THE Charles School at Ohio Dominican University brought the theme of Social Justice home to their students in both a historical and personal way. Columbus native Wil Haygood is the author of The Butler: A Witness to History, which has been on the New York Times Best Seller list since the release of the motion picture in August. It is the story that inspired Lee Daniels to direct the movie Lee Daniels’ The Butler which has been a box office smash. Mr. Haygood officially launched his book at Ohio Dominican University on the 12th of September. As a young man he was inspired to go to college through the Upward Bound program hosted at ODU and felt it a fitting place to hold the book launch. Earlier that afternoon, Mr. Haygood, through the gracious cooperation and generosity of ODU and the Brentnell Recreation Center, spoke to The Charles School students, staff, board, and members of the community at the Brentnell Recreation Center. For nearly an hour, Mr. Haygood inspired the students through his words, answered student’ questions about the movie and his life, signed books, and posed for pictures. Khara Bage a veteran MCNC Student Leadership Host Ambassador asked Mr Haywood a question. The Leadership program fosters innovative collaborations, experiential learning opportunities and collaborations with the community to develop student voices to be change agents of tomorrow.
Academic landscapes are changing quickly and organizations need to make adaptations that keep them vital, growing and attractive to old and new members alike. Most importantly, they must remain relevant. With these thoughts in mind the Executive Board met at the Summer Conference 2013 and came to some difficult, but we feel exciting decisions about the Consortium’s future.
We discussed that we need to broaden our outreach to schools and programs that have a dual enrollment component, i.e. Middle Colleges, Early Colleges and High School Dual Enrollment programs. Our mission will be to support dual enrollment as a strategy for high school reform and as a major college and career readiness strategy. To get the word out we will be revising our logo, our web site and our membership requirements.
We have decided to reframe our Design Principles by simplifying them to four pillars for student success in college classes in high school:
• Deep Sustained Collaboration with college partners
• Aligned Academic Programs from the 9th grade through 60 credits
• Student Support appropriate to the needs of the subtends and the demands of the college
• Professional Development focused on the boundary spanning roles of high school and college staff who sustain the collaboration
These four pillars are supported and informed by student data on college success and student perceptions of their experience in Middle/Early Colleges and Dual Enrollment Programs.
We will be working on streamlining our membership application process that will include faculty ratification and college support so that it will survive changes in leadership.
Institutional collaboration is our niche and our strength and we will put that front and center in all of our work. It will be reflected in our communications and in our conference agendas.
To kick off our new focus, NCREST will look at the 8 years of data that we have and align it with our four pillars and provide a mechanism for emerging knowledge about our pillars at our Winter Leadership Conference. We will not have a traditional TA conference but use our aggregate data to inform our work more closely. The 2012-13 data will still be available for your schools at the winter conference
And with that in mind we share our new MCNC MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Middle College National Consortium is to increase the number of students nationally who have access to supported dual enrollment in Early Colleges, Middle Colleges and Dual Enrollment Programs.
• Providing leadership and Support for Continuous improvement in member schools and programs
• Providing Technical Assistance for new Early Colleges and Dual Enrollment Programs
• Collecting and Analyzing Data for School and Program Improvement and to validate the positive outcomes for students
• Providing cross-city and cross institutional learning opportunities about practices that result in increased college completion rates
• Ensuring that Student Voice informs school and program design through the use of student surveys and the Annual National Student Leadership Initiative
So that member schools and programs can develop and sustain a successful model of collaborative education that expands students’ future opportunities.
Student Leadership Middle College National Consortium style is bearing down towards DC. An army of youth-warriors are set to tackle issues of Social Justice across the nation and they are aiming to be heard. After last year’s breakthrough conference in Columbus, Ohio where our students asked the question, “What makes a healthy community?” they wanted to address some of the ills they had uncovered with well designed plans and clear action. Social Justice was the theme they selected; political action to assess, inform and increase college access for all high school students is their mission.
Currently 20 youngsters-sophomores and juniors from the Academy of Health Sciences in Prince George County, MD are working with two history professors, Normand Lambert and Cornell Mickens, planning activities for the 200+ peers who will arrive in Maryland in the Spring. Students are focused on a variety of social justice issues which touch their lives and hearts: bullying, human trafficking, violence, poverty, gender equity and racial and religious discrimination. What these conversations lead them to understand is there is a common thread to most social injustice: lack of education by both victim and perpetrator. Students will examine how the Early/Middle College opportunity and experience: rigor and challenge with support and contact with a college environment changed their self efficacy and aspirations to complete their post secondary education and move onto fulfilling careers. Realizing that education opened doors to them and also made them more tolerant of one anothers’ beliefs, lifestyles and traditions will fuel their efforts to reach out to politicians in their local and national legislatures with the message that opportunity in this country must be open to all .
The Conference, taking place April 30-May 4 will include an Arts Exchange, trips to the Capitol, Monuments, Museums and Newseum. The highlight will be the opportunity for each student to take a photo with a member of their home district after delivering a short appeal to address more opportunities for college access in high school for all. Students from each of our Middle and Early Colleges will work with local representatives to understand current bills under consideration in their local and national legislatures that increase support for an early college/dual credit experience for all high school students. In the end, we all know that the solution that most critically impacts social justice is education and that access is determined, in most cases by location, fluency, education history, poverty, etc.
MCNC supports efforts to prepare students coming to the conference through it’s web based platform: MCNC Youth Voices2014@facebook.com. A closed group facilitated by Megan Lee, an MCNC graduate and Terry Born, the community hosts weekly forums, arts exchanges and oversees the completion of research, organization and communication tasks that are at the heart of the Leadership Initiative. This year, we will also build a Web-Exchange that will track and make available current Policy and Programs in each of our MCNC Communities so that students and Advisors can get the national perspective about EC Access for All.
For more information about the program, the conference and the on line communities: contact: tborn39396 (at) aol.com
Western Early College High School is a new member of Middle College National Consortium. Partnered with Jefferson Community and Technical College, WECHS was a struggling comprehensive high school in Louisville, KY when, with the support of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, it ventured into offering high school students an early college experience. Former principal, David Mike, made radical changes in student behavior, while opening the door to college for its students. Now, with the guidance and support of Middle College National Consortium and JCTC, Western Early College and its new principal, Michael Newman, are taking its program to new heights. Newman is combining educational experience, business savvy, and the love of a good challenge to address the needs and aspirations of underserved first generation college-bound students who need to meet today’s high standards to make their dreams come true. Recently Newman took some time to share with us his philosophy, experience, and plans for the future of Western ECHS.
What was your journey to Western ECHS? Was there any particular experience or personality trait that made you a good fit for this position?
I grew up in Louisville. From an early age I was always goal driven. I went to a large high school, where kids didn’t get a lot of counseling, because it was always assumed everyone would do well. I loved and participated in sports and I always knew I’d go to college. Even during high school, I was climbing into leadership positions. I was captain of sports teams, etc. When I did enter college, I intended to be an environmental engineer.
Once there, I realized that wasn’t the path for me. I made a one hundred eighty degree turn and became an English major. While I was in college, I also worked as a business manager and loved the opportunity to implement systems to structure an organization. When I graduated, I became a teacher in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The population was the opposite of my own experience in Louisville. I saw the void in my students’ experiences, their lack of skills, and sought from the beginning to address this. As a teacher, I sought out leadership roles and my principal counseled me to become an administrator. He pointed out that I could impact more kids than just the ones in my classes, if I could lead an entire school.
Later, I moved to Knoxville and started graduate school. There, I worked with a totally different demographic population. Again, both administrators and principals counseled me towards educational leadership. After receiving my degree, I came home to Louisville to work at Western. After a year as a teacher, I became an Assistant Principal at the school. Then, under the tutelage of Principal David Mike, I saw how effective systems could impact the behavior of students, taking the school from chaos back to order. He fostered the ideas that teachers were autonomous and that students had to be held to a model of behavior. Together, using our mutually beneficial partnership, we turned the behavioral component of a low achieving school around; I learned from him and he sought my advice on the academic life of students. The result of our efforts was that Western was able to move out of the NCLB “doghouse.” Then the state changed its accountability standards, and with the adoption of the Common Core, we fell back below again.
Western’s Early College was a program in a large comprehensive high school and not sustainable, because it targeted only a small select group of students. Over the last 3 years, representatives from the school, Woodrow Wilson, and JCTC worked as a team to redefine what the model should look like. Now, as principal, I can take my passion for young people and the lessons I learned from my turn-around work under David Mike to transform our Early College to a whole school model that gives our population tangible goals and a clear pathway to realizing them.
What elements of ECHS attracted you to the program?
When Western was selected to be an Early College, many people considered merge of the design of an EC program into a comprehensive public high school as a nearly impossible challenge. Because of my business background and love for logistics, I viewed it as I a start-up “company.” The program meshed with my passion for kids. Working through the EC model, I was able to offer socially disadvantaged, underserved populations a sure reality and a way to improve the conditions in their lives.
What changes or new directions to Western ECHS do you hope to implement?
The school has a clear goal: All Western Warriors will leave college ready, career experienced, goal driven, and reality certain. We are redesigning our Early College based on six programs of study. In this way, all coursework will be directly related to the career a student wants to pursue. For example, when a young person says he has an interest in medicine, we will set him on a pathway that feeds into the medical training available at JCTC and gives the student the knowledge that will allow him to transfer later to a four- year university.
Our plan is based on the concept of Career Academies, but takes it one step further. We will be aligning our pathways to include not only career experience, but also college experience. The six areas of study that we have outlined with Jefferson Community and Technical College are:
• General Arts and Humanities
• Culinary Arts
• Business, Communications and Tech
• Career- Tech
JCTC offers courses in each of these pathways, so we are in talks with these departments to further develop our ideas. For example, the chair of the Education Department wants to offer an educational theory course for our freshmen and sophomores. Later in their junior and senior years, students on the Education Pathway will take courses half-time and then full time on the college campus. We plan to follow the MCNC model of student support for college success by offering a side by side advisory program (University 111). Through this program, we will teach study skills and resume building, provide metacognitive supports and mentorships which include local business professionals. Some local businesses have already offered shadowing, internships and summer jobs to our students. One group has offered Western ECHS graduates with Associates in Arts degrees hiring priority. I see it as my mission to make sure that a career-college experience in one of these strands is available for each and every one of our students. This will make their reality certain.
How close is this vision to implementation?
The school district is in talks with superintendent to get approval for this plan. It makes sense to use this model to change the accountability measure of success to long-term criteria rather than the current practices of using a single test.
When the program is in full implementation, we envision limiting seats in each college pathway to 25 per grade or 150 per class. We understand the difficulties that our population comes to us with– low skills and negative academic experiences, so we are exploring extending the EC program to a fifth year to ensure greater success. We are hoping that the planning and discussions between academic, district, and business partners will be complete soon, so we can start next year with 30 students in each Pathway.
Ultimately, I see this model as benefitting more than just Western kids.
What opportunities and benefits to students and staff are currently available through your partnership with the college?
Students have full access to all college resources from their freshman year. JCTC, our college partner, has allowed the on-campus experience to expand to 150 students over the next 3 years.
We have another partner as well, the Louisville Rotarians, who have offered the Louisville Promise Rotary Scholarship for any student completing 60 credits. In order to qualify, our students must maintain a 2.5 GPA, have a 90% attendance rate, and have no major behavioral incidents during their high school career. The Rotarians will pay up to full tuition towards a third year at JCTC for our students. That’s the equivalent of $10,000.
How have you been able to maintain, expand and nurture the relationship with the college?
We honestly believe the reason the relationship is so successful is the communication between the stakeholders. We meet monthly as a board of directors to discuss programming needs, where student skills lie, and how to strengthen them. There are monthly meetings between dual credit professors and our teachers to steward the vision and expand the reach of the program to more young people.
Any last thoughts?
During my time here with the ECHS, we have recognized the need to be flexible and ever- changing. When problems present themselves, we see them not as obstacles, but as challenges to overcome to help more students.
High school graduation is a time of celebration and completion, but one laced with the shadow of “What next?” Behind the happy faces of graduates tossing mortarboards and parents beaming with pride for their children’s accomplishment are questions about the future. Career Education Center students standing on the stage of Community College of Denver last Spring had clear answers and no doubts. They claimed tangible real world skills along with discipline and skills to succeed in college. This class was a landmark one for the school, with accomplishments exceeding even the highest expectations of faculty, parents, peers and the graduates themselves.
CEC Middle College has a lot to be proud of. One of the Consortium’s oldest members, it has the unique mission of offering students high school requirements, college course credits and certificate bearing classes and internships that get students college and career ready.
In September CEC was acknowledged in Denver’s Magazine, 5280 as one of the top 20 high schools on the Front Range of Colorado. But that was only one of several accolades for principal, Scott Springer who says his school is riding a wave of growing success.
“We had our largest graduating class last year of just under 100 students,” said Springer. “The 2013 class had the highest ACT scores ever. Graduates earned more than $1.7 million in scholarships and all graduates were accepted to CCD (Community College of Denver). Moreover, 87 students got offers from two colleges or more.”
CEC Middle College offers hands-on, versatile, relevant and rigorous classes for students who are earning college credits at the Denver school. Currently the school has 400 full and 320 part-time students enrolled. Part time for CEC Denver refers to students who do half days at CEC and half at their home high schools. All students are enrolled in one of eighteen career programs.
College success for these students means time saved and dollars earned. These dollars translate into savings for their families, savings for the institutions, which will not have to remediate college ready-college performing-graduates, and to graduates who are trained in fields that are waiting to hire career ready youth. Last year’s students earned more than 1,500 semester hours of college credit which adds up to more than $180,000 in college tuition. 67 students graduated with 12 college credits or more; and three graduated with more than 40 hours. Students were awarded $1,795,000 in scholarships ($900,000 by the Denver Scholarship Foundation). An unprecedented three students earned the prestigious Daniels Fund Scholarship which covers full tuition, lodging and travel for four years.
CEC graduates were also exemplary in their academics. Nineteen seniors qualified for Phi Theta Kappa, Community College of Denver’s honor organization, earning a minimum of 12 college credits and a college GPA of 3.5 or higher. This year was the first year in the history of CEC, the school brought home a school Championship. CEC’s Robotics team won the National competition, which earned them a spot to represent the school in the World Competition in St. Louis in April. Many of the team members were seniors.
MCNC and its members all congratulate CEC Denver and their principal, Scott Springer on these accomplishments and wish them nothing but mile high honors in the future.
If your school has great stories to share, please share them with our readers. Contact MCNC Newsletter
tborn39396 (at) aol.com.
Fulfulling Promises: Winter 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
The 2010 high school reports released by the South Carolina State Department of Education revealed that Greenville Tech Charter High was tops in the county and number 3 in the state on the graduation rate, at 99%. Brashier Middle College ranked second in the county and seventh in the state, graduating 94.4 percent of its students in four years. Brashier had the highest absolute rating in the county and third-highest in the state. Brashier Principal, Mike Sinclair wrote, “To be recognized as second behind GTCHS in graduation rate is great. To receive the highest rating in the county and third highest in the state is amazing for us. The absolute rating includes End of Course scores for our freshmen (Algebra I, English I, and Physical Science), End of Course scores for our juniors (US History), our Exit Exam Pass Rate (sophomores), and our Graduation Rate (seniors). No one can hide in this measure of success. Each member of our school community played a part in our success. The goals and support from the Middle College Consortium were invaluable. The support from Greenville Technical College has allowed our students to push into college courses and attend classes in a state of the art facility. The planning group that founded the school fought tirelessly to provide this opportunity for us all when it appeared the school would never open”. In addition, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Greenville Technical Charter HS as having the No. 4 “Most Connected Classroom” in the nation. According to Principal Fred Crawford, “every teacher has an iPad, and every room is equipped with Smartboard and interactive technology. Students can take college courses online and link to a blackboard interface with college professors. The teens can even check out laptops from Greenville Technical College. Our kids are all digital natives. This is what they’ve grown up with.” The schools were rated on various indicators of connectivity, including Internet speed and wireless access, computer access, connectivity to school from home, and additional technological resources. “Internet connection and computer technologies are shaping the future classroom for students and teachers,” said U.S. News & World Report editor and chief content officer Brian Kelly. The Consortium congratulates all these schools on their outstanding achievements.
Challenge Early College High School at Houston Community College SW (Texas), a MCNC Member school, is one of this year’s winners of the prestigious U.S. Blue Ribbon award which is eagerly sought by public and private schools across the country. To qualify, schools must be serving a population that has previously been underserved by their schools. The Blue Ribbon Award rewards schools that have increased student achievement and narrowed the achievement gap. This is aligned with President Obama’s goal of making education the lynchpin to improving the U.S. economy and closing the achievement gap. Challenge joins previous MCNC Blue Ribbon award winners: Middle College HS at Santa Ana College, Middle College HS at San Joaquin Delta College, Greenville Technical Charter High School at Greenville Technical College, Harbor Teacher Preparatory Academy at Los Angeles Harbor College and Middle College High School at Contra Costa College. Cecilia Cunningham, founder and director of MCNC, stated that Challenge ECHS has been successful because “The faculty and administration not only deeply care about their students, but they have immersed themselves in professional development to improve their practice. The results of this hard work can be seen in their college going rate. In the 2009-2010 school year 75% of Challenge’s graduating class enrolled in a four year college and 20% in a two year college.” Dr. Cunningham added that “Justin Fuentes, the former principal of Challenge, and his successor, Tonya Miller, are perfect examples of the difference good leadership can make.”
Written by: Megan Lee, 2011 Graduate R. F. Wagner High School, MCNC Youth Liaison
Upon reminiscing about their high school years, many people recall first a defining moment or time that epitomizes their entire experience. They think back to all those jokes that lost their immature humor, the moment summer vacation began at the end of senior year; the mindset that told them the world existed, condensed and pressed into hallways, classrooms, and offices.
In a sense, we are lucky to be able to think back to high school and question what exactly we were thinking in the time. I know I am lucky. Attending Robert F. Wagner Jr., Secondary School for Arts and Technology was an experience in itself both irreplaceable and impossible to recreate anywhere else. This is greatly due to the people who made the time go by so fast, but it is also due to my participation in Middle College National Consortium projects.
I participated in MCNC’s student conferences for two consecutive years with each year unique to its own theme and project. In my first year, we focused on water conservation and sustainability. My school group met on Fridays until nine o’clock at night, Saturdays from ten in the morning until the sunset. I can never forget those dinners we had together so regularly that we became a family as we ate pizza off of cardboard or toasted to MCNC with glasses of cold tap water, symbolic of our project.. That year, we were targeting the privatization and pollution of the availability of water.
In my second year, we dreamed of rooftop gardens all over New York City, a trend that would spread to cities all over the country and then the world. I would spend five hours after school arguing with one of my friends in the group over a speech we would have to make in front of the entire school the next morning. I would say that a semicolon belonged somewhere, and he would argue that semicolons are too technical, and that a comma was more suitable for the occasion. The custodian would come into the room and tell us he was closing the school in the midst of our speech rehearsal. With both projects, we dreamt big, convinced ourselves that our vision was the inevitable future, and then somehow forgot our promises to the cause once our plane touched down upon our arrival back home, either from Greenville or Rocky Mountain. I realize that so many people view what we students do in MCNC as just projects – that they are things we create that reach the end of their shelf life once they are bagged into a two minute video and displayed in a gallery walk. But they’re not. Anybody who has ever spent five days at an MCNC conference will tell you that their experience there was life-changing. The phrase will sound like a cliché, but participating in the MCNC does change a student’s life. My two years with the student conference opened my eyes to a world greater than I am, because never before had I, as a thirteen year old kid, thought that maybe somebody in a third world country would give up anything for a glass of clean drinking water, or that I can do something about this. The preparation, alone, for an MCNC conference has the potential to fuel a student with confidence, ambition, and hope as they travel around their city feeling like they can inform their public about something, instead of it always being them, the kid, learning. The conference, traveling to a different state for a cause bigger than themselves, and for an original project made for this cause, is an entirely different story on its own, empowering beyond words. To treat this experience with an expiration date – well, it breaks my heart to realize that my high school MCNC group decided that an effort for our world was possible only between February and May of 2010 and that I will have to start the cause again all by myself. Now as a freshman in college, I am studying Psychology and working part-time at the MCNC. Having so much independence and freedom, I am involved in world issues. People are occupying Wall Street, and I want to know why. I’m not the same high school kid who was uninterested because it was occurring somewhere out of sight. I also look towards the future. Everything I do today, tomorrow, one week from now, will contribute to the future, so that one day this world will be a place exactly as the one that today, exists in our dreams. One day, I will become a successful psychologist, or a writer, or an artist, or a teacher, and in my profession, I will change the world by helping other people change it too. I want other students to take away from their MCNC experience exactly the same or more than I did. They will gain an unforgettable five day trip, but the hope, the confidence, the dream, and determination: that is all variable. And so the MCNC Youth Voices group on Facebook will make this a key element. MCNC Youth Voices will provide students access to communicating with other MCNC students from different states in a way that is quick and convenient to them. Through this network, students will be able to constantly update each other about their experience. What do they think about the theme? What are their stories pertaining to it? Students will be able to realize together how world issues influence their lives; that they are part of a vast global community beyond high school that they need to participate in for themselves and for everybody else. They will be able to tell each other what they are doing in their class, what they are learning that really has them thinking, what they are planning for their projects and what do their peers from across the country think about this, how they can make their project more effective. If there is an event about diversity in California, a New York student can save $700 by telling a Californian student to attend it. That student can then tell the MCNC Youth Voices community what happened there and what was valuable there to take away. What do the students want to do about what they learned? This network will allow students to work together, join together, and, in the process realizing they have a voice, impact their nation, by using each other’s ideas to have a more universal and thoughtful understanding. Students will basically become significant voices in a conversation with their world. Living becomes a dialogue. They will no longer feel powerless to their world. By sharing with the public messages grounded in one common dream pertaining to a world theme, student voices will magnify the messages of each of their projects, that will become lifelong dedications; and they will be changing the world. When I think of high school, I will always think about the people I spent it with, the hours I spent in school when I could have been home set in front of a television, the initiatives I attempted and never fully completed as planned, the hope I acquired that I will bring with me everywhere I go. When these students and future students think back to high school, they will think of the friends they met who lived in another part of the country. They will remember what they did that was unlike any other student, how they realized that they mattered as an individual, and how much things have changed since they last thought to themselves, “The world could be so much greater than it is today.”
Written by: Terry Born, MCNC Coach
MCNC embarks on its twentieth year of promoting student leadership through student action! This year’s conference is being hosted by a Southern California triumvirate: Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, Mattie Adams, Principal, Los Angeles SW Early College, Wanda Moats, Principal and Nova Academy, founded by Natalie Battersbee.
The theme, selected by students from the three hosting institutions is Reach Out: Exploring and Experiencing the Diversity of our World. Students who participate in the April 18-22, 2012 event, will spend a day on Catalina Island, visit The Museum of Tolerance, Museum of Latin American Art, African American Museum, and Griffith Observatory and spend a day at the beach in Orange County. Besides sharing videos about projects targeting diversity issues in their local communities, students will engage in art happenings and group discussions on how to promote tolerance and improve understanding among communities with different beliefs, heritage, and lifestyles.
Last year five schools (LaGuardia MC, International HS, R.F. Wagner Jr., Greenville Tech, and Brashier) joined to form the first Student Leadership Initiative Innovation Lab network. These schools found ways to up the ante on student engagement, award high school and community service credit to participants, and even, in one case, to offer six college credits. This year everyone has returned and 5 new schools (El Centro, CEC Denver, Brooklyn College Academy, Harbor Teacher Prep Academy and LA Southwest) have joined the group, expanding the opportunities to link leadership training, social media, and academic advancement. With this added capacity and the experience of the pilot schools, new features have been developed to provide support and increase communication. MCNC has hired a Youth Liaison, Megan Lee, a former Wagner student who participated in two conferences, to create and facilitate a Youth Voices Facebook Group, and create a series of events that will propel the students to greater collaboration. There has also been a website created for Advisors from the MCNC Student Leadership Initiative Innovation Lab: (https://sites.google.com/a/mcnc.us/sli) where educational leadership is honed by social media. This provides weekly updates, shared templates, unit plans, resources, and student work. It’s a place for advisors to share great materials and great ideas. No one needs to reinvent the wheel and 10 schools are breaking ground each day, using the tools and technology in the classroom and in our digital universe to connect, collaborate, and create a wider and more wonderful world for our youth. Advisors use this site to explore what’s being done, what’s possible and to share creative solutions with colleagues in order to turn Education to Innovation.
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Based on a work at www.mcnc.us