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Posted on May 25, 2012 |

UD’s DECA Tops in US High Schools

UD’s DECA Tops in US High Schools

Graduates from a previous DECA class.

U.S. News & World Report gave the Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) a bronze star in its annual America’s Best High School list, released earlier this month.

Founded by the University of Dayton in 2003 and opened in 2007as charter school, DECAD is located on the University of Dayton’s campus and operated by UD. Many of its students are from low-income families and will be the first generation to go to college. DECA students enter the school in the seventh, eighth, or ninth grades, and in their junior and senior years take classes that earn them college credit as well as counting toward their diplomas.

“Being on the list of America’s best high schools is wonderful,” said DECA superintendent and CEO Judy Hennessey. “Our hard-working students, teachers and parents have made DECA successful in our singular mission: get students to college.”

It’s not the first recognition for DECA. Since the school opened, the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Jobs for the Future, and The Chronicle of Higher Education have studied the school’s innovative approach to education.

The Center for Secondary School Redesign has called DECA “a concrete response to convince and prepare urban learners to go to college,” and the Council of the Great City Colleges of Education honored DECA with its national Urban Impact Award as exemplary partnership between an urban school district and a university.

All 146 DECA graduates have attended college, with more than 85 percent graduated or still enrolled. The school expects to graduate classes of up to 70 students by 2013, and  plans are in the works to begin an elementary school.

Senior Olga Ramos received the Gates Millennium Scholarship, which pays for all costs for her undergraduate education, and will attend Bryn Mawr.

She is one of 24 students in DECA’s sixth graduating class. All have been accepted to college, earning more than $1 million in scholarships and grants. For information about enrollment and eligibility, see the link above.

Photos courtesy the University of Dayton.