New Partnership Between SLCC, Business, and High Schools Connects Students with Employers

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A partnership between business, Utah high schools, Salt Lake Community College and will provide students internship opportunities while still in high school. High school students begin the PACE program as freshmen, and those who successfully complete the program receive a scholarship for the first two years of their college education.

A new three-way partnership between local high schools, Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and local businesses will provide students internship opportunities while still in high school. High school students begin the PACE program as freshmen, and those who successfully complete the program receive a scholarship for the first two years of their college education. Approximately 90 spots in the program will be extended to students.

Called Project PACE (Partnerships for Accessing College Education), this partnership allows local school districts to select the students for the program. Local businesses provide internships for summer employment opportunities and mentor students in the program. They also provide funding for the student scholarships.

"This project will be a great opportunity for students and for Salt Lake Community College," said PACE project director Dave Richardson. "PACE allows the College to increase the participation rate of local high school students and at the same time provides access to a college education to people who otherwise might not have it. One of the best aspects of the program is that it helps people who have the ability to go to college but who don't recognize it to see the potential they really have."

PACE will encourage academic responsibility by requiring participants in the program to take courses that provide a strong academic foundation. Students must have an average attendance of 90% and adhere to their school’s tardy standards for each academic term. To complete the program, students must complete their high school education in eight consecutive semesters while maintaining a grade point average of 2.50 each school year. They also are required to take four years of mathematics and three courses in the social sciences with one concurrent enrollment course from SLCC in each field.

Through the PACE program, students will have the opportunity for internships and summer employment, complete their high school diplomas in eight consecutive semesters, participate in a college experience with a goal to complete a minimum of two years of college, and have a unique access to the workforce (via business partnerships) when they complete their higher education goals.

West High School in the Salt Lake School District is the pilot institution for the PACE program. The school’s instructors and counselors work with the students during the program to ensure they meet all of the necessary requirements.

About the College: Salt Lake Community College is an accredited, student-focused, urban college meeting the diverse needs of the Salt Lake community. Educating and training more than 62,000 people each year, the College is the largest institution of higher education in Utah. The College has 13 sites, an eCampus, and nearly 1,000 continuing education sites located throughout the Salt Lake valley. The College provides training and skills for employment through more than 60 diverse technical degree offerings and provides the largest candidate base to complete four-year degrees in Utah. Courses are offered during both traditional and accelerated semesters, during the daytime, evenings, and weekends. Personal attention from an excellent faculty is paramount at SLCC, which maintains a student-to-teacher ratio of less than 20 to 1.

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