About the Uncommon Partnership




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Uncommon Schools and the Rochester Institute of Technology are excited to announce a new collaborative effort: An Uncommon Partnership designed to increase the number of students in Rochester who graduate from college with bachelor’s degrees.

RIT has long recognized the importance of extensive transitional support for incoming students. Included in its portfolio of student transition programs are the offerings of the office of Multicultural Academic Success (MCAS), which supports low-income and minority students in their academic, social and cultural adjustment to college. While such programming has a strong record of success, RIT also recognizes that for many students, these offerings come too late, that high school students with scant “college knowledge” need focused preparation for college success well before they enter college. Through its alliance with Uncommon Schools, RIT will leverage its successful experience in transitional support to prepare Uncommon Schools’ Rochester graduates for the college experience.

Uncommon Schools starts and manages outstanding urban charter public schools that close the achievement gap and prepare low-income students to graduate from college. Uncommon Schools has been recognized as one of the top-performing Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) in the country, most recently having received the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. Uncommon Schools operates four schools in Rochester (Rochester Prep Schools), which currently serve approximately 1,000 students in grades K-8. The middle school has consistently ranked among the top schools in Rochester in terms of state test results and was the only Rochester school recognized by the Buffalo Business Journal as ranking in the top 25 Middle School programs in the Rochester area.

RIT and Uncommon Schools, as best-in-class educators in Rochester, have joined together to create an Uncommon Partnership to ensure that Rochester students have access to a seamless preparation program that will ensure that they are uniquely situated for college entrance, graduation, and employment.

This collaboration will revolve around Rochester Prep’s new high school program, which will launch in the fall of 2014 and serve students from Rochester Prep’s existing elementary and middle school programs. Partnership activities will focus on three areas of preparedness that RIT and Uncommon Schools have identified as essential to long-term success in college and beyond: academic, psychosocial and cultural.

While the high school curriculum will focus on the fundamentals necessary for college success in any field, the partnership with RIT will provide students additional exposure to courses and careers in the STEM fields. Increasing the number of low income, minority and female students prepared for STEM careers is a national priority that the partnership will take seriously.

RIT and Uncommon Schools are excited to combine their efforts and shared commitment to providing Rochester students with the highest-quality education that will allow them to enter and graduate from college, and ultimately to have meaningful careers that help to keep Rochester and the country vibrant and economically competitive.