LANCASTER, Calif., June 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An intensive high school credit recovery program designed to help incarcerated students get on the fast track toward earning a diploma was unveiled today at the Challenger Memorial Youth Center in Lancaster.
The AdvancePath Academy is tailored to the special needs of youth offenders who have not succeeded in traditional classrooms and have major gaps in their schooling. It is among 22 such academies nationwide and the first to be located at a juvenile detention facility.
"This program is just one more step on the path to making sure that we recover, educate and graduate disengaged students who are at high risk of dropping out," said Arturo Delgado, superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). "The academy helps us meet our key goal for reform — which is to provide enhanced opportunities for incarcerated youth to achieve educational success and move on to better opportunities in life, college and careers."
Delgado joined with Los Angeles County Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers at an afternoon ceremony today with stakeholders to unveil the AdvancePath Academy at LACOE's Christa McAuliffe School, which serves the 250 youth detained at Challenger.
The academy will benefit 45 eligible students daily in two classrooms where they work at their own pace, at their own computer work station, with the guidance of a highly qualified teaching team. The academy provides personalized instruction in a supportive, technology-rich learning environment. Teachers and students work together to build the academic and social skills needed to attain a high school diploma.
"This is a great motivational tool," said Shelley Torres, the academy's lead teacher. "Students are excited about earning more credits and the possibility of completing a high school diploma at an accelerated pace."
The program is made possible through a contract with AdvancePath Academics, a company based in Williamsburg, Va., that provides alternative education solutions for students at risk of dropping out of high school.
"All students, regardless of their situation, deserve to have hope and opportunity for a good education," said John Murray, founder and CEO of AdvancePath Academics. "I am delighted that AdvancePath has been asked to be of service and help make a difference in the lives of these incarcerated youth."
LACOE is a partner with the Probation Department, operating 13 fully accredited high schools in the county's juvenile halls and camps that serve some 2,300 incarcerated students daily. The AdvancePath Academy is being piloted at Challenger for potential implementation at additional sites in the future.
SOURCE Los Angeles County Office of Education