Mayor Announces DePaul as College Partner for Lake View STEM Program

By Patty Wetli | Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lake View High School. Credit: Mike Fourcher

The pieces of Lake View’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program are beginning to fall into place, with DePaul University announced today as the high school’s early college partner.

“The kids at Lake View in 11th and 12th grade will get the opportunity to take college courses for free at DePaul,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel, speaking at a press conference held at Senn High School. (Loyola University was announced as Senn’s partner in the implementation of a wall-to-wall IB program.)

As part of the arrangement, Lake View students will also be “first in line” if they choose to apply to a BA program at DePaul. DePaul President, Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, noted that students will be able to transfer early college credits to other universities. Faculty at DePaul will also provide support to Lake View staff in the form of curriculum development and teacher training.

DePaul, which has a heavy emphasis on STEM itself, turning out a number of computer science graduates, was eager to team up with Lake View.

“This presents a new opportunity for us to make a powerful difference in one school’s clear ambitions to move towards STEM training,” said Holtschneider. “There are powerful careers that are available for students who are well trained in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics…. We look forward to creating strong pathways for students.”

At today’s announcement, the mayor signaled not only the creation of ties between the schools referenced during the press conference, but unveiled a new education initiative that apparently has been in the works for some time.

The city’s four-year institutions represent a wealth of untapped resources, according to Emanuel, which he is making a concerted effort to harness for the benefit of neighborhood and community schools. “This process started on Saturdays in my office,” said the mayor, as he met with various university heads regarding their upcoming capital projects and investments.

In exchange for helping to expedite those plans, the mayor proposed a quid pro quo deal: “The request I have as mayor is once we save you money on legal and other types of fees, you then take those dollars and invest it in partnering with a school in the city of Chicago.”

Emanuel hinted that more partnerships are forthcoming, including at the elementary level. “This is part of a new effort here in the city of Chicago to make sure that our four-year institutions are not islands but fully integrated into the city.”

The entire press conference can be viewed online or below.

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