Herndon, Virginia, August 8, 2016— According to a report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require post-secondary education or training beyond high school. Therefore, students who still experience barriers to achieving this level of education will have limited workforce options. To help students overcome these barriers, Pikes Peak Early College (PPEC) helps students start working toward post-secondary degrees and certifications in high school.
PPEC provides students online core, elective and career technical education courses from Fuel Education™ (FuelEd™). The program uses the personalized learning platform PEAK™, in combination with personalized college and career counseling, to create a customized degree plan based on each student’s interests, strengths, and goals for the future. PPEC works with both FuelEd online teachers, as well as district-employed teachers, to facilitate a blended learning model.
“Many of our students are first-generation college students or are part of populations that are under-represented in post-secondary institutions,” said Dave Knoche, Executive Principal at PPEC. “PPEC provides these students with the monetary, academic, and emotional support they need to achieve their goals after high school. If we didn’t help these students, it would be an enormous disservice to our youth and our society.”
PPEC students focus on getting more than just a high school diploma. They are working toward an associate’s degree, 60 credits to transfer to a four-year college or a professional certification all while completing their high school requirements. To determine what route is best for each student, PPEC’s college and career counseling staff members conduct individual meetings to determine each student’s interests and then create an appropriate degree plan. This individualized degree plan takes into account their current college and career readiness skills, their passions, and their plans for the future. Throughout their four to six years at PPEC, students receive personalized advisory services to make sure they are on track with their degree plan, that their plan continues to fit their skill level and future interests, and that their credits will transfer to the post-secondary institution or certification program of their choice.
Once their degree plans are made, students begin working on their high school coursework using FuelEd Online Courses. Students take a combination of online core classes to meet graduation requirements and online elective courses to help them hone their interests for college study or their future career. The school also plans on using FuelEd’s Career Readiness Pathways™ for students interested in a career technical education. Courses center around one of four Career Clusters: business management and administration, manufacturing, health science, and information technology.
Because they can complete their coursework online, students only attend a physical school three days a week. When students are on campus, teachers lead project-based learning activities to compliment the FuelEd Online Courses. The remaining two days are open for students to study at home, participate in internships or shadowing opportunities, or attend classes on college campuses. In addition to being the only early college with a blended model in Colorado, what makes PPEC so unique is that each student can take up to 15 credits per semester at no cost to them, thus greatly alleviating the financial burden of attending college for students and their families.
However, not every student is ready to start taking college courses as a freshman. For students who need remediation prior to taking college-level courses, PPEC creates custom skill-enhancement classes. Using PEAK, PPEC determines which skills each student is missing and designs a custom course by piecing together units and lessons from various FuelEd Online Courses to ensure each student learns the concepts they need prior to taking college-level courses. Traditionally, any college student who needs remediation must pay for and take remedial courses, which do not count for credit. By completing remedial courses during high school, PPEC is, once again, helping students save money and streamline the college experience.
“A college degree or a professional certification doesn’t have to be this elusive thing students can’t grasp,” said Knoche. “In addition to our personalized counseling and flexible learning environment, we are guiding students in the direction of a four-year college, but in a fiscally responsible way so students aren’t riddled with debt. We’re not just educating, we’re changing lives.”
About Fuel Education
Fuel Education™ partners with school districts to fuel personalized learning and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom. The company provides innovative solutions for pre-K through 12th grade that empower districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Its open, easy-to-use Personalized Learning Platform, PEAK™, enables teachers to customize courses using their own content, FuelEd courses and titles, third-party content, and open educational resources. Fuel Education offers one of the industry’s largest catalogs of K–12 digital curriculum, certified instruction, professional development, and educational services. FuelEd has helped 2,000 school districts to improve student outcomes and better serve diverse student populations. To learn more, visitgetfueled.com and Twitter.
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