A laboratory school run by Florida State University is so sure its students will be prepared for college, graduates will soon come backed by a warranty of sorts.
Starting with the class of 2002, the Florida State University School has pledged to foot the bill for college-level remedial courses if its graduates require extra help in reading, writing, or mathematics.
Thanks to the Tallahassee school's new three-course vocational requirement, students will also leave the school with state, federal, or corporate certification in either health, technology education, computing, or food and hospitality management.
"The idea is that you won't leave here without something to open the doors," said Glenn Thomas, the director of the 1,050-student lab school. "Every child will be ready for college when they leave here. If they work, they can work flipping burgers or they can use their certification."
To meet the goal in four years, the K-12 public school will strengthen its science, math, and foreign-language requirements and make the school day longer for both high school and middle school students. Career exploration will begin in the early grades, and all high school students will be required to take college-entrance examinations.
The 141-year-old school, founded as the Florida Institute, is seeking grant money to help pay for the extra faculty and classroom space required for the new initiative, Mr. Thomas said.
"We are a research school," he said. "We're supposed to be out in front, taking the risks that other public officials can't take."
Students accepted into to the international-studies program at the University of Denver will soon get word of their admission into graduate school before they even finish high school.
The university's graduate school of international studies is guaranteeing admission to high school seniors who enroll in its undergraduate program and meet grade requirements throughout their undergraduate careers.
Students in the "4+1" program can avoid having to take graduate-admissions tests and a second year of graduate school by maintaining a 3.5 grade point average in international studies, keeping a 3.2 overall average, and taking graduate-level courses in their junior and senior years, said Arthur Gilbert, an international-studies professor and the director of the undergraduate program.
Shaving a year off the two-year graduate program will save students at least $17,500 in tuition, Mr. Gilbert said.
--JESSICA L. SANDHAMjsandham@epe.org