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Education Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 189630, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/189630
Research Article

A Model Intervention Program for Secondary School Education

1James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education, Valdosta State University, 1500 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA 31698, USA
2John W. Renner Science Education Center, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA

Received 28 December 2011; Revised 29 January 2012; Accepted 20 February 2012

Academic Editor: Susan Hallam

Copyright © 2012 Brian Gerber and Edmund A. Marek. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Valdosta State University and the Valdosta City Schools (Valdosta, GA) partnered in 2008 to form the Valdosta Early College Academy (VECA). VECA epitomizes the early college concept of (a) admitting underperforming students with multiple risk factors for dropping out of school (e.g., low socioeconomic status, minority, and first-generation high school or college) and (b) providing college level dual enrollment courses. VECA is very different than nearly every other early college school in the nation. Most (85%) of the 200 early colleges currently operating in the United States begin with students in the 9th grade. Nearly all of the remaining early colleges begin with 7th grade; only a few are 6–12-grade schools. VECA targets two primary priorities, (a) innovations that complement the implementation of higher standards and high-quality assessments and (b) innovations that support college access and success. The primary purpose of this paper is to chronicle the genesis and development of VECA. This program is very successful, replete with research opportunities, and represents a model early college program. We plan to continue to grow VECA to ultimately include grades six through twelve and to research that growth and development.