As Eastern continues to expand the St. Davids campus, the institution is also growing into other areas of education.
The Eastern University Academy has been in the works for the past five years, although a home for the program has yet to be found.
Former Eastern communications professor Dr. Susan Ward is now the curriculum specialist for EUA. She explains that EUA’s goal is to combine the goals of two other organizations, the Big Picture and Early College High School. The Big Picture Company is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and the goal is to educate students with personalized learning. Early College High School is a national organization with approximately 200 schools nationwide, according to Yvonne Turner, the program director for EUA.
While schools exist that are purely Big Picture or purely Early College High School, this area does not have a school that intertwines these two organizations. EUA hopes to be the first.
According to Ward, high school students have the opportunity to earn up to 60 college credits in an Early College High School by the time they graduate high school. This would be equivalent to completing the first two years of college in high school, thus saving a lot of money and time.
When the Academy project began five years ago, the intention was to open a charter school or to create a new school. Since then, the intention has switched to converting an existing school.
The current proposal is for Motivation High School at 78th street and Buist Avenue in Philadelphia. Motivation is a city-wide admission school, meaning that any student in Philadelphia can decide to go there for free, but they need to find their own transportation.
If Motivation is converted to the Eastern University Academy, most likely the entire school will become the project. According to Turner, the students at Motivation seem up for the transition.
“The whole idea behind this project is serving the underserved,” Ward said, making the mission of EUA fit within the mission of Eastern University.