A head start on university

Devon Park Christian School Principal Jonathan McAloon (Jonathan Munn/AQ)
Devon Park Christian School Principal Jonathan McAloon (Jonathan Munn/AQ)

St. Thomas University and local high school Devon Park Christian School have come to agreements for a partnership. Next year, students in grade 12 will be able to apply to get a little taste of STU. They will be able to take a first year courses at St. Thomas.

The credit goes both to their high school credits as well as a university credit toward a future degree.

“It gives them a double benefit,” said Jonathan McAloon.

McAloon has been the principle at Devon Park for four years. He thinks it’s going to be a great opportunity for his students.

“It allows them to ask, ‘Is this something I’m interested in?’” said McAloon. “It also allows them to see what the work load and expectations are.”

The course won’t cost the high school students anything. St. Thomas will be covering the fees, giving the student a free university experience and credit.

One of the bigger difficulties will be working around the student’s high school schedule. Students will likely have to take either an early morning, late afternoon or night course.

Some St. Thomas students would have liked the advantages these high school students will be able to get.

“I think it would be extremely beneficial,” said second-year student Emily Cronkhite. “I would’ve loved to have that opportunity that they have.”

To her, it would be helpful to understand first hand before getting into university, what the expectations are like.

Teachers at Devon Park are also pleased about the new deal, which starts next semester. Carla Clarke has been teaching at Devon Park Christian School for more than 10 years, and she is happy her students are going to get this experience.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Clarke. “When I went to school we had that kind of opportunity to take university level courses in our grade 12 year, but we had to pay for it.”

Clarke thinks it will only help her students.

“It will make them more forward thinking and make them more serious about what they’re doing.”

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