Southern University, Baton Rouge has signed an agreement with
Advance Baton Rouge Charter School Association that will help juniors and
seniors at Pointe Coupee Central High School take college courses online.
The agreement is for Southern's Nelson Mandela School of
Public Policy and Urban Affairs to provide the Early Start program to
qualifying students at Pointe Coupee Central.
Early Start is an online distance learning program geared
toward preparing high school students for college.The program is online
and free. Students will be able to earn up to six college credit hours
per year, three per semester.The subjects taught are English, math,
science, reading, and preparation to take college entrance tests.
A junior at Pointe Coupee could wind up needing only three
years to graduate from college under the partnership with Southern.
"This is a great opportunity for Southern University to be
partner with an organization helping to build a better education model for
Louisiana students," said William Arp, dean of the Mandela School. "No doubt
this program will be beneficial to the students and the Pointe Coupee Central
"We are extremely excited about partnering with Southern
University to bring the Early Start Program to our school," said Kathryn Rice,
principal of Pointe Coupee Central. "It will give our students the
opportunity to choose college today, not after they graduate."
In May 2008, Advance Baton Rouge, in partnership with the
Louisiana Recovery District, was awarded the charter of Pointe Coupee Central,
considered at the time a chronically poor performing school.
"It is only through strong partnerships with strong,
historical post secondary institutions like Southern University that we will be
able to have sustainable improvement in education," said Henry Shepard, CEO of
Advance Baton Rouge."I am certain that this is the first of several
partnerships we will have with Southern University to close the achievement gap
in our communities."
The Mandela School will also train charter
school teachers in the areas of math, reading, science, English and testing
strategies for the high schools.