Lakeland University has joined the Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) and Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) in leading the nation with the first program that will allow high school students to earn an associate degree at their high school and complete a bachelor’s degree in just two years following graduation.
By taking dual-credit courses, SASD high school students can earn an LTC associate degree in information technology (IT) – web and software developer at the same place and the same time they complete their high school diploma. Through the partnership, the associate degree will be offered with no tuition cost to students and their families.College Here & Now, an innovative public-private partnership, was unveiled on Monday, Oct. 29, at Sheboygan North High School.
Students can then continue their education to earn a Lakeland bachelor’s degree in computer science in just two years following graduation. If those students participate in Lakeland’s Cooperative Education program, they can earn scholarship money and wages to graduate with little or no tuition debt.
While College Here & Now will debut in the fall of 2019 as a pathway to gain entry into the computer science and information technology fields, future pathways under discussion by the three institutions include majors in business, healthcare and education.
LTC and Lakeland classes will be offered at North and South High Schools in dedicated classrooms which the higher education institutions will also use to offer other college coursework.
“College Here & Now expands and enhances learning opportunities and experiences for students, which in turn, will ensure our students are highly qualified and have the skill sets needed for success in our competitive world,” said Sheboygan Area School District Superintendent Seth Harvatine. “Having two classrooms at both North and South High School for LTC and Lakeland removes the time and transportation barriers for students seeking to take college-level classes.”
Paul Carlsen, president of Lakeshore Technical College, noted that while College Here & Now is a win for the entire Sheboygan community, it is most importantly a win for students.
“College Here & Now is a commitment to provide a college education to every student in the Sheboygan Area School District, including students who never thought college was for them, but take college courses because of this partnership. College is not hundreds of miles away and only attainable through crippling student loan debt,” Carlsen remarked.
College Here & Now creates a new workforce for local employers fueled by a student-centered approach by SASD, LTC and Lakeland.
Lakeland President David Black said the university’s co-op program is a perfect match for College Here & Now.
“By working together, we are eliminating the barriers that prevent many students from earning a college degree,” Black said. “At the same time, we’re providing human capital for the many great employers in this region, especially in areas where they have high needs. We are excited to continue working with SASD and LTC to expand College Here & Now to more academic areas so we can reach more students.”
The program includes a full set of courses starting a student’s freshman year, and continuing each year until graduation. However, students can enroll in the program at any time and take advantage of the various college courses offered on campus. Information will be provided to students starting in eighth grade as they begin planning their high school coursework.
For more information about College Here & Now, contact the Superintendent’s Office in the Sheboygan Area School District at 920-459-3512. Students can begin registering for courses in the pathway program in February 2019.