Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a partnership Tuesday between the Illinois Institute of Technology, Exelon Corporation and a Chicago Public School.
The school-wide STEM partnership with Von Steuben Metropolitan Center allows qualified students to earn college credits at a four-year university, according to a release from the mayor's office.
Exelon and IIT’s financial contributions are valued at $2.6 million and $1.5 million respectively. Another $1.1 million was given in in-kind support, officials said.
“We are providing our students with the tools and resources necessary to succeed in a 21st century highly-specialized, technology-oriented economy,” Emanuel said in a statement. “This unique STEM partnership between a four-year university, CPS high school and corporate partner will help the City of Chicago continue to support college access and experiences while proudly educating the next leaders in this growing field.”
The goal of the partnership is to give at least 300 students over a period of five years the opportunity to take classes at IIT. The coursework will focus on “foundational courses that transfer to degree programs at most universities.”
“The partnership will allow all high school students who qualify academically to enroll in IIT courses at no cost to the student and will focus on developing student academic skills that will allow Von Steuben students to be prepared for college level courses.,” IIT President John L. Anderson said in a statement. “IIT will work with faculty at Von Steuben to double the number of students qualified to take classes at IIT over the course of the five-year partnership.”
The announcement comes less than a week after Emanuel revealed his education agenda, where he also detailed plans to allow CPS students with a B average to receive free community college. That move was later echoed by President Barack Obama, who announced an ambitious, multibillion-dollar proposal to pay for two years of community college for any American, saying education "should not be a privilege that is reserved for a few."