MLSD, Big Bend to partner in Step Up to College Open Doors program

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MLSD & BBCC logo

MOSES LAKE — The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has approved the Moses Lake School District (MLSD) to operate a new “Open Doors” program. The youth re-engagement initiative, in partnership with Big Bend Community College, will begin on September 1.

Funded through Washington’s 1418 Open Doors legislation, the Open Doors program assists districts in providing individualized and flexible educational opportunities for youth ages 16-21 that have faced challenges in traditional school environments.

“I am thrilled to enter into this partnership with Big Bend Community College in service to our students,” said Moses Lake School District Superintendent Dr. Joshua Meek. “As a school district we are always seeking the best way to reach all students, and this new Open Doors program with BBCC literally opens new doors and educational opportunities to meet the needs of our students. I am thankful to have an educational partner like BBCC in our community.”

Open Doors is aimed specifically at students who are not expected to graduate from high school by the age of 21, and students can qualify if they are at least 16 and significantly credit deficient as defined by one or more of the following:

  • A student is more than 24 months away from their cohort graduation date and has earned less than 65 percent of expected high school credits;
  • A student is between 12 and 24 months away from their cohort graduation date and has earned less than 70 percent of expected high school credits;
  • A student is less than 12 months from cohort graduation date OR has passed their cohort graduation date by less than 12 months and has earned less than 75 percent of expected high school credits;
  • A student has passed their cohort graduation date by 12 months or more and has never met graduation requirements;
  • A student never attended the 9th grade and has no high school credits.

The Open Door program will link those that qualify to the services they need to return to education. Students will be provided with multiple pathways for achieving educational success including high school completion, GED attainment, work preparation and training, and college coursework or associate’s degree completion.

“The beautiful thing about Open Doors is that it makes the entire college curriculum available to students including ESL, high school completion, and college courses,” said Vice President of Learning and Student Success, Dr. Bryce Humpherys. “Students can continue on with their college studies as a part of Open Doors.”

It will also customize education based on outcomes and performance structured to help students meet their specific goals. Students can enroll in online and teacher-led curriculum and meet with counselors on a weekly basis.

“We are excited to enhance the opportunities for students to earn their high school diploma,” said Moses Lake School District Director of Student Services Dave Balcom. “The BBCC Open Doors will be in addition to the already established Open Doors program through Skills Source.”

In the 2015-16 school year, more than 7,700 students in Washington were actively engaged in the Open Doors program.

For more information about the Open Doors program, contact the Transitional Studies Department at Big Bend Community College at (509) 793-2301.