Point Park University to Partner with Area High Schools
A new program aims to increase opportunities for at-risk students.
photo by Steve Tanzilli
High school juniors at area schools will be able to complete free college-level instruction at their schools, and students who earn a B or higher will receive credit toward a degree at Point Park University through “Bridge to Your Future: Exploring the Possibilities,” a two-year program that was made possible through a $130,000 grant from various donors.
“This generous gift … allows Point Park to further its mission of making it easier for at-risk youth to attend college,” Point Park President Paul Hennigan says in a statement. “Creating greater access to higher education is critical for the success of our region.”
Schools participating in the program this year include Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy 6-12, and Montour, Riverview and South Fayette high schools. Pittsburgh Carrick, Sto-Rox and Knoch high schools will be added in 2017.
Teachers from participating schools attended training on the courses during the summer, and some say they already see its benefits for students.
“Not only has it given them superior experiences outside the classroom, but it also allows the students to network and begin planning and preparing for their futures beyond high school,” says April Fisher, a business education teacher for the Montour School District.
In addition to taking classes at their high schools, participating students are invited to Point Park’s campus monthly and are offered tours of Downtown intended to showcase opportunities and a range of career options.
Schools that are Title I, have an Economic Disadvantaged percentage of 25 percent or higher or have a Building Level Academic Score below 70 identify as at-risk and can qualify to participate in the program for free; schools that are not at-risk can also participate with a fee for each student attached.
High schools interested in the program should contact Steve Tanzilli at Point Park University. More information can be found here.