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Connections I Community Alumna Introduces Middle College to Seattle Making a Difference for Seattle Youth Middle College High School Opens Doors at SU Nikko Mumpar is one of 35 students attending Middle College High School (MCHS) at Seattle University, an innovative alternative high school aimed toward students who seek a small setting to complete their high school graduation requirements and prepare for success in college, careers and life. At 18, Nikko Mumpar is confident, compassionate and creative. He is an avid photographer, a “techie,” and a born leader. Shortly after emigrating from the Philippines with his family, Mumpar began volunteering at a food bank and became active in the Asian Resource Center, helping adults to learn English. He was on track to graduate from Cleveland High School in June Beth Brunton, site coordinator and humanities teacher. 2013 before family issues and a lack of interest in the social scene led him to leave high school in fall 2012. A mentor encouraged him to look into Middle College High School at Seattle University, where he is now completing his last few credits required for graduation. He plans on attending Seattle Central Community College’s Running Start program this spring and eventually attending a four-year college with his College Bound Scholarship. Mumpar is one of 35 students attending MCHS located in Loyola Hall. It is administered by the Seattle Public School District and is intended for students between ages 16 and 20. It is a dynamic collaboration between SU’s College of Education and Seattle Public Schools (SPS) that has been many years in the making, according to Dr. Charisse Cowan Pitre, associate professor in the Master in Teaching (MIT) program and the Middle College partnership director. The late Dr. Sue Schmitt, Dr. Margit McGuire, MIT program director, and Kent Koth, director of the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI), were also instrumental in securing the partnership. The school, which opened in mid-November 2012, is designed for a maximum of 40 to 50 high school juniors and seniors. Recruiting students who live near the university is a goal that overlaps SUYI’s mission to serve those living in neighborhoods surrounding the university. Beth Brunton, SPS site coordinator and a humanities teacher, says most of the students who attend Middle College High School have stories similar to Mumpar’s. They are motivated students who have had adversity at home and challenges at a traditional high school. Based on a proven model that began in the 1970s in New York City, Middle College High Schools first appeared locally in 1991, Left, Nikko Mumpar; right, Anthony Longoria, MIT ’10 teaches at MCHS at Seattle University. thanks to the leadership of Julie Hungar, EDLR ’82 (see sidebar). The MCHS program in Seattle now thrives with nearly 200 students at five locations throughout the city. Seattle University is one of only three private, fouryear universities in the country currently housing a Middle College High School. Students focus on core classes of humanities, math and science in the morning. Afternoon classes provide college and career preparation and include special programming with guest speakers and career panels. “The students here have just as much promise as any other young person with hopes for a bright future, but they may not have had the opportunity to succeed academically,” says Cowan Pitre. Brunton has seen many MCHS students matriculate to community and four-year colleges as well as secure, stable jobs. Internships, such as those provided by Teens in Public Service (TIPS), are opening doors to meaningful careers for Middle College graduates. While the main goal of the program is for students to complete their high school graduation requirements, being on a college campus provides inspiration for them to continue their studies at college or to create positive career outcomes after graduation. One of the most unique facets of having a Middle College on campus, says Cowan Pitre, is the opportunity for the entire campus to learn from the high school students. SU faculty and students contribute advice, advocacy, resources and support for the school in exchange for real-life learning opportunities. Many colleges and programs have taken advantage of this win-win situation (see below). More than 80 friends of MCHS, Seattle Public Schools and the SU community welcomed Middle College High School to campus at an open house on January 24, 2013. Learn more at middlecollegehighschool. Seattle University had ties to Middle College High School long before the city’s fifth alternative high school found its way to campus in fall 2012. College of Education alumna, Julie Hungar, EDLR ’82, was a vice chancellor for Seattle Community Colleges when she first began to explore ways to encourage collaborations among educational institutions with a goal of improving the number of transfer students. After attending a conference where one of the speakers was Janet Lieberman, founder of the original MCHS at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, NY, Hungar suggested Lieberman speak at a conference in Seattle in the fall of 1988. After pitching the merits of the program to a Seattle Public School District cabinet, Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Central Community College designed a plan for the city’s first Middle College, which opened in 1991. In January, Hungar returned to her roots for the Middle College High School at Seattle University open house. As she toured the space and listened to the testimonials of students and faculty, she says she was pleased to see a school like this take shape at SU. MCHS Partnership Initiatives College of Education • Master in Teaching (MIT) students have been coaching MCHS students on service learning, including how to tutor younger students. According to the faculty, this has helped MCHS students to improve attendance and social skills and has inspired vocations such as teaching, counseling and jobs working with youth. • Student Development Administration students led campus tours and informed MCHS students on how they overcame life challenges to make it through college and succeed in grad school. 4 I seattle university I college of education • Dr. Margit McGuire, MIT program director, is coteaching the “Freedom Summer” Storypath series, which she developed (see story, page 7). • Anthony Longoria, MIT ’10 and a pre-doctorate fellow, led a tour of Seattle Central Community College and teaches a weekly class on college and career exploration and readiness. • MCHS staff and the MIT faculty have participated in reciprocal professional development, exchanging new research about how to prepare students for college success. Campus Engagement Upcoming Initiatives • SU Law students, along with federal bankruptcy judge Karen Overstreet, are teaching financial literacy to the MCHS students. They also arranged for attorneys to meet with the students to help them learn how to avoid bankruptcy and other financial challenges. • A Street Law class, led by Professor Margaret Fisher, provides practical legal information to MCHS students. Law students also coached MCHS students to conduct a mock trial at the King County Courthouse in front of a judge. • A new “College Career Coach” after-school program is being developed for Seattle University students to tutor and encourage MCHS students. • Dr. Amy Eva, MIT professor, will teach lessons in adolescent brain development, metacognition and memory. On her sabbatical this past fall, Eva developed a college/career summer internship program for MCHS (see page 24). • Dr. Mary Graham, School Counseling program director, is offering her graduate students the opportunity to provide individual counseling to MCHS students. • Panels on college life, academic advising and essential college knowledge are being created by Dr. Erica Yamamura, Student Development Administration associate professor. Left: Dr. Jose Banda, superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, addresses a standing-room-only crowd at MCHS open house in January 2013. 2013 Banner I5

2013 Banner Magazine

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