Last month, our Early College Academy (ECA) career coaches, Ayanna Thompson and Kristin Hott, took a group of outstanding ECA seniors to the annual Fall Visitation at Virginia Tech, where they were enthusiastically welcomed by Hokie Nation. Above, flanked by Virginia Tech Admissions reps, from left to right, are Lahjae White-Patterson, Andre Jackson, Vinny Greene, Laura Blackwell, Ms. T., and Zion Perry.
Below is senior, Laura Blackwell, falling for Tech's fall colors. Later, she celebrated her acceptance to Tech next fall. Congratulations, Laura. We're so proud of you and your many options for where to go next!
Meet one of our 261 Reynolds College Academy alums, Jessica L. Phan, member of the inaugural Class of 2015 from J.R. Tucker High School.
Jessica applied her Reynolds ACA Associate Degree in Social Sciences toward her Bachelor’s Degree at VCU, which she earned in just 2½ years. Now she’s spending a post-baccalaureate gap year studying for her MCATs and conducting research at the VCU Massey Cancer Center repurposing antimalarial drugs as an alternative from chemotherapy to examine autophagy inhibition and apoptosis induction in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells.
While still an undergraduate, Jessica published a poster on the subject that’s already received dozens of worldwide downloads:
Jessica will be in prime position to succeed in medical school, having already shadowed in orthopedic surgery, medical genetics, and pediatric oncology.
She recently checked in with us during her busy schedule to reflect on her experiences with the Reynolds ACA:
Q: How did you adjust socially as a university student with a significant number of transfer credits?
A: It was easier to jump right into my major with the people who shared the same passion as me instead of having to take gen eds.
Q: How did you adjust academically as a university student with a significant number of transfer credits?
A: ACA has prepared me for the mindset, rigor, and time management of college. While students my age would struggle, I personally felt that the amount of stress wasn't that much different from ACA, just with different classes. I appreciated that.
Q: What have you learned about yourself since finishing the ACA?
A: I learned that I am not as shy as I was before starting high school. ACA has helped me realize that I can be a leader and serve others both academically and individually. It also showed me that I enjoy working with people.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: I just wanted to say thank you again for the Tucker and Reynolds faculty and staff for initiating a program as great as ACA. To see that it is spreading among other high schools is great because that means that education for students is expanding for the better. Literally this program has changed my life as I get to pursue my career goals early on with the skills and benefits offered.
Congratulations, Jessica, and keep up the good work changing the world!
Kristin Hott, Afternoon Career Coach for the Reynolds Early College Academy (ECA), is known for catching her ECA students doing something great. Recently, Kristin shared some great news from one of the members of our Reynolds ECA Class of 2019, Antonia Cheatham:
Antonia worked as a paid intern for Streetlight Data over the summer, through her affiliation with Girls for a Change. She loved the work and has maintained a connection with the company. They want her to continue working with them and are invested in her development. Here is an impressive project recently published on their blog, written entirely by Antonia, including the data, graphics and references. They highlight her Reynolds ECA connection in the short author bio. This was Antonia’s first job. I think she hit it out of the ballpark.
Congratulations and well done Antonia!
Did you know that the Reynolds College Academies have produced a grand total of 261 graduates earning Associate Degrees since 2015, including 125 grads in May, 2018?
That's more than 15,000 college credits earned by high school students in the first four graduating classes alone, with many more on the way from the Class of 2019 and beyond.
Below are some more group photos of our most recent graduates in May, 2018. As always, check out of ACA and ECA webpages at www.reynolds.edu/aca and www. reynolds.edu/eca for more information.
Pictured, from top to bottom (with number of graduates in parentheses):
The Reynolds Early College Academy serving Richmond Public Schools (19)
The Reynolds Advance College Academy at Powhatan High School (19)
The Reynolds Advance College Academy at J.R. Tucker High School (45)
The Reynolds Advance College Academy at Highland Springs High School (18)
The Reynolds Advance College Academy at Goochland High School (24)
For a great story on of our recent grads from the Reynolds College Academies, check out this profile on Ella Thomas, member of the inaugural graduating class of the Reynolds ACA at Powhatan High School. Good luck this fall at UVA, Ella!
Here are just a few of the 125 Associate Degree graduates of the Reynolds Advance College Academy and Early College Academy at Commencement on May 13, 2018. Good luck, grads, in your university studies and in all your future pursuits!
Over the past few weeks, 190 juniors in Reynolds’ six Advance College Academies (ACA) and its Early College Academy (ECA) participated in one of four convocations. We are proud of how far these students have come and we would like to present the following links for you to see a video of the slides from each convocation.
With the juniors of the Class of 2019 patiently but eagerly awaiting their turn to complete the degree program next May, we are very excited for the 126 seniors in the Class of 2018 who will be completing their journey with the ACAs and ECA by graduating next week on Mother’s Day at the Siegel Center at 2pm.
Congratulations, Class of 2018, and keep up the good work, Class of 2019!
The ACA Capstone Project
Last year, in the Reynolds Advance College Academy (ACA) at J.R. Tucker High School, the senior-year faculty in BIO 101/102, PSY 200/230, PLS 211/212, and ENG 244/242 devised a months-long project for their shared cohort of 45 students across their four spring courses. Using one of the selections of the Reynolds "Around the World through Books" series, Kevin Bales' Blood and Earth, faculty members asked 15 trios of students to annotate and research their choice of biological, psychological, or political content in Bales' book.
After all 45 students shared their findings anonymously, highlights from each disciplinary focus were determined from votes received in a "hive mind" poster session. The 15 trios were then reshuffled into three groups of 15 by discipline. Each group presented a multimodal presentation on the book for the live audience at the book discussion in the WDCC Gallery. Through division of labor, each group decided roles for themselves (speakers, visual content curators, researchers, timers, etc.) and all fielded questions.
The project taught a large cohort of graduating Reynolds ACA students to work together for a common goal of making intensive research public and accessible. As a capstone, it showed how three scientific disciplines (biology, political science, and psychology) are interrelated, even though each uses distinct discursive practices. Finally, it brought together teaching professionals from four distinct subject areas to forge an integrated assignment of unprecedented ambition and scope. The project was repeated again this spring by the Class of 2018.
Congratulations to both classes for raising the Advance College Academy model to the next level!
This past week the Early College Academy was featured in a WTVR CBS6 news video and article. We welcome the opportunity to shine this spotlight on the successes of all of our teachers, staff and students. Here is the link to the feature:
Recently, we asked Richmond Public Schools students in our Early College Academy (ECA) about their experience thus far as juniors and seniors. Their words echo what we hear consistently from all of our college academy students during and after their involvement with the programs.
Here are some of their testimonials:
“I’m able to do this with my friends by my side; they motivated me throughout this whole journey and get to walk across the stage with me.”
“The most rewarding part will be seeing my momma and dad after graduation and knowing how proud they are of me.”
“I get to take advantage of an opportunity that I know isn’t available to most people my age.”
“This program has helped me gain the skills and mindset I need for the real world: no excuses when it comes to getting what’s needed to be done, done.”
“I feel like I’ve grown in areas of time management and communication skills. I had trouble public speaking, but thanks to this program, I’ve conquered my fears.”
“I feel this program has prepared me for a college environment. It’s forced me to have a positive attitude and always put my best foot forward.”
“I’ve learned how to be vulnerable. There were moments where I felt lost and tried to do everything on my own, but I had to learn how to ask for help. Whether it’s with instructions or clarity on assignments, I’ve learned to humble myself and ask the person next to me.”
“This is the greatest opportunity I've been presented with in my life and I would like to take advantage of it fully.”
“This group of professors and peers have become a huge part of my life and I want us all to succeed together.”
“I want to continue ECA because I enjoy coming here. I've made many friends, and really adapted to this environment.”
“I feel like this is where I belong. The maturity level is great and it has taught me a lot of information that I did not know before that is helping me now. For instance, how to write a particular paper, how to study and do my notes.”
“The reasons I want and plan to continue in the program is because of the work environment, professors, and the people. The work environment is very active, productive, professional and positive.”
Welcome to the Reynolds College Academy Director's Blog, where you'll find news about alums, current students, and faculty in the Reynolds Advance College