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Beaumont Graduates Earn Diplomas and STLCC Credit

May 29, 2014

Beaumont High graduates  
Beaumont High School graduates who participated in a dual enrollment partnership with St. Louis Community College are acknowledged during STLCC’s recent commencement ceremony.

A group of seniors who were part of Beaumont High School’s last graduating class became the first 12th graders to participate in St. Louis Community College’s recent commencement ceremony.


The Beaumont seniors earned that distinction by participating in a dual enrollment partnership with STLCC. The program allows high school juniors and seniors to take classes for college credit while they are still in high school. The courses are taken at an STLCC campus and supplement or are more advanced than their high school’s curriculum. Those who completed their classes at STLCC-Forest Park have the chance to earn 18 college credits. At least three of the students will attend STLCC in the fall.


“After two semesters at Forest Park, I think all of the students have a greater understanding of what it will take to be successful as they continue their academic pursuits,” said Tracy Hall, Forest Park’s vice president for academic affairs.


Officials from St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) and STLCC worked through logistical challenges, which included transportation, food service, registration, tuition payment, scheduling, assessment testing and orientation, to have the program ready for students in fall 2013.


“This program provided an opportunity for students to be first in their family to attend college and get a head start to secure credit before graduating from high school,” said Dan Edwards, SLPS assistant superintendent for Cluster 2. “College is challenging and these students took on college, high school and, in many cases athletics, simultaneously and succeeded. Credit should be extended to the students and their families, and to Tracy Hall, who also provided unwavering guidance.”


Hall is no stranger to large dual enrollment efforts. While at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley, she worked with the Kansas City Public Schools to develop an Early College Academy. In 2013, the first academy cohorts graduated with both a high school diploma and associate degree.


“To make efforts such as this work, it takes a coordinated, collaborative effort,” she said. “I am very proud of everyone involved in making the STLCC-SLPS program a reality.”


Students also received tutoring and other academic support from the Forest Park faculty and staff.  Angelo Buchanan, a Beaumont teacher assigned to the program, said that 16 students started the program in fall 2013; 15 completed the entire school year.


“My students were impressed with the idea of being independent and treated like regular college students,” Buchanan said.


Hall noted that the group had both positive and challenging experiences – by design.


“College is not high school. The expectations are different,” she said. “Some were able to rise to the challenge while others struggled. This is to be expected and is all the more reason to develop partnerships in which K-12 students are exposed to college academic and behavioral expectations as soon as possible.”