The Norman Transcript


February 9, 2014

Freshman Academy and University Center big steps forward

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

As a recent graduate of Norman North class of 2013, I couldn’t be more supportive of the district’s Freshman Academy and University Center proposals in the upcoming Feb. 11 school bond election.

I am confident I received a solid high school education and I’m grateful I live in a community that supported bond elections and my teachers and provided me that education. But, now as a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, I know that there are supports and experiences that I could have had at Norman North that would have made me more ready and successful in college, and would have made my peers even stronger, as we stepped away from high school and toward college and a career.

The transition from middle school to high school is huge, as is the transition from high school to college. Yet NPS’s Freshman Academy and University Center proposals make those transitions less abrupt while, at the same time, allowing the high schools to ask as much, if not more, from their students academically. They will better tailor academic advisement and instruction to the needs of students and allow a four-year transition into the type of institution I now receive as a college student. My instruction and advisement needs were very different between my freshman and senior year at Norman North, and this bond election is recognition of that and of the need for high schools to rethink what they are doing to make students college ready in all respects.

I love, and am quite frankly envious, that future NHS and NNHS graduates will be in expanded, renovated facilities, and be the beneficiaries of instructional programs that will make college life less like a splash of cold water. It is also extraordinary that they will be able to take college courses — for free — and right on their very own high school campus and never be put in the situation like I was of having to choose between being a high school student and a student academically ready for concurrent college enrollment. Talk about the best of both worlds!

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