College readiness: A new program reaches out to middle-schoolers
December 24, 2016 12:00 AM
By the Editorial Board
The Pittsburgh Public Schools should reach out as often as possible to the dynamic institutions, companies and people in this city. Most would be happy to help the schools improve, offer more programs or give students a wider variety of experiences. Pittsburghers are public-spirited by nature. Besides, helping the city schools is enlightened self-interest; everyone benefits from a good school system.
Those considerations are evident in a new partnership among the school district, the University of Pittsburgh and the Community College of Allegheny County. Called the Pittsburgh Admissions Collaboration, it aims to get youths thinking about college as early as the middle-school years through recruitment visits with Pitt representatives. As they advance through high school, participants would be offered other college-oriented experiences, such as campus tours, mentoring and access to college events.
The idea arose after Marc L. Harding, Pitt’s chief enrollment officer, visited a Pittsburgh school and realized none of the students had the academic credentials needed for admission to the university. Through the Pittsburgh Admission Collaboration, admission to CCAC will be offered as an option for students who want to go to college but might not be ready immediately for Pitt.
The school district struggles with a racial achievement gap and, while it has seen some recent uptick in graduation rates, there is room for improvement there, too. The more pathways to college a student has, and the more organizations involved in creating those pathways, the better. A dynamic city can’t afford to let public school students fall short of their potential.
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