faced the challenge of losing dual credentialed (both high school and college) teachers to retirement, they could have simply reduced the on-campus options for their students to earn college credit. Instead, they saw it as an opportunity to collaborate with
Kent State Stark
to expand options and raise the rigor.
Today, at Fairless High School you will see a Kent State University hallway with KSU faculty teaching college courses. Fairless students can earn up to 45 credit hours (15 courses), most of which are transferable to other colleges and universities in Ohio. Currently, there are over 90 students in grades 7-12 who are participating.
Though the pace, coursework and research requirements are more rigorous, students succeed with the help of a strong support system. For example, the former media center was transformed into a Learning Commons. The Director, who holds a doctorate in library science, instructs students - more familiar with 'googling' the answer - in the use of appropriate, credible research methods.
Superintendent Broc Bidlack reflected
"The partnership between Fairless and Kent State-Stark for the College Credit Plus program has started off very well. The program has been very well received by our students and parents as is reflected in the large number of participants. I only see good things ahead with this partnership. Our students now have more courses available on campus allowing them to still have the complete high school experience."