Friday October 24, 2008

Impact on Urban Education

The University of Dayton and the Dayton Early College Academy received a national award from the Council of Great Colleges in Education for their partnership in making a positive impact on urban education.

The University of Dayton and the Dayton Early College Academy on Friday, Oct. 24, were honored with a national award as an exemplary partnership between an urban school district and a university that has had a significant impact on teaching and learning.

UD and DECA received the national Urban Impact Award from the Council of the Great City Colleges of Education, which includes education deans from 76 universities and collaborates with urban school superintendents who belong to the Council of the Great City Schools to help improve urban education. It's the first time an early college high school has received the award.

"Winning the award demonstrates the significant impact that schools like DECA are having on the education of urban young people, which also illustrate the importance of identifying new models of practice for reaching urban young people," said Thomas J. Lasley, dean of the University of Dayton's School of Education and Allied Professions.

The University of Dayton founded DECA in 2003 in partnership with Dayton Public Schools as the first early college high school in Ohio. DECA reorganized as a charter school operated by the University of Dayton in 2007 and enrolled seventh-graders for the first time in 2008. It is the only charter school in the U.S. operated by a Catholic university.

Students at DECA advance through six gateways to graduate — rather than the traditional four grade levels — by achieving personalized, academic benchmarks. They must also complete a minimum of nine credit hours of college courses at Sinclair Community College or the University of Dayton while still in high school.

"This award recognizes the Dayton community's ability to form successful partnerships to address serious issues in urban education," said DECA Principal Judy Hennessey. "UD, Sinclair and the Dayton Public Schools have created a viable option for students who want a rigorous high school experience to prepare them for college. DECA's early success is being closely watched by others across the country, and this recognition confirms the important work being done in Dayton, Ohio."

The award includes a $2,000 award to be shared by DECA and UD. The funds will be used for the operation of the school, Lasley said.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or