By Chelsea Albers, JMI Intern and Florida State University Junior in International Affairs & Languages
Located in the quaint town of Davie, Florida, the College Academy at Broward College (known as CA) is an opportunity for accelerated Broward County students to receive their AA Degree upon high school graduation. Qualified students who choose to attend CA become full time students at CA for their junior and senior years. CA students take high school and college classes simultaniously, all at no expense to the student; which also means that the student is finishing their first two years of college free of charge.In my graduating class of 2009 of 162 graduates, 100% graduated high school, 100% graduated with a 3.75 GPA or higher, 100% qualified for Bright Futures, 99.4% received their AA degree, and 76% graduated from Broward College with a 3.25 GPA or higher. Plus we had the highest PSAT scores in Broward County.According to Mrs. Nell Sapp, principle of CA, part of what makes the school the most successful collegiate high school in Florida is that CA is housed on a college campus. Because of this, students partake in the full college experience, including simple but sometimes stressful activities such as registering for classes and searching for parking. CA provides a bridge between high school and college that adjusts students to the college life while providing a safety net. CA also has excellent teachers and guidance counselors who personally support and nuture high school students to succeed at the college level; there is a strong bond between many of the students and CA staff.While CA is not for every student, it is an incredible program to get plugged into for those seeking a more challenging curriculum but not necessarily the additional financial burden of private schooling. It also provides the perfect springboard into college. I would love to see other collegiate high schools adopt the aspects that make CA so successful–more counties should invest in this type of a school!For more information on the College Academy at Broward College, visit their website at http://www.collegeacademyatbcc.org/.