FCS, Terra partner to help students earn their diploma, degree while in high school

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By MORGAN MANNS

STAFF WRITER

Fostoria City Schools is taking another step in leading students toward the path to success.

The district partnered with Terra State Community College to offer an Early College High School program through the Fostoria Learning Center.

The program will allow Fostoria Junior/Senior High School students the opportunity to begin working on — and possibly earning — an associate degree from Terra State while still in high school.

“Fostoria City Schools and Terra State Community College are taking the right steps to raise the college attainment rate in Fostoria,” Fostoria City Schools Superintendent Andrew Sprang said. “Our students will be able to either get a jumpstart on a college degree or complete coursework to receive an associate degree with their diploma upon high school graduation.”

Fostoria students will be able to take classes at the Fostoria Learning Center during regular school hours. Students will be bussed to the center, where classes will be taught by Terra State instructors with credit going towards their diploma and degree.

Through this program, there will be selected courses that are available for these students. For the upcoming school year the program will be offering the following courses: First Year Seminar; American History; History of Rock and Roll; American Government; and Technology Course.

The courses are all transferrable credit courses so if the student continues their education elsewhere, they will be able to bring those credits with them.

There is no cost to the student to participate in Early College High School program.

The district is looking at a cohort of 10th graders to start the program, according to Sprang, who said students have already been selected and have taken the appropriate placement tests.

The program will start in the upcoming school year.

After the upcoming school year, Sprang said they would be looking to expand the program further with a new cohort of students, with the program growing in number of students each year.

Sprang said the district has been exploring options of forming a partnership with the Fostoria Learning Center and, through their relationship with Terra, started this discussion in the fall. Since, the three entities have been able to continue the work to put this program together.

The idea behind the program is multifaceted, according to Sprang.

“We are always looking for options to improve opportunities for our students,” he said. “This is an opportunity to improve upon our already existing (College Credit Plus) program as they will receive the instruction face to face instead of just online. With this unique program, the students will get a feel of being in a college setting and participating in an orientation-style class will help adjust to college-level work.”

Sprang said these were some things that had been missing from the CCP option that the district wanted to see improved, and also feedback that officials have received from students and parents that have been involved with CCP.

“This collaboration between Terra State, Fostoria City Schools and the Fostoria Learning Center will further the educational opportunities for students,” Terra State President Dr. Jerome Webster said in the release. “The end goal of Early College High School is for these students to receive an Associate Degree so they can enter the workforce trained and ready to contribute or continue their education by pursing a four-year degree.”

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