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Broken Arrow Public Schools launches Early College High School

Innovative program designed to reduce college expenses and increase first-generation college attendees

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Broken Arrow Public Schools is launching a new program called Early College High School which will allow students to take high school courses on the Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow campus while preparing them to succeed in college coursework upon completion of 10th grade.

The program is designed for students to have successfully earned between 16 and 30 credits by the time they graduate from high school, which saves on college expenses and is designed to increase first-generation college attendees.

“This innovative partnership is another way we consistently seek new ways to lead and follow our students into the future,” said Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop. “Giving students an early start on earning a college degree has the potential to significantly increase future earning potential while decreasing college debt.”

Approximately 165 students in ninth and 10th grades are currently enrolled for the inaugural school year. Roughly 30% are the first students in their families to attend college and 40% qualify for free or reduced lunch. 

All high school classes will be taught by Broken Arrow teachers on the NSUBA campus. All college classes will be taught by instructors from Tulsa Community College.

While some Oklahoma school districts also offer Early College High School programs, Broken Arrow’s is believed to be the first to be housed on an existing college campus.

"Northeastern State University is honored to partner with Broken Arrow Public Schools to launch the Early College Program,” said NSU President Dr. Steve Turner. “This is a great opportunity for BA high school students to earn college credit while enjoying the outstanding facilities and services offered at NSU-Broken Arrow. And, upon the completion of their lower-level course work, we'd love to welcome them officially as NSU RiverHawks should they choose to pursue their four-year degree at NSUBA." 

Research has found that students who leave high school with 15 or more college credits are twice as likely to graduate with a four-year degree.

Course sequences are constructed to focus on pre-education and pre-manufacturing pathways to match the current workforce needs in the Broken Arrow community.

“It benefits our entire community when our students are prepared for careers in industries with lucrative jobs located right in our backyard,” said Dunlop. “A highly-educated workforce leads to thriving businesses which then continues to result in a thriving school district and community.”

Students who ride the bus will take a bus from their home to Broken Arrow Freshman Academy and then ride a shuttle to the NSUBA campus. All students will be shuttled back to BAHS or the Freshman Academy for sixth hour, allowing them to still participate in athletics or other elective classes.

Broken Arrow’s Early College High School will hold a student/parent orientation from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, at NSUBA, 3100 E. New Orleans St.