Baruch College Campus HS
It is rare to find a high school student roaming the halls of a college building, unless the student actually attends school there, but this is the norm at Baruch College Campus High School (BCCHS). Located within the halls of Baruch College, CUNY, their principal, Alicia Perez-Katz, believes that this setup paves the way for a mutual exchange of benefits between the high school and the college.
The two educational institutions collaborated about three years ago, affording students the opportunity to experience the resources and classes of the college campus while they are still in high school.
As a screened program, admission to the school is based on living in District 2 or having attending a middle school within that district. Beyond this qualification, students must have at least an 85 average and no more than 10 absences. ELA and test scores are examined as well.
Upon entering Ms. Perez-Katz’s office you would never know that you were in a collegiate setting. There are colorful drawings and paintings from students plastered from ceiling to floor on every wall. There are students hanging out on computers sitting on the brightly colored furniture and the principal’s office itself has pictures of students and their vibrant artwork. There is a sense of camaraderie among students and staff.
Bolstering the confidence of students is a key feature at the high school. Perez-Katz indicated that all students are required to complete the rigorous honors programs. Students in need of extra help are supported through after-school tutoring sessions given in multiple subjects daily, lunch tutoring sessions and peer tutoring. Every student has an advisor to support their academic experience and to advocate for them throughout their high school career.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in various extracurricular activities; some provided for by the college itself. These activities include: drama, music, art, science clubs in college laboratories and use of the athletic facilities of the university.
The specific perks of being part of a college campus include having access to the college’s career center, library, computer centers, the technologically advanced Smart Boards, as well as college students who provide SAT preparation, and partnerships with professors and teachers. Generally, the college campus “lends a tone of seriousness,” Perez-Katz stated.
Last year students were able to learn level four Spanish from a college professor and efforts are currently being made to switch calculus from an AP level course to a course taught in the college setting for college credit.
When asked about her vision for the future Perez-Katz would like to see increased collaboration between college professors and high school teachers as “college professors are specialists in their content area, which would give teachers access to the latest research while professors would benefit from learning from teachers about pedagogy.”#