Chicago: Innovative Six Year Schools Partner with Corporate Giants for Education

Next September, Chicago will be the second major city (after New York) to offer corporate sponsored high-school education. Five companies; IBM, Cisco Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, and Verizon, have each signed on to sponsor a collaborative public school in Chicago. The schools will serve grades 9-14 in an effort to allow more students to pursue post-high school education. The schools are a collaborative effort between Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago and they enable students to graduate after six years of study with a high school diploma and associate’s degree. Additionally, each school offers individual mentors for each student and offers internships within the company that sponsors it. The corporate partners will each develop their own STEM based curriculum for the schools to offer students the greatest opportunity for success at that company after graduation, since each graduate is guaranteed an interview. Admission to these schools is by lottery only: there are no selective admissions criteria.

Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel highlighted the importance of the partnerships involved in this project: “I love this cooperation between CPS and the Chicago community colleges and the other four-year institutions that will be stepping up to give the children of Chicago a chance at this education.”  Emanuel was also supportive of the STEM education focus: “We are adding a level of high school seats in our city of educational excellence in the fields that will be essential.… The skills you learn in a STEM education are going to be the foundation of your employment opportunity in the future.”

To see photos of this announcement click here

Posted by: Devon Thorsell

Sources: Chicago Sun Times, St. Louis Today, Bradenton Herald, IBM

Photo Credit: Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, by flickr user Kyle Pozan

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