The Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) has received the 2019 Florida College System Chancellor’s Best Practice/Promising Practice Award for its Collegiate Institute at Clewiston High School (CI).
The Chancellor’s Best Practice Awards provide Florida College System institutions the opportunity to promote exemplary initiatives to statewide and national audiences. The Division of Florida Colleges annually recognizes colleges in the Florida College System that have established innovative practices or have enhanced existing programs.
FSW’s CI program provides dual enrollment courses taught by FSW faculty to Clewiston High School juniors and seniors on the high school’s campus. The program allows for students who rely on traditional school transportation to attend college courses during their regularly scheduled school day with built-in academic support, office hours, and other college-readiness programming in a supervised, supported learning environment. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate in arts degree by high school graduation at no cost to them.
“There were multiple reasons why Clewiston High School was selected as a site for FSW’s Collegiate Institute,” said Dr. Eileen DeLuca, FSW provost. “The first consideration is Clewiston High School’s location being 33 miles from the nearest post-secondary center. The second consideration is the student demographics of the targeted population. The population is 80 percent minority with 73 percent identifying as first-generation in college. Over 75 percent are eligible for free and reduced lunch, and 42 percent of the 2020-21 cohort were identified as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at some point in their K-12 enrollment. The third consideration was the lack of eligible credentialed instructors to teach college coursework. Less than nine percent of the county has a bachelor’s degree or higher. As a resource to the region, FSW is currently providing full instruction for the CI program while sharing information on credentialing with area stakeholders to encourage high school faculty to seek advanced degrees.”
The first graduating class of 2019 showcased the strength of the program with increased levels of student achievement that had never been seen before within the county. Out of the original cohort, 99 percent of attempted courses earned college credit with 94 percent of students earning an associate in arts degree at high school graduation.
Clewiston High School also saw its Florida Department of Education Acceleration Rate increase by seven percent, and 43 percent of the students earned Bright Futures scholarships. Over 86 percent of the CI students are pursuing post-secondary education, while the school average is 35 percent. Out of the dual enrollment/early admission population, the CI students have proven academically more successful with higher college grade point averages of 3.38 and higher rates of earned credit.
For more information about FSW CI program, contact Amanda Lehrian, director, FSW Hendry/Glades Curtis Center at (863) 674-6010 or [email protected]