WMU to launch Collegiate Pathways program with Forest Hills Public Schools

by Tyler Lecceadone
March 2, 2017 | Extended University Programs News

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—On Thursday, March 2, Western Michigan University Extended University Programs (EUP) entered into an agreement with Forest Hills Public Schools to launch the first-of-its-kind “Collegiate Pathways” program.

The dual enrollment program, set to launch in fall 2017 at Forest Hills Northern High School, allows students to earn the full Chinese language minor offered by WMU while still enrolled in high school. Edwin Martini, WMU Associate Dean met with district officials at the WMU-Grand Rapids Regional Beltline location to sign the contract, and begin the rollout of logistics for next fall.

photo of WMU EUP Associate Dean Edwin Martini and Forest Hills Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Margaret Fellinger

WMU EUP Associate Dean Edwin Martini (left) signs the Collegiate Pathways agreement with Forest Hills Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Margaret Fellinger

While this is the first program being offered through WMU’s new Collegiate Pathways initiative, Gaymer says, the University is in discussions with other districts to provide dual enrollment programs for additional foreign languages and other academic programs.

“This partnership with Forest Hills provides a model we hope will be used to deliver similar programs for other districts,” says Gaymer. “We are confident Collegiate Pathways will provide students with a rich learning experience that will streamline their path to earning a college degree.”

WMU EUP in partnership with the University’s Haenicke Institute for Global Education and its Department of World Languages and Literatures in the College of Arts and Sciences will deliver the program on site at Forest Hills Northern High School.

"We are very excited about this opportunity for our students and are grateful for the time and diligence on the part of WMU’s EUP and its Department of World Languages and Literatures staff to collaborate on this partnership," said Margaret Fellinger, Forest Hills Public Schools assistant superintendent for instruction. "We have experienced an ardent and earnest team effort in terms of the planning that has been necessary to bring this opportunity to fruition."

All classes will be taught by WMU instructors beginning this fall. To accommodate the combined schedules of the high school and university, each class will be delivered over the course of the academic year, spanning fall and spring semesters, but with an equivalent number of contact hours to the standard university course.

"Forest Hills is very proud of the high quality immersion language programs we provide to our students," Fellinger said. "Partnering with WMU to provide expert Mandarin language instruction and engaging courses at the high school level provides our students not only with a wonderful learning opportunity, but also valuable college credit."

photo of signing attendees

WMU Extended University Programs entered into an agreement with Forest Hills Public Schools to launch the “Collegiate Pathways” program. Pictured standing (left-right) Chuck Pearson, WMU director of Early College Programs; Dr. Yin Zeng, director, WMU Confucius Institute; Molly Lynde-Recchia, chair, WMU Department of World Languages and Literatures; Jon Gregory, principal, Forest Hills Northern High School; Patrick Stecco, Forest Hills Public Schools Immersion Coach; seated are Edwin Martini, WMU Associate Dean and Margaret Fellinger, Forest Hills Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

About Forest Hills Public Schools

Forest Hills Public Schools serves over 10,000 students, and includes 18 school buildings, a fine arts center, an aquatic building and senior center, and many more buildings to service residents, families, students and staff in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area. The Forest Hills district is one of the largest geographic districts in Michigan, as it encompasses approximately 68 square miles. Forest Hills is ranked among the top public school districts in the state and in the country. They continue to be recognized as a top school by "US News" Best High School Rankings. Recently, FHPS was named among 23 Michigan school districts honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll, and for the 2017-18 school year, is among a select few public schools in the world to implement Advanced Placement Capstone. The district is home to many fine programs, including two dual-language immersion programs. The district's Mandarin Chinese immersion program began in 2008, bringing Eastern and Western culture together in order to provide a rich academic, linguistic, and cultural experience for students. To learn more about Forest Hills Public Schools, visit their website: www.fhps.net.