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OSU, Warner Pacific and PSU join Middle College partnership
Photos and Story by James Hill
Leaders from Oregon State University, Warner Pacific College and Portland State University announced they would join the University of Oregon in offering scholarships to graduates of the Jefferson High School Middle College for Advanced Studies program.
The institutions join Oregon in offering scholarship opportunities to Pell Grant-eligible Middle College students. Middle College is an academic partnership with PCC, Jefferson teachers and Self Enhancement Inc. staff that allows students to earn college transfer credit while still enrolled in high school. Oregon was the first four-year school to offer Middle College grads scholarships to continue their studies all the way to a bachelor’s degree at its institution.
“We’re thrilled that Oregon State, Portland State and Warner Pacific are becoming part of the Middle College success story,” said Cascade Campus President Algie Gatewood. “Together, this program and these scholarships can bring about a generational shift in our neighborhood. I can’t think of another example where students can enjoy this level of hope and opportunity.”
The Middle College program enables Jefferson students to take college courses – and earn college credit – at the nearby Cascade Campus while they’re still enrolled in high school. Prior to the fall of 2011, the program enrolled students on an opt-in basis. Last fall, however, the program expanded to include every incoming Jefferson freshman.
The program has proven effective at helping students from underrepresented backgrounds to successfully complete high school – 98 percent of Middle College students graduate from high school, compared to a statewide graduation rate of 66 percent. The program also helps students to bridge the gap between high school and college; some 72 percent of students continue their collegiate studies during the fall following high school graduation, compared to 48 percent of students statewide.