Keith A. Reynolds
Students were up in arms over the possible closure of the Early College High School after a meeting about alternative options held on Feb. 11 at Lorain High School. A decision on the closing is to be made at the end of the month. The possibility of closure seems to be tied to a lack of funding.
The announcement, made by Lorain City Schools administrators including superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Graham, was met with strong negative reactions. These reactions were inflamed once more on campus on Feb. 12 as word of mouth and an article in the Lorain Morning Journal spread the scant details among the student body.
The unrest came to a head when an ECHS student contacted the Channel 5 news crew in an effort to publicize the concerns of students. Administrators acted quickly to put a stop to the visit in order to not disrupt the students work.
“A lot of the students are passionate about the program,” ECHS principal Diane Quinn explained. “They love being here. They believe, and I believe it too, that being on the LCCC campus is part of the success of the program because they learn how to operate on a college campus.”
The announcement seemed to also catch administrators at Lorain County Community College off guard, but they are acting quickly to facilitate a solution if needed.
“A decision hasn’t been made and we’re certainly working with Lorain City Schools and Elyria City Schools, our partners, to look at alternative approaches and opportunities,” Dr. Marcia J. Ballinger, provost for Academic and Learner Services explained. “From Lorain County Community College’s perspective, the success of Early College High School and its students has been outstanding and has provided, now for over a decade, first generation college students with a tremendous opportunity. We’re collectively looking for ways to move forward.”
Many students worry that a move from LCCC to Lorain High would negatively affect their academics, “I don’t think anyone understands how hard it is for everyone to be in Early College,” ECHS student Sheronda Jackson said. “In Lorain, with Titan College, there’s no challenges or requirements.”
Titan College is a similar program to the ECHS that will be housed in the new building that is currently being built.
“They don’t want to see the program go away, and I don’t want to see the program go away,” Quinn said. “We just have to wait.”