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ETSU and Elizabethton High School form partnership over future pathways for Bartleby students

John Thompson • Dec 18, 2018 at 6:35 PM

ELIZABETHTON— East Tennessee State University has become the latest partner with Elizabethton High School and its innovative Bartleby Program. Milligan College and Tusculum University earlier signed agreements with the high School.

Bartleby was a creation of some of Elizabethton’s most talented students three years ago and has been selected by the XQ Super Schools program to help develop ideas for the creation of the essential 21st century school. The program focuses on developing the students to be leaders dedicated to supporting their community and to becoming effective entrepreneurs.

Bert Bach, ETSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, travelled to Elizabethton Monday afternoon to finalize the partnership agreement between the high school and ETSU’s Division of Enrollment Services and the Division of Student Affairs. The agreement begins in the fall of 2019.

Bach said the university “supports and shares the values of the Bartleby program.” He said these values include community involvement and entrepreneurship.

Elizabethton City School System Director Corey Gardenhour also saw the new partnership as extremely valuable for the high school and its students.

Gardenhour said that not only is East Tennessee State University the school where many EHS graduates will attend, it is especially important for the high school’s top tier of students.

“When you look at where the top 10 percent of our students will be attending college, 80 percent of that top 10 percent will be going to East Tennessee State University,” Gardenhour said.

Bach said ETSU’s support of Bartleby will include “opportunities to the outstanding students on the pathway to success.”

Students won’t have to wait until after they are enrolled at ETSU to benefit from the university’s alignment with Bartleby’s goals. ETSU’s Division of Student Affairs will host a high school leadership summit for Bartleby students next year.

ETSU will offer other benefits for Bartleby students next year. The students can participate in dual enrollment and leadership development opportunities. The university will also offer additional dual enrollment scholarships for qualifying students.

Elizabethton students dually enrolled at ETSU may also choose to participate in Buc Start, a predetermined set of course pathways that allow students to obtain 24 hours, or two semesters’ worth of college credit prior to entering college as a full-time student. There are over 12 pathway-focused course plans available to choose from, such as digital media, health sciences and computing.

“Through this partnership we aim to help students successfully transition to college by starting their path toward a degree before they graduate high school,” said Ramona Williams, ETSU’s director of admissions.

“One of ETSU’s core values is stewardship of place and the projects Bartleby students are undertaking fit perfectly with our mission, so it makes sense to us to add to those initiatives by connecting these bright students with engaging leaders,” said Joe Sherlin, vice president for Student Affairs at ETSU.

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