It’s been a good year for Chicago’s Township High School District 214 students who were concurrently enrolled in ASU’s Global Freshman Academy (GFA) courses. All 18 students participating in the pilot program graduated May 2018. Sixteen of these students are headed to college and 11 students have earned scholarships.
Students of the D214 pilot participated in a campus-immersion-blended-learning model in the Early College Center built by the District last year. Students engaged in their online GFA courses with the support of a full-time facilitator from 11 am to 3 pm each day across four, nine-week quarters. GFA courses taken by D214 students included English 101, college algebra, general studies, lab science, macroeconomics and introduction to sociology. Students were given the option to convert their GFA courses for ASU transferable credit.
While students reported being challenged by the level of rigor in the courses, they were excited about the opportunity. Chicago Township High School District 214 officials report that students who were middle-of-the-road academic performers are more confident after taking GFA courses. Officials say students are recognizing that GFA puts them a step above other college applicants.
Tamara Webb, GFA assistant director for EdPlus, works closely with the D214 team to draw lessons from the partnership and to support course enrollment and matriculation. According to Webb, the district’s commitment to the program is strong and growing. D214 has already selected and registered more than double the number of students in the program for the next school year and a waiting list has been established.
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