Kent State Stark Partners With Canton City Schools
Freshmen at McKinley High School in Canton now have a chance to enroll in a new program that, when completed, will guarantee their admission into a local four-year university and significant college financial help when they are graduated from high school.
The Bulldog Flash Academic Institute is a new partnership between Kent State University at Stark and Canton McKinley Senior High School that plans to usher approximately 25 McKinley freshmen each year through the process of becoming college ready.
These students would then be awarded with direct admission to Kent State Stark and renewable scholarships to cover at least part of their tuition.
Kristin Wray, the program coordinator for the Bulldog Flash Academic Institute at Kent State Stark, says that the program aims to prepare high school students to be successful college students. They will accomplish this by providing activities that teach study strategies, critical thinking skills, test preparation, time management and peer collaboration.
“Research proves the first year of college is crucial for retention,” Wray says. “Our goal is to provide wraparound services and support for these students to better prepare them for the college experience.”
According to Bathi Kasturiarachi, the associate dean of Kent State Stark, the program is designed to assist motivated first-generation college-bound students to excel in academics.
“First-generation college-bound students whose goal is to aim for excellence will especially benefit from our program and in whatever field of study they plan to pursue in college,” Kasturiarachi says.
The Bulldog Flash Institute will have three one-week summer programs, as well as mentoring and networking programs throughout each academic year.
In the first summer, the focus will be placed on mathematics, English and other language skills. This will help students to prepare to take the ACT and Accuplacer.
The second summer will focus on specific subjects, such as STEM, humanities and arts. This will help students to choose the proper classes for College Credit Plus during the junior year.
In the last summer, the focus will be on college transition.
Along with the summer institutes, an extensive mentoring program is in place to help students and parents navigate college financial planning, tutoring and career advising each semester. This will allow participants to advance seamlessly toward a four-year university degree.
Canton City School Superintendent Adrian Allison says the Bulldog Flash Institute also will help to close some of the gaps for his students by creating an authentic learning experience about how to handle the unknown prior to college.
“The college process is not an easy one,” Allison says. “Many variables could discourage or derail a good high school student from enrolling and being successful in college. This program takes some of those variables out of the equation.”
Allison also says that the program will help the Canton City School District twofold, to create a pathway for success for the students and to allow the district to collaborate with Kent State Stark.
“The program is a win-win for the Canton City School District and Kent State Stark, the hometown university,” Allison says.