Students who graduate from the Puyallup School District in the Class of 2014 will be the first to automatically qualify for admission at the University of Washington-Tacoma, should they meet four criteria, including a 2.7 or higher grade-point average.
“This is about access to an established university that we have never had before,” said Gerald Denman, chief officer in the Puyallup School District’s Office of Equity and Achievement. “It’s a good fit for where we are and where we believe we need to be going as a school district with a post-secondary culture. This is just one vehicle for our kids. It’s a game-changer for the Puyallup School District.”
The “Pathway to Promise” partnership is considered the first of its kind in Washington state and the second in the nation that formalizes a partnership between a four-year institution and a public school district.
Denman said students who graduate from Puyallup, Rogers, Emerald Ridge, Walker and Chief Leschi will now have post-secondary educational opportunities with UW-Tacoma.
“This is a great day in Puyallup and a great day for UW-Tacoma in a mighty way,” said Cedric Howard, vice chancellor for student and enrollment services at the university.
Howard and Curtis Black, UW-Tacoma admissions adviser, attended the Puyallup School Board meeting on Oct. 7 to announce the partnership.
“I believe that this will be the catalyst to help move our district forward in helping create a post-secondary opportunity for every student in Puyallup,” district Superintendent Tim Yeomans said.
Other criteria the students will need to meet include 480 SAT scores on each section, or 21 or higher on the ACT, basic graduation requirements and a well-written admission letter.
Denman said the finer details of the partnership in terms of how student data will be shared and what other services will be included are still being formulated.
“We have an idea of how many kids go (to UW-Tacoma), and increasing that enrollment is a key part of that partnership,” Denman said. “We are just now starting to look at the many different opportunities that we have within the partnership, and we will continue to lay out those in a road map that will make it something that benefits our kids and our community.”
Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.