Trevecca Nazarene University now partners with The Academies of Nashville, an innovative program that pairs local businesses and universities with high school students in smaller learning communities focused on students’ expressed interests. Trevecca’s Skinner School of Business and Technology is the education partner in John Overton High School’s Academy of Information Technology, and Trevecca’s Environmental Projects Program is the education partner in the Urban Agriculture division of Overton’s Academy of Engineering.
“This partnership is a win-win—for both high school students and Trevecca,” says Mike Leih, Trevecca associate professor of information technology, who serves on the IT Advisory Council at Overton. The Council advises the high school about courses curriculum and helps students prepare for college studies in IT and for careers in IT. Leih, who hosts students from Overton’s Academy of Information Technology for two annual visits to Trevecca’s campus, explains the benefits of the partnership: “I believe I provide Overton a reference point for what is needed to prepare students for IT education on the college level. My experience allows Trevecca to see what high school students are capable of as we prepare the college curriculum. We, on the college level, are able to see what is being taught on the high school level, so we can build on top of curriculum already being offered on the high school level.”
This year students in Overton’s Urban Agriculture division have worked on Trevecca’s campus under the direction of Jason Adkins, director of environmental projects. They have worked in Trevecca’s aqauponics project, helped with its heirloom chickens, and learned the basics of vegetable gardening through University’s urban garden project. Students reported that they want to return to Trevecca during their summer vacation and continue to help with these projects.
Started by Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) in 2006, The Academies provide students with education that is “project-based, applied, and integrated” with exposure to “career opportunities, industry skills, and potential employers.”MNPS has five types of academies: Arts, Media & Communications; Business, Marketing & Information Technology; Engineering, Manufacturing & Industrial Technology; Health & Public Services; Hospitality & Tourism. MNPS reports that The Academies have helped raise test scores and the number of high school students who go on to college has increased.
To read an Overton student's report on his intercession experience at Trevecca, click here.