The number of students who start college but don’t finish is “staggering and astounding” says Brett Bowers, principal of Homestead High School.
Last month, Principal Bowers gave a presentation to the Mequon-Thiensville Chamber of Commerce where he outlined some of the recent changes at Homestead aimed specifically at “getting students ready for college or careers”. His ultimate goal: to make sure that Homestead graduates are ready and prepared to move on.
In summary, Bowers mentioned the following 4 recent changes:
- Expansion of the AP class offerings from 14 classes in 2011-12 to 17 in 2012-13, with plans to add an additional three classes by 2014. Bowers cited studies that show that students who take AP classes are more likely to succeed in college and earn a degree.
- Creation of dual credit-credit programs where Homestead’s teachers partner with colleges and offer classes that result in both high school credit as well as college credit. Homestead originally started dual-credit classes with Project Lead the Way, a student-favorite pre-engineering program, and is now expanding it to other curriculum areas.
- Implementation of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination Program) aimed at students in the academic middle. The program teaches study / learning strategies and supports average students taking rigorous classes to better prepare them for a college environment.
- Implementation of flex time. As part of the transition to Homestead’s trimester class schedule, students get a 26-minute period at the end of the school day twice a week. Students in good academic standing can use this time to meet with teachers or staff — similar to office hours held by college professors.
Source: Gary Achterberg – News Graphic’s report on Principal Bower’s presentation.
Image source: rblood
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