New Schools and Programs Show Promise

August 3, 2018 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. A highly publicized public school opens, while higher ed grapples with the best practices to bolster community college student success.

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Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • The LeBron James Family Foundation partners with Akron Public Schools to open the I Promise School. SB Nation reports that the school offers a STEM-based curriculum, extended hours, and wraparound services for families.
  • Education Week highlights the impact that one educator can make on the lives of high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds. Kentucky teacher Beau Baker created Ivy Plus Academy to guide students through the college application process.
  • A new study shows that dual enrollment offers some positive benefits for high-achieving students, but less prepared students saw no long-term benefits from participating in those courses, states The Houston Chronicle.


Higher Education:

  • “Many students don’t fit the stereotype of someone who attends a four-year institution full-time and doesn’t have a job,” reports NPR. “Rather, about 40 percent of students these days are working in addition to going to school. And nearly 1 in 4 are parents.”
  • In The Washington Post, Jeffrey Selingo explains how and why selective colleges should continue bolstering transfer student pathways in order to ensure that high-achieving community college students complete a four-year degree.
  • In light of current discussions about race-conscious admissions practices at elite institutions, The Atlantic suggests that an admissions lottery may be one way to make the process more fair.
  • Inside Higher Ed reports on California’s completion grants initiative, which encourages community colleges students to enroll full-time. However, a related report from the Center for American Progress notes: “While [enrolling full-time] is undoubtedly the best answer for some part-time students, it’s impossible for others—including many of those who are raising children or working long hours.”


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • “For the second consecutive year, Mississippi State University is helping promising high school students from rural school districts prepare to take an innovative Advanced Placement physics course.” And at The University of Iowa College of Education, Education Dive reports that the Belin-Blank Center is building a new program to encourage high-achieving students in rural areas to take rigorous STEM courses and pursue careers in those fields. Both programs are supported by Cooke Foundation grants.
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides an update on its Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP), which provides guaranteed admission to high-achieving community college students with financial need. C-STEP began 12 years ago with funding from the Cooke Foundation and is now expanding its transfer partnerships to an eleventh community college.
  • Cooke Scholar Melissa Cunningham, a 2018 Featured Graduate at University of Southern Maine, shares her story on the college’s YouTube channel.


Social Media Spotlight:

Let the weekend begin! 🎓 #JKCFsw18 #JKCF #CookeScholar

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Header image: Cooke Scholars work together to problem-solve at last year’s Scholars Weekend event.