News Marlboro College Partnership Creates Opportunities for Windham County Teens
MARLBORO, VT – (Monday, May 21) – Marlboro College and the Windham Regional Collegiate High School (WRCHS) are joining forces to offer four new dual-credit courses for area high school students, offering the challenge of a college class to promising young scholars. Marlboro is one of the first private institutions to collaborate with WRCHS, which has received state-wide recognition for its innovative model providing a bridge to college for public school students.
“Kids going off to college tend to struggle at first, learning how to think independently and how to work in groups,” said Tom Yahn, WRCHS director. “I see Marlboro as being really good at teaching these skills. This is a great opportunity for high school students to learn about college-level learning.” The goal of WRCHS is to remove the financial, academic and psychological barriers that prevent some students from going to, or succeeding in, college.
Participating students will earn credit towards high school graduation as well as college credit from Marlboro, based on an agreement between the college and WRCHS. Sponsoring Marlboro faculty members will review each course to ensure that it meets the requirements of a college course, and participate in the course as needed.
Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS) science teacher Mike Auerbach, Marlboro class of 1997, will collaborate with his former biology professor Jennifer Ramstetter to offer Global Science in the fall of 2012 at BUHS.
“Marlboro had a lot to do with my learning how to think scientifically,” said Auerbach. “With Jenny, I learned how to think of science as a process and focus my questions, rather than thinking in terms of unfounded generalities.”
High school students particularly passionate about the topic will also be invited to join Marlboro College students for a spring course in Environmental Sustainability on the Marlboro campus.
“My students think of science as something they have to do,” Auerbach added. “I look forward to them seeing other students doing science and being really passionate about it.
Similarly, BUHS social studies teacher Tim Kipp and Marlboro American studies professor Kate Ratcliff will partner to offer Elections and Government in the fall, and a linked social science course at Marlboro in the spring.
“Our parallel model will leave lots of room for collaboration, which promises to be a very rich opportunity,” said Ratcliff. “This will be good for our students as well, because you learn a lot from being a mentor. I look forward to many stimulating discussions.
“I’ve been looking forward to this integration with Marlboro for a long time,” said Kipp. “The transition from high school to college is such a gulf. This program will help students understand and navigate that transition.”
Ron Stahley, superintendent of schools for the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union, said, “The WRCHS program has really taken off over the last four years.” The program has formed partnerships with Community College of Vermont, Vermont Technical College, School for International Training and community colleges in New Hampshire. Next year they will provide 33 dual-degree courses for more than 400 high school students, nearly half of them low-income or first generation college students.
“We’ve often thought about Marlboro College, and these pilot classes are really exciting,” added Stahley. “Marlboro has the faculty autonomy and flexibility that will lead to a great collaboration and a great program.”
Windham Regional Collegiate High School engages high school students in southeastern Vermont, and neighboring New Hampshire, in a rigorous, supportive learning environment that blends high school and the first two years of college through affordable dual credit courses.
Marlboro College has offered undergraduate education in the liberal arts for 60 years, with 300 undergraduate students enjoying an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community and individualized courses of study on a 300-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont. Marlboro College Graduate School offers master's degree programs for working adults in the areas of education, internet technologies, health care administration, non-profit administration and an MBA in Managing for Sustainability, with courses designed around small classes at the downtown Brattleboro campus complemented by online work and close collaboration.