In just one year, the successes of the Credit Accrual and Recovery for Everyone (CARE) program have spoken for themselves, as the number of participating students from local high schools has quadrupled.
The alternative education program, a partnership between the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation and SUNY Oswego, began in the fall of 2015 with seven students from the Oswego City School District and the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District.
Once their peers and school officials from throughout Oswego County heard about the students’ re-engagement and attentiveness to learning, more struggling students wanted to join the non-traditional environment.
At the start of the 2016-17 school year, participation rose to a total 26 students from the following districts: Sandy Creek Central, Oswego City, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central and Central Square.
Two students from Hannibal Central School District are expected to begin soon.
Principal Robyn Proud said students attend either a morning or an afternoon session at the program’s home of SUNY Oswego, where CiTi teachers, SUNY Oswego professors and the college’s pre-service teachers come together to offer a comfortable educational environment where students earn high school credits toward their diplomas.
While some in-person instruction is offered, much of the CARE program student work is completed through the online program, APEX Learning.
That helps students prioritize the curriculum and personalize their journey.
“Alternative education is a choice; they have to feel empowered,” Proud said.
In the program’s temporary location in the lower level of Sheldon Hall, a Wall of Wow serves as a backdrop for students to recognize their peers’ accomplishments of attendance and coursework.
While many CARE students finish their school day at CiTi’s Career and Technical Education or Project Explore programs on CiTi’s main campus in Mexico, some students also return to their home school for additional instruction.