment.


Professor Linda Darling-Hammond To Give Keynote Address At MCNC’s Winter Principals’ Leadership Conference

Middle College National Consortium will hold it’s 21st annual Winter Principals’ Leadership Conference from February 14-February 16 at the Newport Beach, California Hyatt Regency. Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, the renowned Stanford University educator, will give the keynote address. In 2006 Professor Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade for her work that led to sweeping changes in teaching and teacher education across the U.S.

New York, NY (PRWEB) October 10, 2012

Middle College National Consortium is pleased to announce that Professor Linda Darling-Hammond will give the keynote address at MCNC’s 21st annual Winter Principals’ Leadership Conference. Professor Darling-Hammond is renowned for her work on school restructuring, teacher quality, and educational equity. She created the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute and the School Redesign Network. In 1996 Professor Darling Hammond authored the influential report What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future. This report led to dramatic changes in teaching and teacher education in the U.S. Because of the report, and its influence on national education policy, in 2006 Professor Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade.
The MCNC Winter Principals’ Leadership Conference will be held from Thursday, February 14, 2013-Saturday, February 16, 2013 at the beautiful Newport Beach Hyatt Regency. This conference is open to, and appropriate for, all Middle and Early College High School leaders (both official and unofficial), non-Middle College small school leaders, school district staff, personnel from educational organizations, and college personnel involved in education. Professor Darling Hammond will make herself available for a question and answer session subsequent to her keynote address.
Dr. Cecilia L. Cunningham, founder and director of the Middle College National Consortium commented, “The MCNC Winter Principals’ Leadership Conference is a perfect match with Professor Darling-Hammond’s experience at the organization she launched, The Stanford Educational Leadership Institute. Her policy work on school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity has been a game changer. We very much look forward to working with her.” For those people desiring to learn more about the conference, or register, please visit the MCNC website site at: http://www.mcnc.us.
MCNC is a pioneer in developing small schools on college campuses where high school students, especially those who have been previously underserved by their former schools, can earn both a high school diploma and either an Associate’s degree or transferable college credits upon graduation. MCNC, headquartered in New York City, is a leader in the movement to establish and sustain dual enrollment in high school as a viable and necessary college readiness educational model. To get a comprehensive overview of the history, design principles, current work and achievements of the Middle College National Consortium, please visit us at http://www.mcnc.us.
Contact information
Tony Hoffmann
Middle College National Consortium
O. 718-361-1981 X6
THoffmann (at) mcnc (dot) us