Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Alderman Matt O’Shea to announce a new partnership between Saint Xavier University (SXU) and Morgan Park High School (MPHS). The high school, which is also transitioning to a wall-to-wall International Baccalaureate (IB) School in the 2014-2015 school year will now be able to offer students access to a dual enrollment and credit program in which students earn college credit as well as teacher professional learning supports free of charge.
“This partnership with Saint Xavier University will establish another pathway for students to gain early exposure to college and receive dual course credit,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With Chicago Public School students on track to graduate in record numbers, we will continue to increase educational opportunities, providing skills for a successful future. This program is an important step in our strategy to ensure all of Chicago’s students graduate 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound.”
This partnership will focus on four key goals:
• Establish a dual enrollment and support program to ensure students can receive college credit free of charge.
• Provide MPHS students with college transition and engagement services, including Saturday and summer enrichment options.
• Increase access to professional development opportunities designed to support teachers in improving content and pedagogical content knowledge with a focus on the IB framework.
• Create a pre-service program to create a pipeline of SXU students to return to MPHS as teachers.
“We are excited to join Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Morgan Park High School as we launch an important and collaborative long-term partnership for Saint Xavier University – preparing for a smooth transition into the college experience through the International Baccalaureate Partnership Program,” said Saint Xavier University President Christine M. Wiseman, J.D. “We understand that an educated workforce is necessary to build a healthy economy filled with students prepared for 21st Century jobs and are happy to join Morgan Park High School in implementing that vision.”
Mayor Emanuel continues to call on local colleges and universities to serve as key partners in supporting Chicago students. In May 2012, Mayor Emanuel announced DePaul University and Loyola University Chicago would provide academic support, teacher training, and improved educational opportunities for Chicago Public School (CPS) students at Lake View High School and Senn High School, respectively. Many of Chicago’s other universities offer similar partnerships aimed at increasing student success.
“CPS is committed to providing a wide range of academic enrichment opportunities that provide students access to the instruction and tools that are required for 21st century success,” said CPS CEO Byrd-Bennett. “We know that when communities and schools work together to strengthen students’ education, the possibilities for the next generation are endless. The partnership between Morgan Park High School and St. Xavier University will further strengthen the IB programme continuum in this community, serving as a model for future collaborations citywide.”
In April, Mayor Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced that five elementary schools across the city will establish new IB programmes beginning next fall, creating the largest network of IB campuses in the country. Since last school year, 9th grade enrollment in IB diploma programs is up 66 percent with almost additional 800 students. According to the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, CPS IB students are 40 percent more likely to attend a four-year college and have a college retention rate of nearly 90 percent.
"Saint Xavier is investing significant resources at Morgan Park High School,” said Alderman Matt O’Shea, 19th Ward. “Through this innovative partnership, Morgan Park students will have the opportunity earn college credit and gain invaluable experiences that will help prepare them for a college experience."
IB schools have a track record of academic excellence. With its intensive writing focus, the IB programme provides a rigorous academic model while encouraging students to explore new ideas and cultures to have a high quality, well-rounded education. The programme also gives students the opportunity to earn an international diploma recognized by top universities around the world.
With 36 authorized IB schools, CPS is home to more IB schools than any school district in the country. The District’s IB schools currently serve more than 15,000 students and once the expansion is complete, will reach nearly 16,500 students across the city by School Year 2017 -2018.