Kanawha County High School Students Thrive in Collaborative Program at WVSU
Program participants above the W.Va. average in college preparation
INSTITUTE, W.Va. - Students in the University Collaborative Program at West Virginia State University are above the state average in preparation for college work, according to a recent report from ACT, the organization that assesses student readiness for college.
University Collaborative Program students exceeded the W.Va. average in areas of English, mathematics, reading and science. Their composite ACT score of 22.6 is higher than the state average of 20.6.
The University Collaborative Program is part of the Kanawha County Secondary Schools Alternative Education Department. The program provides a quality education to underachieving gifted/talented students who want to attend college but are struggling to complete high school for a variety of reasons. According to Patty Supcoe, program coordinator, the University Collaborative Program can accept up to 65 students from Kanawha County high schools. Once students demonstrate their academic ability with a placement test, they can enroll in college courses for which they have met the prerequisites, as well as in high school courses. Many of the college courses are substituted for traditional high school requirements. Students can thus work on a high school diploma while earning credit hours toward a college degree.
Students take classes in traditional settings alongside other WVSU students. They are encouraged to use University facilities such as the library, writing center and computer laboratories. They also attend support classes taught by collaborative school faculty who ensure they are on track. Tuition and fees for college classes are provided by Kanawha County Schools.
“Students in the Collaborative Program benefit by being on a college campus and taking courses here at State,” said Dr. John Teeuwissen, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs at WVSU. “Many take the equivalent of a full college course load, and some even make the Dean’s List. A number of them continue here as fulltime college students once they graduate from high school.”
According to Teeuwissen, the University Collaborative Program is an effective means of helping high school students transition to college, in the same manner as WVSU’s Early Enrollment course currently offered in area high schools. That course introduces high school students to college prior to graduation.
Collaboration and cooperation are key to the school's success, added Supcoe. WVSU administrators have a clear understanding of the role of the school and its students on the campus and are willing to work with the program, she said.
The Collaborative Program is currently in its eighth year at WVSU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, WV. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.