EBR School System plans to give incoming 9th graders more access to college credits and workforce experience starting next year

EBR schools dual enrollment at BRCC
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 7:02 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Hannah Amoroso is excited the East Baton Rouge School System is implementing more educational resources for her 8th grade daughter when she enters high school next year. However, her daughter is worried about the workload and upper level courses that will come with the Pathway to Bright Futures initiative.

“When my daughter was listening to the school board meeting, she had a genuine anxiety and her response was, ‘I don’t even know if I am ready for high school.’ You know, she is an 8th grader, so that’s a big transition,” explained Amoroso.

Amoroso is like many other parents who are concerned about the superintendent’s proposal to implement dual enrollment classes for all incoming 9th graders next year.

“Right now, students will walk into the 9th grade, they will have there’s a program course of study that they will have. In that program course of study, you will see students have access to be able to start taking higher level college courses. We have a residency program we’re talking about with internships for kids. We are matching that also with business industry,” said EBR Superintendent Sito Narcisse.

Pathways to Bright Futures will give 9th grade students the option to take college level classes through Baton Rouge Community College. However, college is not the next immediate step, students who plan to start working right away can gain workforce experience in areas like transportation, construction, or technology.

“73% of employers say they are not able to find qualified talent that they need today in our community. The other big challenge we face as a community that has historically not given everyone in our community access to the benefits of our economy,” explained Adam Knapp, who is the president and CEO of BRAC.

Glen Oaks High School was the first school to try out the dual enrollment program with their current 9th graders, taking college courses like cultural geography and French I. 97% of the students passed the program.

“What we get to put back into the community from Glen Oaks now has a little bit of shift in that they are coming out with an opportunity, an associate’s degree, college credits that they probably never would have before,” said Sunguna Mayweather, who is the academic coordinator at Glen Oaks High School.

EBR School System is hoping the dual enrollment courses will give students more resources they need to succeed after they leave high school.

Parents of incoming 9th graders will be invited to orientations in January and February if they have any questions or concerns.

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