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Cortland Schools and TC3 Secure Grant Over $1 Million Through NYS Education Department

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Both Cortland Enlarged City School District and Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) have announced they have secured a grant totaling $1.175 million dollars from the NYS Education Department. The grant will allow the schools to develop an Early College High School (ECHS) program.


Cortland Schools will be the first school district in the county to receive this type of grant funding from the Smart Scholars Early College High School Program. The program’s goal will be to offer students who are underrepresented in postsecondary education with an opportunity and support to accelerate their completion of a highschool degree while also earning college credits at the same time.

“Our partnership is strong,” said Bob Edwards, Superintendent of Schools in Cortland. “I am so grateful for what is available to our high school students. Our program is the result of much work done over the past ten years. Our teachers are integral to the success of our students in concurrent enrollment classes, and I can’t say enough about all our school counselors do in this realm.”

Both Cortland Schools and TC3 said in a release the new program will expand off the existing relationship between the two. Hundreds of students have been able to earn college credits through the CollegeNow concurrent enrollment program provided. The program has also led to some students receiving an associates degree from TC3 by the time they graduate Cortland High School.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to take our partnership to the next level by incorporating pathways for students to explore their interests and identify goals for after high school, while getting a jumpstart on their college education,” said Victoria Zeppelin, Director of CollegeNow at TC3. “A great aspect of the program is that, in addition to taking classes at their high school, students will come to the TC3 campus for activities and coursework with our faculty and staff.”

For students who enroll in the Early College program, they will receive additional academic support to allow them to participate in both high school and college courses. The mission is to raise high school graduation and college completion rates while also reducing tuition costs.

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