Earlier this month, Reynolds hosted three convocations honoring the 188 ACA juniors who are on the verge of completing the first half of their college coursework toward their Associate Degree in May, 2020. Our recently inaugurated fourth president of Reynolds Community College, Dr. Paula P. Pando, welcomed the students and their families as well as the faculty, coaching, and leadership teams at each of the six ACA locations. Check out their group photos below.
To meet each prospective graduate of the Class of 2020 individually, to find out their top college choices and possible majors, visit the location links at the bottom of the front page of our website!
The Reynolds ACA Class of 2020 at Highland Springs HS
The Reynolds ACA Class of 2020 at J.R. Tucker HS
The Reynolds ACA Class of 2020 at Goochland HS
The Reynolds ACA Class of 2020 at Powhatan HS
The Reynolds ACA Class of 2020 at Lee-Davis HS
The Reynolds ACA Class of 2020 at Patrick Henry HS
Last month during Learning Week, the Reynolds Early College Academy (ECA) seniors were pleased to host Lefate Makunyane from Johannesburg, South Africa. Mr. Makunyane (shown above, with the ECA seniors) is one of the current Humphrey Fellows in residence at VCU for 2018-19. During a lively 75-minute presentation, Lefate shared his insights on how the political, social, and economic history of South Africa has led to a 52.4% unemployment rate among youth. The latter half of the discussion was given over to collaboration with the ECA seniors on how an early college academy might take shape in South Africa.
Earlier in March, Michael Paul Williams, columnist and reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, visited the ECA juniors and seniors and held them in thrall for more than an hour with a comprehensive discussion of American civil rights movements (emphasis on plural) from the Civil War to the present day. Williams told the students pointedly, "You're young. You're strong. It's your turn."
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!
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