Sussex Technical School District and Widener University Announce New Early Career and College Partnership
College Access and Affordability and Regional Economic Impact
Among Overarching Goals –
GEORGETOWN, Del. — Sussex Technical School District, a public Career and Technical Education school district in Georgetown, Del., and Widener University, a private, metropolitan university with its main campus in Chester, Pa., announced on Friday that they’ve entered into a partnership that will bring new higher education course offerings to high school students in Sussex County, central Delaware and the region. Sussex Technical School District will be the sole-source provider for Widener University coursework in the region. Beginning in the fall of 2013, interested students will have the opportunity to enroll in and complete college courses during their junior and senior years of high school.
These dual credit courses are fully accredited, and upon successful completion, students will be awarded both Sussex Technical High School and Widener University credits. Participating students can complete in excess of the first year of college requirements through this new arrangement. Upon graduation from high school, they can either apply to Widener University, where all courses are accepted, or transfer their credits to other institutions of higher learning depending upon that institution’s acceptance of the transferrable credit.
Deemed the Early Career and College Partnership, this new collaboration between Sussex Technical School District and Widener University will help address two key issues for today’s high school students: college affordability and accessibility. It will allow students to complete significant credit hours at a reduced cost and encourage the pursuit of advanced certifications and degrees by giving them a “jump start.”
“We believe that we’ve come up with an innovative approach to help make college more affordable and accessible to all students and that the sustainability of our universities will require continuous innovation,” said Dr. Brenda Gilio, acting dean of the Widener University School of Innovation, Education and Continuing Studies. “Partnerships will play an integral role in these efforts and help shape the future higher education landscape.”
Sussex Technical School District anticipates that the Early Career and College Partnership with Widener University will also contribute to the economic vitality of Sussex County. “The partnership has the potential to create jobs, to attract individuals and businesses to the region by supplying viable educational choices and to develop a highly skilled workforce ready for employment in high demand careers,” said Dr. Michael R. Owens, Director of Extended Learning for the Sussex Technical School District.”
Work is underway to develop a core of offerings that could be extended to neighboring high school students who may wish to take college courses through Widener University as coordinated and administered by Sussex Technical School District’s Extended Learning & Adult Division. Initially coursework will be available via online or at Sussex Technical School District’s main campus.
Dr. David Ring, Superintendent Delmar School District and Dr. Deborah Zych, Superintendent of POLYTECH School District were on hand as their respective districts are the first to commit to partnerships with Sussex Technical School District to offer Widener University courses.
“By entering into this partnership with Widener and offering access to students of neighboring high schools, Sussex Technical School District is once again demonstrating its commitment to the concept of shared and consolidated services, thus maximizing value for the community,” Owens said.
Recognizing the significance of the Sussex Technical School District – Widener University partnership, U.S. Senators Thomas R. Carper and Christopher A. Coons took part in the Nov. 2 announcement to publicly show their support of the endeavor.
“Our high school students are facing rapidly rising tuition costs, making college increasingly difficult to afford,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). “Partnerships like this one between Widener University and Sussex Tech are tackling this problem head on. This partnership will give students the chance to take advanced classes for college credit while getting a jump start on college for a much lower cost. That’s a win-win for students.”
“In order for our children be able to compete in the 21st century global economy they must be given opportunities to access higher education,” Senator Chris Coons said. “This partnership between Sussex Technical School District and Widener University presents a life-changing opportunity for students to graduate high school with up to 30 college credits under their belt. I am excited to follow this program in the years ahead, and I look forward to hearing success stories from students who take advantage of this exciting partnership.”
Ms. Rebecca Taber, Policy Advisor for Governor Jack Markell’s Office was in attendance and rendered a quote from Governor Markell:
“Congratulations on helping to better prepare students for their futures,” said Governor Jack Markell. “When high school students enroll in college-level coursework, they are more likely to later enroll in and complete college and get a job. Initiatives like this help ready our students for both academic and career success.”
“This is a phenomenal opportunity for the students, citizens, county, state and region. We at Sussex Technical School District are proud to offer these opportunities in direct collaboration with such a prestigious institution as Widener University,”…… “Both nationally recognized institutions are committed to serving the region with additional opportunities that may include: certifications, associate degrees, bachelor degrees, masters degrees and doctoral degrees,” said Dr. A.J. Lathbury, Superintendent Sussex Technical School District.
For more information about the Early Career and College Partnership, contact Dr. Michael R. Owens at 302-856-9035.
Joining together to make the announcement of a partnership between Sussex Technical School District and Widener University were, left to right – Shawn Larrimore, Director of Curriculum & Instruction Delmar School District; Dr. David Ring, Superintendent Delmar School District; Rebecca Taber, Policy Advisor Governor Jack Markell’s Office; Dr. Deborah Zych, Superintendent POLYTECH School District; Jorge Melendez, Vice-President Delaware State Board of Education; U.S. Senator Christopher Coons; Dr. Brenda Gilio, Widener University Acting Dean, School of Education, Innovation and Continuing Studies; Dr. A.J. Lathbury, Sussex Technical School District Superintendent; Melody Booker, Delaware Office of Economic Development: U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper; John Oliver, Vice-President Sussex Technical School District School Board; Pat Cooper, President Sussex Technical School District School Board; George Torbert, Sussex Technical School District School Board Member.
About Sussex Technical School District
“Excellence in Technical, Career, and Academic Education”
Sussex Technical High School is a two-time Blue Ribbon National School of Excellence and provides a unique, focused, and rigorous educational program for each student. Sussex Tech Adult Division has been serving businesses and industries in the region for over 20 years and currently serves more than 3000 students. The High School and Extended Learning campus is located at 17099 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, De. Mailing address is PO Box 351 Georgetown, De. 19947. Visit the district’s website,www.sussexvt.k12.de.us; , for information.
About Widener University
Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences and professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve approximately 6,500 students. Visit the university’s website,www.widener.edu, for more information.