John Carroll University recently partnered with Cleveland Heights High School to host the R.E.A.L. Early College program. This program allows students to take college-level courses in addition to their high school courses. Students attend regular high school classes at their own school, but commute to John Carroll for their college-level courses. As a result, students have the opportunity to earn one year’s worth of college credits before they even graduate from high school. Each participant is also assigned a current JCU student as a mentor.
The introduction of this program offers many benefits not only for students, but also for the University. John Carroll should treat this program as an avenue for recruiting bright, dynamic high school students. One high school student already noted that she will likely attend John Carroll as a result of the program’s influence. This partnership makes transitioning to the University simple. Credits taken at the University will transfer directly if the student chooses to attend JCU.
Additionally, these students have expressed their level of comfort on campus and its academic atmosphere. As a result, this program encourages more students to bring their talents to JCU.
The University should allocate more resources to this program in the form of mentors. In addition to providing direction, mentors possess another unique opportunity. They can both encourage students to attend John Carroll after graduation and remain a professional contact if the students decide to enroll. Mentors also benefit from this program by honing in on their leadership and interpersonal skills. Therefore, this partnership benefits the high school students, the mentors and the University.
The R.E.A.L. Early College program presents countless opportunities for all participants. John Carroll should not only embrace this program, but should also build it up for future mentors and high school students.