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Early College Program
The Early College Program is an initiative to transform the state of the information technology workforce from a talent deficit to a talent surplus. The information technology sector is a strategic component of economic development in the State of Ohio. The demand for skilled information technology professionals continues to grow beyond the current capacity of the educational system.
An effective, scalable, and sustainable talent development system is integral to Ohio's economic competitiveness. This program is centered around key innovative concepts that significantly reduce the total cost of a bachelor's degree (economic efficiency) while improving the level of job readiness for the graduates (educational excellence). The program’s key concepts include:
Teaching the first year of the bachelor's degree in high schools;
A competency-based graduate certificate program to train high school teachers, enabling them to teach college courses;
Integration of a 20-month paid work experience (co-op) with average pay of $45,000 during the IT bachelor’s degree program;
Deliver the bachelor's degree on community college campuses to increase transition and completion rates;
Provide an accelerated bachelor's plus master's degree option to eliminate an additional two years of education;
Utilize competency and project-based pedagogy to provide hands-on information technology education.
The University of Cincinnati School of Information Technology partners with school districts to offer a pathway for high school students of all socioeconomic backgrounds to work towards completing college and a career in Information Technology.
Students complete their first year of college while still in high school. The program reduces the number of years to graduate and the total cost. All students who complete their first year of classes in high school and complete these classes with a C or above average will be automatically admitted to the University of Cincinnati Information Technology program.
In its first year, the Early College Program was implemented at seven high schools and involved more than 200 students. The 2018-19 cohort will include 20 high schools across 18 school districts, and as many as 600 students will participate. All students will be eligible to participate in co-op after successfully completing the Early College Program and graduating high school.