On Friday, Dispatch reporter Shannon Gilchrist published a story about her visit to the Metro Institute of Technology, a new STEM school created by Metro Early College, Franklin University, and Battelle.
I’m excited about the school’s potential and as I read the piece there were three things that leaped out at me as critical pieces of its early success.
#1: Students make the best advocates
Schools serve many different groups including parents and the community as a whole. The most interesting details about a school come from its primary customers: the students. That’s why letting students, not staff, lead visitors around a school can be so powerful. By putting them in the role of advocate, students think about what their school is and what they want it to be. At Metro Institute of Technology, they’ve got plenty to say.
“I brag about the school all the time,” Jayden said as he led a tour through MIT, which meets on the second floor of Franklin University’s Phillips Hall. Full story.
#2: Preparing for the future, without going into debt
We must design schools that prepare kids for more than high school graduation. Simply earning a high school diploma is not enough. As we look at salary and unemployment numbers for kids graduating today, college credentials are the right thing to do.
When they graduate in year five, they leave with an associate’s degree or job certification. It’s free. MIT students don’t even pay for college textbooks. Full story.
#3: Start with the mission, then find partners who agree
Let’s be crystal-clear – great schools need support to thrive. While Metro Institute of Technology’s space is quite nice, what really bowled us over about Franklin University was the college’s eagerness to find all kinds of ways to contribute to the success of the school’s students.
“They just bring such a vitality and energy and enthusiasm to campus,” said Evelyn Levino, Franklin University’s vice president for university planning and services. Besides providing space, Franklin aims to help the school with needs that arise, Levino said, which has included providing additional security and help with making lunch available. Full story.
If this piece reaches a student who’s interested in enrolling, I understand the school will be taking applications for a few students in January and a full first-year class for Fall 2016. To request an application, email or call School Secretary Beth Dewitt at 614-797-4797.
It’s an exciting time for STEM in Ohio, here are more stories about schools all over the state: