Central College gives local high school students a chance at college

Central College, Early Support program gives local high school students a chance at college 

Central College prepares high school students, who were not originally college bound, for college

 May 14, 2016, 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

News Facts:

  • In January 2015, Central College was chosen by the Pennsylvania Educational Research Foundation to participate in a 4-year, long distance remedial education program called Early Support. The program partnered Central College with local high schools to help young students develop skills in web based training and writing for college and career readiness.
  • Faculty and academic counselors at the participating high schools nominated 100 high school seniors who they believed would benefit from the program. English is the second language for approximately 25 percent of the students.
  • Central College is the only institution to award participants with financial aid to successful program participants. 
  • The selected students placed below average on a sample SAT test, but were believed by faculty to be able to benefit from remedial education programs in writing, history and computing as well as individualized attention in other subjects.
  • Central College faulty from the English, Communication and Computer Departments taught participants through interactive classrooms allowing students to communicate online with Central College professors regularly. 
  • By the end of the year, the average SAT scores of students increased by 200 points over their previous score. 
  • The 200-point increase in students’ SAT scores was sufficient for 85 percent of seniors in the program to be accepted by an institution participating in the program.
  • Participating institutions include: Carnegie Mellon University, Central College, Pennsylvania University, Pennsylvania State University and Temple University.  
  • The Early Start Program is jointly funded by the Pennsylvania Educational Research Foundation (PERF) and the Pennsylvania Board of Education. 


  • Central College President, available for interview: “The faculty has had such a positive impact on the local students in our community,” said Central College President, Leon C. DeWitt when asked about the Early Support program.  “Central College is honored to have been a part of this program, and we plan to continue our participation as long as the program exists.”
  • Early Support participant: “I just worked hard. I listened to what the professors had to say, and applied the study tips they gave me. For the first time in my life, I’m proud of my work at school,” Maria Joy said. Joy excelled in the program and increased her SAT score my 350 points. “I can’t wait to see what college has in store for me. I hope to one day become a teacher, just like the ones who inspired me to work hard and continue my education,” Joy said.
  • Early Support faculty member: “Maria is just one of the many success stories we witnessed while participating in the program,” said Central College English professor, Carrie Hunt. We [Central College faculty] always tried to make it about the students. Getting to know them and their story, we truly became invested in their growth.” 


Please contact me for more information or to set up an interview with Central College President, Leon C. DeWitt. 

Aine Dowdall, Central College Public Relations Director


Where to find us:


Twitter: @CentralCollege


Tweet: @CentralCollege now offers remedial classes to high school students who aren't yet college bound #EducationForAll

Central College is a private, non-denominational liberal arts college founded in 1902 to provide quality education to the citizens of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Central College was the first institution of higher education in Pittsburgh. Today, we enroll more than 4,000 full-time students at our main campus in Pittsburgh and an additional 825 at our campus annex in Philadelphia. In addition, more than 1,200 students also participate annually in our part-time, evening and weekend seminar programs. Our university is the leading institution for cutting-edge technology in software development and systems design. We are committed to providing our students with an inclusive and diverse environment that will better our community, nation and the world.  For more information about Central College, visit


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