LEBANON, Ore. (KMTR) – A new partnership between Lebanon High School, Linn Benton Community College and Oregon State University is aiming to take a new spin on high school education, giving students a brighter pathway to higher-ed, one which could be a model for the entire state.
Leaders from Lebanon High, LBCC and OSU signed papers today to create a five-year accelerated learning program for high school students.
The program is aimed at getting high school students enrolled in more community college classes, clearing their way for advanced placement in a university. At the earliest, students from 8th and 9th grades could enroll in the program.
At the end of the program, high school students will receive an advanced high school diploma and a university level associates degree. That education level will give any student involved a “junior year” placement in many universities, including Oregon State University.
The program means students can technically skip a full year of the four-year university cycle. For students and their families, the program has a potential to be a big money saver, but also a chance for students in Lebanon to succeed.
Lebanon High School has lower graduation rates than some other schools in Oregon. Currently, only 40% of Lebanon High School seniors graduate within four years. 60% graduate in five years.
Abrianna Lochner is part of the program. As one of eight kids in her family, she wasn’t sure that paying the four year college route would be easy or even possible.
“It gives me hope,” says Lochner.
“Now that I am already immersed in my college career, I can look ahead to all these different opportunities that I had that I didn't even know existed and feel more secure and confident that I can accomplish these things,” says Abrianna Lochner, a Lebanon High School student.
“It's about any idea that you can get anywhere that makes senses that you can implement to focus on making students even more successful are things you ought to take up,” says Ed Ray, President of Oregon State University.
Students who also complete this program and show a financial need can also get up to $3,000 on scholarship with OSU.
OSU says while Lebanon is one of the first to do this program in Oregon, it’s hoping to see the high school, community college, university link spreads. Jefferson High School and Portland Community College have also started a similar program.