CINCINNATI, Ohio — Sept. 14, 2017 — Few professional fields are growing faster today than information technology. However, the continued growth of our region’s IT ecosystem is threatened by a talent deficit industry experts estimate exceeds 2,000, as well as an ever-widening skills gap.
The University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Public Schools are working together with Cincinnati’s information technology industry leaders to address the shortage of qualified IT professionals through the creation of a new Early College Information Technology Program. The novel partnership will give CPS students the opportunity to complete their first year of UC’s IT bachelor of science degree program while they are in high school and earn automatic admission to UC.
UC President Neville Pinto and CPS Superintendent Laura Mitchell will formalize the bilateral agreement in the Annie Laws Library at Teachers/Dyer Complex, the home of the College of Education, Criminal Justice & Human Services (CECH) at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20.
“This program will help in our efforts to achieve the state of Ohio’s goal of graduating more Ohioans with college degrees,” Pinto said. “We are also proud to create an innovative program that partners with our Cincinnati Public Schools to provide students with opportunities to pursue college studies in a promising field with a high demand for workers.”
A class of 30 9th-grade students at Hughes STEM High School was selected to participate in the first year of the program, which is already underway. The agreement allows the program to be rolled out to other CPS high schools in future academic years.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” Mitchell said. “Our My Tomorrow program aims to provide students with a pathway to college and lucrative careers. This program gives our students a competitive edge for the jobs that are driving the world’s economy.”
Participating students will need to complete six IT-related high school courses, as well as College Credit Plus courses in English, college algebra or pre-calculus, and three hours of communication, history, social sciences, or fine arts, as well as an introduction to co-op class during the first semester their senior year. All classes must be passed with a grade of C- or above to qualify for automatic admission.
“Students in the Early College Information Technology Program will get nearly two years’ professional experience and the opportunity to simultaneously earn their master’s degree while graduating debt free,” said CECH Dean Lawrence Johnson.
CPS students who complete the Early College IT Program will be eligible to participate in co-op as early as the summer following the completion of their senior year of high school. Such students also have the option of earning a master’s degree in as few as four years after their high school graduation.