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Blackhawk Tech and Beloit Schools Launch Collegiate Academy

February 11, 2020

Blackhawk Technical College and the School District of Beloit announced a very special opportunity for Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) students beginning in fall 2020. The opportunity, called Collegiate Academy, is an early college model that allows college-ready BMHS students to pursue post-secondary training in the following areas: Automotive Technician, Business Management, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Foundations of Education, Pre-Nursing, and Welding.

Early College allows high school students to pursue a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit by taking dual credit courses. During the Collegiate Academy students, college coursework will take place on one of three Blackhawk Technical College locations: Central Campus (Janesville), Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (Milton), and Center for Transportation Studies (Janesville). Dual credit courses can be taken either at the high school or on the college campus and students are awarded both high school and college credit for their work.

Dr. Tracy Pierner, President of Blackhawk Technical College, shared his excitement, “We truly are at the precipice of a fundamental shift in how we approach secondary education in our region and state. The Collegiate Academy will deliver results that speak for themselves: higher college-going rates, higher high school and college graduation rates, higher retention rates, less student debt, and better preparedness for the workforce.”

Although early and middle colleges are not a new concept, this is the first program of its type in the region. Many early college models focus on transfer opportunities whereas the Blackhawk/School District of Beloit model will have a dual purpose: prepare students for the workforce and for further studies.

According to the School District of Beloit Interim Co-Superintendent Sue Green, “The Collegiate Academy will afford many opportunities for our students to experience a college campus, earn a degree or diploma, gain skills for the workplace, and increase earning potential. The Collegiate Academy will also help remove financial barriers many students face with higher education.”

The Collegiate Academy will not only benefit the students and families of the School District of Beloit but also the entire stateline area. “This is a unique opportunity for Beloit Memorial students and our local businesses who need more qualified employees. This will be a great benefit to our community-at-large,” said Lori Curtis Luther, City Manager for the City of Beloit.

As a School District of Beloit Board member and father of children in the Beloit Schools, John Wong added, “The Collegiate Academy exemplifies our mission, as it will allow our students to succeed and achieve and not only in school, but in life. This opens up the door to opportunities that might not otherwise exist for our students. As Board of Education member and a parent of two sons in the district, I'm excited about the opportunities for my children and all of the children in the district.”

Although the Collegiate Academy will officially launch in fall 2020, BMHS students have until March 1 to apply. More information is available online at BeloitSchools.net/collegiateacademy.

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