GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—On Thursday, March 2, Western Michigan University Extended University Programs 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. Dr. Edwin Martini, WMU associate dean for Extended University Programs, met with district officials at the WMU-Grand Rapids Beltline regional location to sign the contract and begin the rollout of logistics for next fall.
While this is the first program being offered through WMU’s new Collegiate Pathways initiative, the University is in discussions with other districts to provide dual enrollment programs for additional foreign languages and other academic programs, says Dr. Dawn Gaymer, associate provost for Extended University 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 Literature 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 Literature 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.”
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