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Science & Engineering

Chicago Schools Partner with Tech Companies To Develop STEM Program

Chicago students will soon have the opportunity to attend one of five Early College STEM Schools (ECSS) to develop knowledge and skills in preparation for careers in science and technology. The ECSS program has been created under a partnership agreement between Chicago Public Schools (CPS), City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, and Verizon Wireless.

Each of the five participating technology companies will partner with one of the participating ECSS schools, and each company will work together with CPS and CCC to develop a unique curriculum at its partner school. The companies will also provide mentorship and internship opportunities for the students and professional development opportunities for the teachers.

The Early College STEM Schools will offer instruction in grades 9 to 14. After the first four years of the program, grades 9 to 12, students will have the opportunity to graduate from high school with industry certifications and college credit in STEM-related fields. Students will then have the opportunity to complete grades 13 and 14, first and second year of college, with accelerated placement because of the college credit they earned in high school. Upon completion of the full six-year program, students may graduate with an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Computer Science or an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Information Technology.

The programs being offered include:

  • Web development and software programming;
  • Database and cloud data management; and
  • Network engineering and security.

"By working with these corporate partners and the City Colleges, we will be able to provide our students with a rich and unique curriculum and opportunity to obtain real world skills while still in high school," said J.C. Brizard, CEO of Chicago Public Schools. "This kind of innovative collaboration will help prepare our children for college and career."

The five participating schools are Corliss, Lake View, Michelle Clark, CVCA, and New Southwest Area. The ECSS programs will begin at the start of the 2012-2013 school year, beginning with the incoming grade 9 class. Further information is available on the Chicago Public Schools site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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