Monroe Community College has earned high marks from the U.S. Department of Education for an initiative that helps East High School students better prepare for college.
MCC is among 24 organizations — and the only community college — in the nation to be recognized as a 2012-2013 Together for Tomorrow Challenge winner.
Together for Tomorrow Challenge promotes and recognizes partnerships among schools, families, community-based organizations and national service programs that support school improvement. Criteria for the honor include partnerships that strengthen a community culture of educational success and strive to turn schools into models of educational excellence.
“When it comes to turning around low-performing schools, the Department’s investments and the work of schools and districts are only part of the solution,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, whose department launched Together for Tomorrow Challenge in conjunction with the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our schools need community engagement to support and sustain school improvement. The Together for Tomorrow Challenge winners we recognize today (Oct. 15) have made model commitments to help foster partnerships, propel school improvement, and produce better outcomes for students. To sustain change over the long haul, nothing is more important.”
The East High College Readiness Project initiative is a collaboration among MCC, East High School and JPMorgan Chase Foundation. It aims to improve curriculum alignment, focuses on high-impact teaching strategies, delivers instructional support, and embeds essential support services for high school students and their families. The program goal is to increase the number of East High seniors who graduate and enter college prepared for college-level coursework.
MCC faculty members in this after-school program provide classroom instruction to a group of East High juniors to address gaps in reading, writing and math skills. Students who successfully complete the program and score well on the placement exam can enroll in college-level courses at MCC in spring, moving even farther along toward a college degree.
The program is held at East High, where the University of Rochester’s College Prep Center is also housed. The center provides various support and outreach to high school students such as help in preparing for college entrance exams and navigating the college admissions and financial aid application processes. Funding from JPMorgan Chase Foundation supports both the MCC and University of Rochester initiatives.