How colleges partner with K-12 on student success

Higher ed and K-12 partnerships focus on professional development, academic pathways and after-school activities

Higher education and K-12 continue to collaborate in new ways to share resources and give graduating high school students a boost as they make the transition to college.

Ohio University, for example, sends student teachers to rural schools to provide after-school reading interventions and homework help, according to U.S. News and World Report.

The partnership gives future teachers classroom experience while the schools can provide services that might otherwise get cut.

“We have a clinical program that places student learning at the center, so everything that we do is purposefully designed and implemented to support student learning,” Danielle Dani, associate professor  at The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education at Ohio University, told U.S. News and World Report. “And these are not mythical or imaginary students. These are students with whom our (teacher) candidates along with our partners in schools work.”

More from UB: Reframing the debate on dual enrollment and early college

In Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College and Elkhart Community Schools have teamed up to offer certificate programs in machining technology, The Elkhart Truth reported. Manufacturing accounts for about 50% of the region’s economy, according to the newspaper.

Elsewhere, the University of Oregon’s College of Education, backed by a $50 million donation, is partnering with high schools to improve the state’s graduation rate, which is the fourth lowest in the nation, according to the Daily Emerald, a student newspaper.

The Oregon Research Schools Network program will focus on professional development, dual credit and collaborative research, the paper reported.

And the University of Michigan leaders have for the past decade been working to enhance PD with two Title I schools in Ann Arbor, according to Phi Delta Kappan, a journal for educators.

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Last year, University Business reported on the Pipeline Project at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College, part of the City University of New York system. Medgar Evers faculty work with about 90 high schools, middle schools and elementaries to help K-12 educators teach students the skills to avoid taking remedial courses in college.

The institution also operates branch sites at K-12 schools throughout Brooklyn that offer after-school activities, such as sports, homework help and reading support.

“It’s a recognition that the problems K-12 and colleges are trying to solve are problems that span the continuum,” Rudy Crew, the president of Medgar Evers College and former schools chief in New York City, Miami-Dade County and Oregon, told UB. “We all need to be better observers of what’s happening to young people as they go through the system.”

UB also detailed similar partnerships in Florida, Texas and Massachusetts. For example, leaders from The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso Community College and the city’s nine school districts meet regularly to coordinate curriculum and develop academic pathways.

More from UB: HBCUs remain crucial to access in higher ed


Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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