29 Aug 2014

Wake Leadership Academies to Partner with Saint Augustine’s University to Provide Students with College-level Curriculum

Wake Leadership Academies to Partner with Saint Augustine’s University to Provide Students with College-level Curriculum

The Wake County Board of Education took its first formal step on October 15 to secure Saint Augustine’s University of Raleigh as the college partner for the Wake Leadership Academies.

“This partnership creates an exciting and rare opportunity for our high school students to attend college-level courses on campus, where they will be exposed to the rigor and academic culture of a four-year university,” WCPSS Superintendent Jim Merrill said. “This collaboration will allow our school system and Saint Augustine’s to fulfill a mutual mission to provide students with the skills, leadership development, and pathways for academic and personal success.”

The partnership will allow Leadership Academy students to enroll in university courses to pursue the Early College portion of their rigorous academy experience, through which they may earn a high school diploma while also earning transferable college credit.

“Traditionally, Saint Augustine’s University has provided access to education, opportunities and programs for a widely diverse population of young people. This partnership is a perfect fit for our long range goals as an institution,” said Dr. Dianne Boardley Suber, president of Saint Augustine’s University. “Historically black colleges and universities will continue to play a critical role in the education of a significant percentage of the population who are both positioned and postured to become effective leaders and change agents in this rapidly changing world.”

Beginning as early as their sophomore year, students will participate in the Saint Augustine’s Transformative Education Program, a four-year, competency-based curriculum that spans all academic programs at the university.

“As an Early College partner, Saint Augustine’s has an inclusive vision for our students and our schools,” said Teresa Pierrie, principal of the Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy. “I believe they see the academies becoming a part of the university and this will translate into even greater opportunities for our students.”

Representatives from WCPSS and Saint Augustine’s University have been working together since March to develop the partnership and establish the Wake Leadership Academies as an Early College High School.

“In working with the team from Saint Augustine’s for the past six months, I can say without equivocation that this institution is the perfect fit for the Early College component for our school,” said Ian Solomon, principal of the Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy.

The partnership with Saint Augustine’s University will also allow the academies to add a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) focus to the curriculum beginning in 2014-2015. To enhance the STEM curriculum, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will create learning opportunities for students and professional development for faculty at the leadership academies.

Schools will be providing updates to academy parents as the Wake County Board of Education and Saint Augustine’s University Board of Trustees work together in the coming months to finalize the formal partnership.