Ohio Dominican University Prepares High School Students for College



COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio Dominican University (ODU) enters this academic year with three important initiatives that focus on preparing high school students for college. The programs are the result of local and regional partnerships the university has established with The Charles School, Project Jumpstart – Dual Enrollment Program, and the Seniors to Sophomores program.

“Ohio Dominican University has a long history of community engagement, working with local, state and federal organizations to prepare students for college,” said President Brian P. Nedwek, Ph.D. Each of these programs provides eligible high school students with a unique opportunity to complete college courses at Ohio Dominican.”

The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University (TCS)

The Charles School is the first early college high school in the country to partner with a private university to combine an accelerated academic program with hands-on experiential learning to bridge the gap between high school and college. As part of the fully accredited curriculum, both TCS and Ohio Dominican provide guidance and support to students through high school and the first two years of college work. Guided by certified teachers and professors, students have the advantage of real-world experiences and rigorous academics.

For the 2008-2009 school year, there are nearly 200 students attending the Charles School as either freshmen or sophomores. More than 60 freshmen registered for the inaugural school year last fall. TCS is structured so students will complete six student gateways which define student progress at the school. They are based on a full range of activities that include formal classes, internships, seminars, performances, exhibitions, expeditions, demonstrations and independent learning activities that are tied to TCS learning goals and requirements of the Ohio Department of Education.

TCS is housed in the Brentnell Elementary School on Brentnell Avenue through a lease agreement with Columbus City Schools. This facility is near Ohio Dominican and provides TCS students with convenient access to the campus facilities.

Project Jumpstart – Dual Enrollment Program

ODU’s Project Jump Start initiative is a collaboration between ODU and local Catholic Diocesan high schools. The program provides eligible students the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school. It attempts to replicate, as closely as possible, a college environment in the nature and scope of reading, writing and laboratory assignments. The enrolled high school students are offered university-level credits for select courses taught by ODU-approved high school teachers. Additionally, students have access to ODU resources such as tutoring, the library, and career development services.

Participating high schools include Bishop Hartley, St. Francis DeSales, Bishop Ready, Newark Catholic, Bishop Watterson, William V. Fisher Catholic (Lancaster, OH) and St. Charles Preparatory School.

Seniors to Sophomore Program

Earlier this summer, ODU was invited by the Higher Education Partnership to participate in the Columbus City Schools’ Seniors to Sophomores Initiative. The dual enrollment program was announced by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland in his 2008 State of the State address.

The program’s goal is to create a new model that will allow academically advanced Columbus Public students to earn a full year of college credit while still in high school. Through its participation, Ohio Dominican supports its mission of working with first generation college and urban students who, while academically prepared, may not otherwise have access to higher education. Throughout the 2008-2009 academic year, higher education partners will track the challenges these students encounter, including their adjustment to the teaching and learning environment at the college level.

Ohio’s Seniors to Sophomores Initiative is a dual enrollment program designed to implement and support increased participation by qualified high school students in Post Secondary Education Opportunity (PSEO) and PSEO-like programs. Four Columbus City School (CCS) seniors have enrolled and are attending classes this fall on ODU’s main campus.