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Collegiate High Approved for 7-Year Contract

04/09/2004

NICEVILLE---- The Collegiate High School at Okaloosa-Walton Community College has been approved by the Okaloosa-County School Board for a seven-year contract extension. A charter school of the Okaloosa County School District, the Collegiate High School was established in 2000 and had an initial 5-year contract with the district to operate the innovative school which enables students in 10th, 11th and 12th grades to complete a high school diploma and an associate degree simultaneously through college-level study at OWCC.

"By any standard, the Collegiate High School has been a resounding success," said Dr. Jill White, Vice President for Instruction at OWCC. "The school has achieved 'A' school status each year under Florida's school accountability program -- earning the "A" grade with total points in the top one percent (1%) of all Florida High Schools and, for 2003, the school was literally the state academic champion with the highest scoring 'A' among all schools in Florida."

White noted that when the school's accreditation was reaffirmed in 2003 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the school received 23 commendations and no deficiencies - a "remarkable" accreditation report. Additionally, since its first year of operation, more than 80 percent of graduates of the Collegiate High School have simultaneously earned a high school diploma and the associate college degree, saving the state of Florida upwards of $3 million in state support and saving parents upwards of $900,000 in college tuition costs.

"This contract extension gives parents and students further assurance that the Collegiate High School is here to stay as an option for high school education," said Charla Cotton, Collegiate School Director.

"We're very pleased with the continued high level of interest in the Collegiate High School," said Dr. Bob Richburg, OWCC President, noting that the school has held admissions lotteries each year the school has been open. "It confirms that this kind of educational choice is appealing and appropriate for many students."

OWCC increased the school's capacity for its upcoming fifth year of operation to 250 students, up from 240 this year and an initial enrollment of 125. OWCC trustees, who have oversight of the school, had previously approved a 300 student limit for the charter school which is based at the college's Niceville Campus. The school plans to increase enrollment to 300 as campus facilities are renovated to allow for further growth.

For information, visit the charter school website at www.owcollegiatehigh.org. or call (850) 729-4949