MOUNT VERNON, NY — Some Mount Vernon high school smart cookies will be headed to college before leaving high school.
The first cohort of Mount Vernon’s “Smart Scholars” program began enrolling in free college classes this year. Students began the program in 2020 as ninth graders, and as 11th graders, they will take advanced placement courses and college courses. Registration took place Tuesday at Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon STEAM Academy and Denzel Washington School of the Arts.
The Smart Scholar program is run in conjunction with Mercy College, and students can progress to their college degree by participating. 75 11th graders are enrolled, 25 in each high school. This year’s ninth graders, the third cohort of Smart Scholars, started this year going through the summer program.
Lillian Serret-Morales, director of Mount Vernon STEAM Academy, said she was impressed with the resilience of her school’s 25 Smart Scholars, who completed part of the program online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last year was the first year in person, and it was tough,” Serret-Morales said. “But they are still on track and continuing with their regular course load.”
Mike Nash, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment at Mercy College, is the Mount Vernon City School District Smart Scholar Admissions Contact. Others implicated are Cecil Wright, Ed.D., executive director of admissions at Mercy College, Anne Gilligan, assistant vice president of admissions at Mercy College, and the Mount Vernon City School District School Improvement Office.
Every 11th grade Smart Scholar takes college courses in United States History, Pre-Calculus, English, and Chemistry. Other course offerings include Spanish, Physics and Statistics.
The Mount Vernon School District pays for tuition in full, so students can save even more on tuition. Additionally, students who decide to attend Mercy College will receive an additional $1,000 off their tuition.
Taking these courses will prepare students for the workload of college classes and relieve some of the stress of paying for and preparing for college.
The Mount Vernon City School District will host a Zoom meeting for all parents interested in the Smart Scholar program in late October. All middle school parents who wish to enroll a student in Smart Scholars should contact their child’s school counselor.
About Mount Vernon City School District:
With more than 7,500 students in 16 schools, Mount Vernon City School District is committed to providing a quality education for all children while developing programs that meet the diverse academic and social needs of its students. Learn more on their website.