TMCF Collegiate Academy
About the Program
TMCF Collegiate Academies are a new national network of secondary schools. These ‘blended’ secondary schools will be located on or near the campuses of TMCF member-schools, and will deliver students a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, while also addressing 21st Century learning needs.
Two additional components round out the program. The first establishes a professional pipeline for public HBCU member-school students and alumni with Connections Education, and the second spotlights prominent public HBCU alumni and other notable African Americans, via a web-based leadership series for the 40,000-plus students enrolled in Connections Education’s national network of Connections Academy virtual public schools and Nexus Academy blended public schools.
Selected TMCF member-schools will participate in the partnership by hosting the new secondary schools, supporting the schools with professional development and student teacher placement, and providing early college programming. Each school will carry the name of its affiliated public HBCU, and so will be called TMCF Collegiate Academy@HBCU NAME.
TMCF Collegiate Academies will be tuition-free, open enrollment public secondary schools focused on college prep programming for grades 6-12. The partners anticipate opening as many as 10 TMCF Collegiate Academies in the next five years, and hope to open the first school for the 2014-15 school year.
TMCF Collegiate Academies build on the success of the growing network of Nexus Academy charter schools and other Connections Education-powered blended programs in Ohio, Michigan, Prince George’s County, Maryland, and beyond. The cutting-edge schools will employ an innovative, inspirational, and individualized instructional approach that turns the traditional public school model on its head.
TMCF Collegiate Academy students will report in person to an on-campus facility to meet with their certified teachers and collaborate with their peers on a flexible schedule to access a comprehensive, cutting-edge curriculum that includes nearly 20 Advanced Placement courses and eight foreign languages. But since they will be provided with a mobile computer and other technology tools, students can also work on their courses anytime and anywhere there is an Internet connection. Students will benefit from the attention of both face-to-face and online educators – including university-affiliated “Success Coaches” -- who carefully track their progress and provide the real-time guidance they need to succeed.
With intentionally-limited student enrollments, the small schools will provide a welcome alternative to the comprehensive middle or high school where students can often feel lost and where the focus on college preparation is lacking. Individualized scheduling replaces typical ‘one size fits all’ class periods and bells, so students can make the most of their personal peak learning times. Students who need more intensive intervention and direct instruction will get it, while students who are ready to move ahead can do so. All students will have access to an online LiveTutor service that puts expert teaching help at their fingertips when they need it.
TMCF Collegiate Academies will also take a new approach to student instruction and even the learning space itself. Subject-specific seminar rooms -- where students and teachers meet in small groups and one-on-one – replace the typical classroom set up of rows of forward-facing desks and teacher lectures. Team Rooms are “command central,” where students work on their courses, collaborate on team projects, and participate in guidance activities with their Success Coach.
All TMCF Collegiate Academy students will receive a comprehensive, college-focused secondary school experience, including opportunities for acceleration beginning in the earliest grades. Students will be guided to mastery in core academic courses in Math, Science, Social Studies, and English as well as Advanced Placement and Honors courses. A wide range of foreign languages will be offered, as well as electives in subjects like Digital Arts, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Engineering Design, Marine Science, and Game Design. Students may also participate in clubs and activities including Digital Storytelling, Debate and Chess, Yearbook, Environmental club, and much more. A robust education management system, Connexus®, will tie the online community together and provide students with access to lessons anywhere they have an Internet connection.
TMCF Collegiate Academies schools will leverage Connections Education’s curriculum, a best-of-the-best collection of learning materials from leading publishers such as Pearson and McGraw Hill, as well as proprietary instructional tools and resources developed by Connections Education’s expert curriculum specialists. Connections Education is accredited by AdvancED.
In addition to better preparing students to succeed in college, every TMCF Collegiate Academy student will be provided with the opportunity to make their college dreams a reality. Students who graduate with a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average will be eligible to receive college scholarships from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
About Connections Education
Connections Education is a leading, fully-accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual education solutions for students in grades K–12. Since 2001, the company’s Connections Academy division has delivered individualized learning to students through virtual public schools and a private online academy. In the 2012–13 school year, 24 Connections Academy virtual public schools and five Nexus Academy blended public schools will operate in 23 states and are expected to serve more than 40,000 students from across the U.S. The Connections Learning division meets the needs of schools, school districts, and other institutions looking to develop and enhance their online learning programs. Connections Learning delivers a full range of targeted digital learning solutions to the K–12 education community including online courses, a program for homebound students, a digital learning platform, and more. More than 1,000 schools, school districts, state departments of education and other educational institutions, serving tens of thousands of students throughout the United States and beyond, are already utilizing Connections Learning products and services. Connections Education is committed to expanding quality education through technology and helping students achieve both academic and personal success. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit www.ConnectionsEducation.com. Connections Education is part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO).