Akron Early College Recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School

The United States Department of Education awarded AECHS for its “overall academic excellence” for the second time in 12 years.

The Akron Early College High School is housed within the Polsky building on campus.

(The Buchtelite Stock Image)

The Akron Early College High School is housed within the Polsky building on campus.

By Kaitee Horstmann, Copy Editor

The Akron Early College High School (AECHS), a program located in the Polsky Building at The University of Akron, was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 26.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program
recognizes public and non-public schools for their overall excellence in the classroom and success rate with students.

The program recognized 362 public and private schools this year, including AECHS and 13 other schools in Ohio.

Additionally, AECHS was also the only school in the Akron Public Schools District awarded an ‘A’ by the
Ohio Department of Education’s state report card this year for progress, gap closing, and graduation rate.

The program has received several other awards over the years at state and national levels, as well as currently holding the spot as the No. 2 school in Summit County, according to the press release.

AECHS, made possible through a partnership between
Akron Public Schools and UA, is designed for first generation college students from economically disadvantaged and traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

Tom O’Neil, assistant principal of AECHS, said in a
UA press release that it is an honor to have the opportunity of working with UA and he is grateful for the school’s support each year.

“This unique partnership opens doors for our students that they normally wouldn’t get in any other program,” O’Neil said. “We welcome this partnership and we embrace it.”

The success rate of students in the program is remarkable due to the fact that ten teachers oversee around 400 students in the program.  

Those who complete the program with at least 60 credit hours will graduate from high school with either an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or two years of college completed toward a bachelor’s degree, all of which are completely free.  

Elizabeth Kennedy, Ph.D., dean of
UA’s College of Applied Science and Technology, believes the program’s two-time recognition as a Blue Ribbon school shows all the intense commitment to giving students ways to achieve academic excellence.

“We are very proud of all of the students, faculty and staff at the AECHS and UA that work to maintain such high levels of success,” Kennedy said.