Buckeye-news-conference-7-200pxWhat started as a pilot program for spring semester with two dozen Toledo Public Schools students has proven so successful that, this fall, 150 TPS students will start earning college credit through online courses at the University of Toledo.

That opportunity comes thanks to a unique partnership that calls for TPS to provide free laptops to the students and for Buckeye CableSystem to install free Internet service for those students who need it at home.

In January, TPS provided laptop computers to 24 students at four of its traditional high schools – 10 at Woodward High School, six at Scott High School, five at Toledo Early College and three at Waite High School. Buckeye CableSystem provided at-home Internet service for those without access. Seventeen of the students earned an A or A minus in their class. Overall, the students in the pilot program posted a 3.47 GPA – higher than the UT class average of 3.22.

Such tangible success led to the decision by TPS administrators to open the program to students at all nine of its high schools – and to greatly expand the number of students who will be participating.

Many of the 150 students taking classes this fall through the program were on UT's campus on Monday, August 10, for a 10:30 a.m. news conference announcing the expansion. Also on hand were Dr. Romules Durant, CEO/superintendent of TPS, and representatives from Buckeye CableSystem and the university.

“Allowing TPS students to earn college credits that also count toward high school graduation requirements is a key component in the mission of TPS to ‘produce competitive college and career ready graduates through a rigorous curriculum across all grade levels by implementing Ohio’s New Learning Standards with Fidelity,’ ” said Dr. Durant.

These students will be participating in College Credit Plus like other students in the area, but they will get added support in the form of TPS administrators working closely with Success Coaches at UT and monitoring their grades throughout the semester in case they need added academic help.

The students were able to choose from the following list of subjects: sociology, psychology, cultural anthropology, social problems, astronomy and composition 1. More choices are expected to be added for the spring semester.

“We are very pleased to be a part of this progressive initiative to help students reach their dream of earning college credit while in high school,” said John Adams, head of Dual Credit and Early Outreach Programs at the University of Toledo. “Toledo Public Schools is providing computer hardware and support, Buckeye CableSystem is providing Internet access and The University of Toledo is providing high caliber online curriculum giving these high achieving students an opportunity of a lifetime and at no charge."

“Buckeye CableSystem is pleased to be part of this great partnership,” said company spokesperson Keith Wilkowski. “Buckeye is committed to our community and we are especially glad to be able to make a difference in the lives of young people as Buckeye celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015.”

Posted on August 11, 2015