High-achieving students at Southeastern are getting a variety of opportunities to expand their horizons this year, including courses and programs with Boston College, Bridgewater State University, and Massasoit Community College. In addition, guidance counselors are working to place several students in innovative programs at Stonehill College and Northeastern University during the summer and next school year.
Guidance Director Christina Guarini said she and other educators have been reaching out to students who have done well at Southeastern to encourage them to keep up their good work. She said they are also communicating with the students’ families so that they can all work together with the students.
Earlier this month, the school held an appreciation breakfast for 39 freshmen students, who achieved a 3.5 GPA or higher, and those students’ parents. Mrs. Guarini said the school wanted to congratulate them for their performance and to make them aware of all the opportunities that extend beyond Southeastern’s classrooms.
“We want everyone to understand that doors will continue to open to them if they continue to do well, and we want parents to be involved in the process,” she said.
The breakfast featured guest speaker Dr. Ronald Gerhart, Executive Director of Project Contemporary Competitiveness, a summer program held at Stonehill College. This year, six to eight current freshmen will be able to attend the program at a reduced tuition fee and live on campus. The six-week program offers classes and activities for gifted students from across the country, and classes include television production, model rocketry, and robot-building.
Students also experienced a day in college life at Boston College, during a student-run program called Splash. The Southeastern students got to tour the campus, sit-in on college classes, and talk to a variety of college students.
Next September, two current sophomores at Southeastern will be attending a free, two-year program at Northeastern University, called Academy for Excellence. Those accepted will be considered Northeastern University students and will have the opportunity to earn college credits during their junior and senior years in high school. The academy prepares students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Guidance Counselor Matt Coleman said he has also been encouraging juniors to take dual enrollment college courses, both on and off the high school campus, which could provide credits for both high school and college (depending on the course). This year, students took dual enrollment classes in Spanish in the extended-day program at Southeastern. The courses have been taught by a professor at Massasoit Community College, and they have provided credits for college transcripts. This fall, students will also take a dual-enrollment class in psychology, taught by a Fisher College instructor.
Several students have also taken college courses at Massasoit Community College this year, and Mr. Coleman is encouraging more students to take courses over the summer. Students who have a 3.0 GPA or higher can take courses at Massasoit and many other state colleges and universities for free, through the state’s dual enrollment program, or at a reduced tuition cost, through Massasoit. They must first take a placement test to determine which classes they qualify for, and then they may have an opportunity to take one free course per semester (including summer).
Students who live on the western part of the school district may want to consider taking courses at the Attleboro campus of Bristol Community College, he added. The college is also offering dual-enrollment courses through the state’s program.
Students and parents should call their child’s guidance counselor for more information on dual enrollment. More information can also be found at the following websites: www.pccasp.org (Project Contemporary Competitiveness), www.massasoit.mass.edu/admissions/dual enroll.cfm; and http://bristolcc.edu/Academics/dualenrollment/index.cfm.