This fall, 25 ninth-grade students in the Fulton City School District (FCSD) will participate in the Fulton Early College High School Program, a learning community offering students access to college courses and a college culture. Along with a curriculum developed by FCSD and Cayuga, the program offers services such as tutoring, financial aid counseling, workplace visits and possible internships. Students can earn a total of 48 college credits during their four years in the program, and can graduate with a High School Regents diploma and sufficient credits to complete an associate’s degree in information technology at Cayuga after one year of college.
FCSD Executive Director of Instruction and Assessment Elizabeth Conners said the new program will offer students the chance to experience success through dual enrollment in Cayuga Advantage courses taught by FCSD staff and college courses taught by Cayuga faculty.
“Students enrolled in the Early College High School program beginning in their junior year will take two courses a semester on Cayuga Community College’s Fulton Campus. We look forward to partnering with Cayuga and the business community to show our students all the options available to them right here in Oswego County,” said Conners.
Cayuga Community College President Brian Durant celebrated the College’s partnership with FCSD and the Workforce Development Board, saying the Early College High School Program is a great opportunity for local students.
“With the start this fall of the Early College High School Program, students can earn college credits toward a degree in information technology and explore local careers, all while earning their High School Regents diploma,” said Durant. “We are very excited to partner with the Fulton City School District and the Oswego County Workforce Development Board to launch this initiative.”
Cayuga Director of K-12 Partnerships and Academic Pathways Sarah Yaw said Cayuga and FCSD have run several successful programs together, and that the new program will offer high school students the chance to experience a college atmosphere while learning from expert faculty.
“This is a new program that will help interested high school students pursue their passion for information technology while accumulating credits toward a college degree,” said Yaw. “It also offers students the chance to explore career opportunities with local industry leaders. It’s a very exciting program, and we’re proud to be a part of offering it to Fulton City School District students.”
Executive Director Chena Tucker of the Workforce Development Board said Early College High School programs have a track record of effectively helping students and increasing graduation rates.
“Early College High School programs are a great opportunity for students to either go directly into the workforce or pursue further education,” said Tucker. “This program will allow students to earn their high school diploma and earn credits toward a two-year associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. These programs save students both time and money.”
The program is one of 19 Early College High School initiatives recently funded by a grant from the New York State Education Department. The grants support partnerships between public school districts and higher education institutions to increase opportunities for underrepresented students to earn college credits.
Enrollment in the program will be based on several factors, including academic achievement, behavior and attendance. Student applicants will need to interview to enroll and must demonstrate an interest in the program.
Students will begin the program taking courses at FCSD’s G. Ray Bodley High School, but will frequently visit Cayuga’s Fulton Campus to experience a college atmosphere and will eventually take courses at the campus.