Learning Centers are the “bridge” for Metro students moving from high school coursework to college-level coursework. They are designed to ease students into taking college classes, while also giving them opportunities to explore different fields of study (i.e. possible majors and/or career paths). Once students have received Mastery in their 18 core Metro courses (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, etc.), and successfully completed their Gateway Presentation, they are eligible to apply to OSU and begin taking college-level coursework.
The Learning Centers are experiences that combine college coursework and high school coursework, (usually 1 college and 2 or 3 high school classes per semester) that focus on a particular area of study, and lead to a culminating Capstone Research project.
The Capstone Research projects and Internships are done in collaboration with professionals and leaders in their fields of study, and provide students with opportunities to make incredible connections, play a role in cutting-edge research, and may lead to possible paid positions or extended Internships. These opportunities and experiences set the Metro Early College High School students apart from other high school students, who are competing for admission to the same Colleges/Universities, and applying for the same Scholarships.
Students entering their third year at Metro Early College High School (Juniors) typically participate in yearlong experiences known as learning centers. These learning centers serve as a way for our students to “wrap-up” their high school curriculum while introducing themselves to college coursework at the same time. Since students do receive college coursework while participating in their learning center, they must meet all of the requirements set forth by the OSU Academy.
Typically, this means that they must have completed 18 high school credits and taken their ACT. Metro offers learning centers in various fields of study: Design is an engineering experience, Bodies is biology/medicine based, Growth is botanical/agriculturally based, and Energy is environmental/policy based. Within the focus of each learning center, students will complete at least two high school classes and two college classes focused around the particular fields of study. The college courses associated with each learning center serves as a great introduction to college level coursework because they are receiving college level instruction, from college faculty, all while receiving the added support of their high school teachers.
Students will also participate in a “real-world” experience where they can apply all of their coursework in an authentic setting. An example of this would be the fact that the Design students participate in the FIRST Robotics competition every January where they actually design, build, wire, and program a large robot. It is the ultimate test of their engineering knowledge. Learning center students will also participate in Capstone Research. During this experience students are introduced to college level research and how research will play into their college education. Students complete these projects with college faculty and professionals in their particular field of study. Learning centers are a great combination of high school courses, college courses, real-world experiences, and the habits associated with being a successful student at each of these levels. They also serve as a great way to help student’s transition from high school into college at an accelerated level and timeframe.