Chicago partners with tech companies to create Early College Schools

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students will have the opportunity to attend five Early College STEM Schools (ECSS) that focus on technology skills and career readiness, as well as earn college credits under a partnership agreement with five technology companies, CPS and City Colleges of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced.

These schools will focus on skills graduates need in the modern workforce and Information Technology industry. Students will also have the option to earn college credits and complete a six-year program with an associates degree, according to Mayor Emanuel.

The five technology companies, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft Corporation, Motorola Solutions and Verizon Wireless, will help develop a unique curriculum at each new school to teach students the skills required in that marketplace, as well as provide mentors and internships.

All of the new schools will open in September 2012 with a class of ninth graders. Each student will be able to graduate in four years with a high school diploma plus college credits, with the goal of earning an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Computer Science or an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Information Technology within six years. The college courses will be taught by professors from CCC.