Atlantic Cape Community College and Pleasantville School District Sign Early College High School Agreement on June 25

three women and two men sit at table facing students

From left, Dr. Josette Katz, interim vice president of academic affairs at Atlantic Cape Community College; Dr. Barbara Gaba, president of Atlantic Cape; Dr. Clarence Alston, superintendent of Pleasantville Public Schools; Edward Bonek, principal of Pleasantville High School; and Kelsey Shockley, academic chairperson of Pleasantville High School, during the signing on Monday, June 25, at Atlantic Cape’s Mays Landing Campus.

Atlantic Cape Community College signed an agreement with Pleasantville School District to formally partner in the Early College High School initiative, which is also made possible by the George Washington Carver Education Foundation, on Monday, June 25, at the college’s Mays Landing Campus.

“Early College High School allows students of all backgrounds the opportunity to earn postsecondary credentials while in high school, substantially shifting the trajectory of potential in college, career, and in life,” remarked Dr. Jerome Taylor, executive director of George Washington Carver Education Foundation.

The Early College High School initiative is a national program started by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2002. The program allows students to obtain college credit before graduating high school and helps remove major barriers to postsecondary education access and success. The program will be open to Pleasantville students in grades sixth-12th.

Dr. Clarence Alston, superintendent of Pleasantville Public Schools, said, “The Early College High School initiative is consistent with our district’s vision and mission for all students. Pleasantville Public School District aims to improve student achievement and performance at all levels that will be demonstrated by test scores, attendance, reduction in suspensions and discipline referrals, increasing graduation rate and enhancing post-graduate plans.”

Kelsey Shockley, academic chairperson of Pleasantville High School said, “Our new Early College program is really going to be a game changer for our school, students and the whole Pleasantville community. We can’t wait to take our already strong relationship with Atlantic Cape to the next level and bring more opportunities to our students for them to go to college.”

“Early College enables the students of Pleasantville High School to be more competitive with other students and gives them a head start receiving college credits. It also allows for our students to begin early on the path of global citizenship, thus giving them greater access to more opportunities,” remarked Edward Bonek, principal of Pleasantville High School.

Dr. Barbara Gaba, president of Atlantic Cape, concluded, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Pleasantville School District to create a more accessible pathway to postsecondary education for these students and look forward to helping them achieve their goals through their learning experiences at Atlantic Cape. And as this program becomes a success, we want to spread it to other school districts in Atlantic County and also Cape May County.”

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