Penn. launches new blended learning initiative to expand academic access

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A new summer program at the University of Pennsylvania is aimed at developing a model that will narrow the achievement gap for underserved populations by preparing a diverse group of high school students for college and steering them toward greater academic success.

The Blended Learning Initiative, a collaborative partnership developed between Penn and Steppingstone Scholars Inc., is a three-week pilot to encourage 24 public and private high school students from Philadelphia to pursue a path to higher education. The program mixes online learning, classroom interaction and mentoring to provide participants with a college-level academic experience.

The pilot combines Penn’s open learning offerings of free college-level online classes, the Provost’s Summer Mentorship Program and the University’s classrooms, labs and research centers with Steppingstone Scholar’s college preparation and counseling curriculum.

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