The Charlotte Campus of Edison College is conducting a feasibility study for an on-campus collegiate high school which could open as early as Fall 2009. A proposed Edison Collegiate High School, ECHS, would serve grades 9 through 12 and offer a rigorous curriculum designed to allow students the opportunity to earn an associate in arts degree by the time they graduate from high school.
"Simultaneously graduating with a high school diploma and a two-year college degree is a dream come true, and we are excited that it could happen," said Dr. Patricia Land, Edison's Charlotte campus president.
With emphasis on general education competencies, critical thinking, and service learning, students will be provided with access to the latest technologies in a small-group setting. In collaboration with his/her parents and an academic advisor, the student will design an approved individualized program of study, and be encouraged to progress at his/her own pace. The curriculum will meet all Florida statutory requirements for both a high school diploma and a college associate in arts, AA, degree. The AA degree allows students to transfer to Florida colleges and universities as juniors.
Edison's current dual enrollment program, offered in partnership with the Charlotte County public schools, offers over 20 college credit courses to highly-motivated juniors and seniors each semester on the campuses of Charlotte, Port Charlotte and Lemon Bay high schools. Similar to dual enrollment, the Collegiate School's college-credit classes, textbooks, transportation, equipment and facilitires would be available without cost to students.
An initial enrollment of 100 ninth graders would be planned for 2009, with an additional 100 freshmen accepted each year for a total enrollment capacity of 400 students. All Charlotte County students will be considered for admission, and it is anticipated that as many as 50 percent would be identified as first-generation-in-college students or at-risk students.
"We hope to provide a world of possibilities to students who are highly motivated and those who otherwise may not have the opportunity to obtain a college degree," says Land. "By exposing capable young people to the collegiate environment early and giving them a positive start, we hope to attract students who are serious about their studies and mature enough to thrive in this challenging, but exciting, atmosphere."
Land is working closely with Charlotte County Public School personnel to make certain the opportunity complements school district current and planned programs.
"Charlotte County is working hard to plan for predictable growth," says Land. "This is a wonderful way to utilize Edison College resources and make even more superior educational opportunities available for our youth."