Sunday, March 3, 2013

Transforming the High School Experience Through College Academic Integration

It gives me great joy and enthusiasm to announce Somerville's Academy of Liberal Arts. The Academy was the consummation of the Board's Strategic Planning process and a result of the hard work of the Raritan Valley Community College and Somerville Public School administration. The culmination of these efforts have produced a unique program for Somerville High School students. This program will be offered to graduating eighth grade students in Somerville and Branchburg. Students who complete the prescribed four year program will graduate with a High School Diploma, an Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts and a direct connect to selected colleges/universities, including Rutgers. Students enrolled in the program will travel with their classmates through a challenging and rigorous curriculum, as seen below.


This program does not afford students with the flexibility that many students are accustomed to in high school.  Students do not take high school Advanced Placement courses, but rather college courses in pursuit of an Associate's Degree. The students take courses at Somerville High School for the first two years and begin classes at RVCC for their junior year. The junior year courses will be scheduled for the morning so that students can still partake in after school clubs and activities. All senior year courses will be offered at RVCC with a greater flexibility in schedule.

There are a limited number of openings for the program and therefore a selection process will be utilized.  In order to be considered for the program, students must qualify for honors courses (including Honors Algebra II or Honors Geometry).   Applicants are scored on a criteria that includes NJASK scores from Grades 6 and 7, three teacher recommendations (Mathematics, Language Arts and another of the student's selection) and an Accuplacer examination.   Finalists are interviewed by officials at RVCC and must maintain a 3.0 to remain in the program.

We are hosting informational sessions on March 5, 2013 at 6 pm in the Somerville Middle School Media Center and on March 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm in the Branchburg Central Middle School Media Center. We look forward to seeing you there!

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