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Dec. 7, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University and Central High School in St. Joseph have established a partnership called "Central by Northwest" that is geared toward enhancing the experiences of Central's International Baccalaureate (IB) students.
The partnership allows Central IB students in-person and remote access to all of Northwest's library resources, provides on-campus field experiences for students and provides field trips for IB students that focus on the program's six areas of study.
Dr. Melody Messner, director of education outreach at Northwest, spearheaded the partnership as a way to support local students who chose to participate in the rigorous IB coursework.
"We are excited about this partnership and the academic support it gives these students as well as the scholarship options that are now available to them," Messner said. "Creating campus-based field experiences aligned with their coursework is one way that Northwest can be involved in enabling Central's faculty to achieve their goals."
Last month, 24 art and theater students from Central's IB program visited Northwest, where they worked with professors in their areas of study. The students observed classes, toured the University's facilities and dined with Northwest students.
IB student Jessica Power said the visit aided her in her visual arts research, and she was impressed by the state-of-the-art equipment, knowledgeable professors and small class sizes at Northwest.
"I loved being able to see the art classrooms, studios and workshops, and also getting to sit in on a ceramics class and be taught some ceramics skills from an actual teacher," Power said.
Students also said the access Northwest gives them to library resources is invaluable in their research.
"It was incredibly beneficial to access resources from an encouraging and knowledgeable faculty," IB student Caleb Hazelwood said. "We were welcomed with hospitality, and given the opportunity to witness a high-caliber of educational theater, with aspiring students."
Central High School Principal Dr. Marlie Williams said the partnership provides positive reinforcement for students who are putting extensive time and energy into their IB coursework.
"The IB is an intensive course of study," Williams said. "What this partnership affords our students is the opportunity to interact with higher education and affirms that all of their time and effort have more than prepared them for their college coursework."
Williams also believes partnerships with higher education provide high school students with valuable knowledge.
"Anytime we can partner with our local universities to provide enhanced opportunities for our students, there is benefit," she said. "They are able to make informed choices about their college education and they see greater value in their high school coursework as preparation for college."A group of IB students interested in science, math and computing will visit Northwest in February.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
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