FSW’s Clewiston Collegiate Institute wins Promising Practice Award

LABELLE — Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) has received the 2019 Florida College System Chancellor’s Best Practice/Promising Practice Award for its Collegiate Institute at Clewiston High School (CI).

The Chancellor’s Best Practice Awards provide Florida College System institutions the opportunity to promote exemplary initiatives to statewide and national audiences. The Division of Florida Colleges annually recognizes colleges in the Florida College System that have established innovative practices or have enhanced existing programs.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/FSW
(Left to right) Amanda Lehrian, Dr. Jeff Allbritten and Dr. Eileen DeLuca accept the Florida College System Chancellor’s Promising Practice Award.

FSW’s CI program provides dual enrollment courses taught by FSW faculty to Clewiston High School juniors and seniors on the high school’s campus. The program allows for students who rely on traditional school transportation to attend college courses during their regularly scheduled school day with built-in academic support, office hours, and other college-readiness programming in a supervised, supported learning environment. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate in arts degree by high school graduation at no cost to them.

“There were multiple reasons why Clewiston High School was selected as a site for FSW’s Collegiate Institute,” said Dr. Eileen DeLuca, FSW provost. “The first consideration is Clewiston High School’s location being 33 miles from the nearest post-secondary center. The second consideration is the student demographics of the targeted population… The third consideration was the lack of eligible credentialed instructors to teach college coursework. Less than 9 percent of the county has a bachelor’s degree or higher. As a resource to the region, FSW is currently providing full instruction for the CI program while sharing information on credentialing with area stakeholders to encourage high school faculty to seek advanced degrees.”

The first graduating class of 2019 showcased the strength of the program with increased levels of student achievement that had never been seen before within the county. Out of the original cohort, 99% of attempted courses earned college credit with 94& of students earning an associate in arts degree at high school graduation.

Clewiston High School also saw its Florida Department of Education Acceleration Rate increase by 7%, and 43% of the students earned Bright Futures scholarships. Over 86% of the CI students are pursuing post-secondary education, while the school average is 35%. Out of the dual enrollment/early admission population, the CI students have proven academically more successful with higher college grade point averages of 3.38 and higher rates of earned credit.

For more information about FSW CI program, contact Amanda Lehrian, director, FSW Hendry/Glades Curtis Center at 863-674-6010 or Amanda.Lehrian@fsw.edu.

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