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2 Students to Complete UC IT Program

Posted on: March 8, 2021

Taylor High School offers a wide variety of options to students for coursework throughout their four years. With education pushing boundaries on a daily basis, it is important to thrive to avoid stagnation and ensure students are being offered classes that will support their future goals. Be it a career after high school, the military, or college, it is essential that coursework aligns with post-secondary opportunities. 

Despite the number of courses offered at Taylor, there was still a noticeable gap with Information Technology options, yet interest in IT is rapidly increasing. Therefore, in 2018, Taylor High School administration met with Dr. Hazem Said from the University of Cincinnati to discuss possibilities for THS students to venture into IT in high school, which would greatly benefit them for the start of college. As a result of the meeting, Taylor High School now offers the Early IT Program. This Program is an innovative partnership with the University of Cincinnati that challenges the status quo for college access and affordability while significantly increasing the quantity, quality, and diversity of IT talent. 

Unlike many schools, Taylor has a bilateral agreement with UC that allows students to opt into some of the courses offered without committing to the entire program. Schools without the bilateral agreement offer the coursework through College Credit Plus; this forces students to apply to UC prior to taking any of the classes. However, at Taylor, students can take classes at their discretion as electives or can opt to complete the Program in its entirety. Students who complete all nine courses with a C or better are accepted into the University of Cincinnati automatically.

Three years ago, Taylor was one of the first schools to offer the Early IT Program. Since then, over 25 schools have participated, spanning into school districts in Cleveland and Columbus. Colleen Pamulapati is the teacher for Taylor High School and has been in the role for its three-year entirety at Taylor. Mrs. Pamulapati explained the process to be accredited to teach the content; the three-step process includes taking the courses as though you are a student and again in the teacher role. This strenuous process ensures that the Early IT Program teachers are masters of the content and fully capable to support the learning process of all students within the Program. Despite the challenging process, Mrs. Pamulpati believes in the Program’s success and impact on students. She said, “Along with the team at UC, we brought an incredible opportunity to Three Rivers Educational Campus and are happy to help students break into the field of Information Technology. As we complete our 3rd year in the Early IT universe, I am very proud of our students and their accomplishments, especially our seniors who have already been accepted to UC. Many of these students already had a strong interest in IT but didn't know how to translate that into college or how to get a huge head start and complete their whole freshman year while still in high school. Many families see the financial benefit of this as an amazing bonus. Each year our program grows and we are just as excited to work with students who are utilizing the bilateral agreement and just completing these courses as local electives. Some even choose to take several of the courses, even though they do not plan on going to college for IT. They just truly enjoy the content and atmosphere of the program. The future is looking very bright for all of our Early IT students!”

Taylor High School will proudly graduate its two first students who will have successfully completed all nine courses. Richard Cordrey, who started in the program his sophomore year, and Ajay McAlister, who joined his junior year, have both already been accepted into the University of Cincinnati as a result of their completion of the Early IT Program. 

As the Program continues to gain momentum, with seventeen students in grades ninth through twelfth actively participating, Taylor will continue to offer the courses.