Head Start

CAHS students take summer courses to graduate early

FLIINT TWP. — Most parents and students are gearing up for back-toschool but classes remained in session most of the summer for several Carman- Ainsworth students who participated in the Accelerated Graduation Opportunity (Ago) program.

Ten tenth graders, members of the Class of 2017, finished up earlier this week in Explore Engineering and Technology at the Baker College of Flint. Center for Engineering and Technology. Each earned 4 college credits and one high school credit in classes that ran from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 7-11; July 14-18 and August 18-19.

The course introduced students to various engineering disciplines in a laboratory setting. Those included a Computer Aided Engineering Lab, a Rapid Prototyping Lab, a Materials Science Lab, Manufacturing Lab, Mechanics of Materials Lab, Thermal Science Lab, Electronics Lab, Computer Lab, Robotics Lab, Optics and Photonics Lab.

They also spent time studying Engineering Design including technical problem solving, report writing and oral presentation, teamwork and ethics.

Wrapping up the last two sessions this week, students finalized projects and presented them to an internal and external audience.

These students, aka Cohort 2, were one of three groups participating in the AGO program.

AGO puts Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools, along with several partners, on the cutting edge in Genesee County of providing opportunities for students to get a head start on college credits while attending high school, according to Debbie Davis, interim C-A high school principal.

Cohort 1 consisted of eight 11th graders (Class of 2016) who participated in a Psychology course offered at The University of Michigan-Flint where they earned three college credits and one high school credit. The classes met from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the weeks of June 24-26, July 1-3, July 8-10 and August 5-7.

Students explored fields and subfields of psychology with emphasis on research including the use of data bases and available resources in the University of Michigan library system.

The course was taught by Kelly Allen Zimmer, a UM-Flint psychology instructor with support from Vera Anderson, a UM-Flint research librarian.

Cohort 3 gave eight incoming CAHS ninth-graders an opportunity to earn a half-credit in Health via an online study program. To earn the credit, the students were required to earn a score of at least 78 percent on a test-out exam this month, which also fulfills the Health course graduation requirement.

The invitation-only AGO program is offered to a select number of incoming freshman who already have earned two or more high school credits while attending the middle school.

By the end of freshman year, participating students will have earned about 9 high school credits.

Over the next three or four years, the students can earn more high school and college credits through partnerships with local colleges.

Potentially they can graduate one year early or enroll in combination high school and college courses during their senior year.

AGO is in its third year at Carman- Ainsworth, as identified by the three cohorts, Davis said.

By earning high school credits early on and during the summers, AGO creates room in students’ schedules to take desired courses such as Advanced Placement courses, fine arts, Career- Technical Education classes and more.

Participation in AGO is an achievement that sets students apart from other students when applying for college, Davis said. — Rhonda Sanders

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