CEC—Ahead of the Curve and Making the Grade

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The CEC Middle College of Denver showed today that it is ahead of the curve when it comes to offering a high-quality education and setting its students up for a better tomorrow.

All students who attend CEC have the opportunity to earn college credit during high school, helping them get ahead in their education, save money on future college tuition and boost confidence. Classes with college credit are offered both at CEC and on the Community College of Denver campus, which is a partner in this concurrent enrollment opportunity. Students on average, earn 12-14 credits prior to graduating high school, however it is not uncommon for a student to earn even a full year worth of credits prior to high school graduation. What does that mean to the students?

According to CEC counselor Mary Abbott, it means everything. “The majority of our students are first generation. College life is unfamiliar to their parents, so we are giving them a taste of it with the support of study skills and helping students through this process with a little bit of hand holding because once they graduate from high school, they’re on their own.” And the process is working. “All the time, I have graduates who come back to me after beginning college and say, This was easy. I knew what I was doing because of CEC.”

This same opportunity will now become a reality for other Denver Public Schools students as announced by Superintendent Tom Boasberg in a press conference today, as DPS has been granted $3 Million to expand post-secondary readiness offerings to 10,000 Denver students. Ten DPS schools will be chosen to take part in this program and will be named later this semester.

In the meantime, this process is already up and running at CEC and has been since the Middle College concept was begun in 2003. A middle college by definition is a collaboration, between a high school and a community college, which offers students the opportunity to satisfy high school requirements, and at the same time receive college credit. Upon graduation, students have earned not only a diploma, but have fulfilled coursework that will count toward the completion of a college degree.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of this movement and to be paving the way for other schools to follow our model, but even more importantly, we are thrilled to see CEC students stepping up to the task, creating clear career and college goals and earning an impressive number of college credits,” said Scott Springer. “It is obvious that what we are doing at CEC is working. It’s exciting to be a part of.”

Today three CEC students were able to take part in the DPS press conference to talk about how their experiences in college classes have contributed to their education and future goals. Watch the video below to see their comments.

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