Partnership with Cuyahoga Community College Prepares Students for College

CLEVELAND, OH—Invictus High School and its satellite East Campus have partnered with Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) to allow students to dual-enroll via the Gateway to College program. Eleven Invictus students will start their new classes this week.

Students who are enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College through the Gateway to College program earn high school credit, as well as credit towards a college degree.

“We were investigating pathways to give our students industry credentials for greater post-secondary success, and we found this program was a perfect fit,” says Dean Manke, Director at Invictus High School.

The Gateway to College program targets students with whom they can work for a few years—primarily freshman and sophomores. They feel strongly that participation in the program for more than one year helps prepare students for the transition to college.

“The Gateway folks have also been helpful in allowing us to enroll a handful of Juniors and Seniors,” added Manke.

Eleven Invictus students—seven from the main campus and four from the East campus—will begin taking college classes for high school and college credit this week.

“We aimed for 10 students in the pilot group, and ended up with 11,” said Manke, proudly, “three in the 9th grade, six in the 10th, and two juniors.”

Since the Gateway to College program requires that students have fewer than 17 credits (out of the 20 required to graduate high school) and prefer to work with students over the course of a couple years, the majority of the students enrolled are sophomores. The average student has earned around 7 credits before starting the program.

To generate interest and collect a pool of interested candidates, Invictus staff marketed the program internally and held information sessions. About 40-50 students attended the information sessions, from which, 20 students started applications.

Tri-C has a testing and interview process to determine which students will be the best fit in their program and Invictus High School staff worked closely to counsel and coach the applicants. All 11 students who completed the application process were accepted.

Invictus staff want to see how the first cohort does before committing more students and resources.

“With student success, we would definitely increase participation to hopefully 20-30 students,” said Manke.

From their first day of class until they graduate from the Gateway to College program, the students will attend classes primarily at the Cuyahoga Community College campus. Tri-C provides the students bus passes for the RTA to help them get to their classes. Each of the students are still expected to report to their Invictus campus at least once per week as their college schedule allows.

Students enrolled in the Gateway to College program generally have two or three classes and academic lab/support time scheduled. Year one of the program has the students completing a First Year Success Seminar and some other classes tailored to help the transition to college work. Several of the students have College Composition, College Math classes, Personal Development classes, or Intro to Sociology.

All of the courses (capped at 20 credits) will count for both college credit and credit towards each student’s high school diploma. Once students have completed their high school diploma requirements, they will graduate from the Gateway to College program and Invictus High School. From there, they will be well prepared to continue their education.

Does a practical, 21st-century education that fits your schedule interest you? Visit our website to learn more about Invictus High School’s course offerings or to enroll now.

To learn more about the Gateway to College program, visit their website here.