ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Improving schools has been a hot-button issue in New Mexico, especially during the 2014 legislative session. Now there’s some encouraging news about a group of Albuquerque charter schools.
The Southwest Secondary Learning Centers have been recommended for re-accreditation by an external team, meaning they have been recognized for high standards in education.
There are a number of programs that got the stamp of approval from the accreditation review team. School staff say they hope those programs will become part of a model for other schools to follow.
Victoria Herron is one of those programs. She is a high school senior in a college classroom. In fact, she’s getting credit for both high school at southwest secondary school and college at Central New Mexico Community College.
“It’ll make the transition going to college much easier for me,” said Herron.
Southwest Secondary School has the most college-level courses attempted and completed in the whole state.
Thanks to the dual learning program, Herron will be able to enter college as a sophomore. But she’s in the minority.
Recent data shows 51 percent of the state’s high school students need remedial courses in college.
However, with the dual-learning program, school officials see a way to prepare students early.
“Colleges now know they aren’t taking a risk with a student, that this student is coming prepared and can do the work,” Scott Glasrud of Southwest Learning Centers.
Another program noticed by the accreditation review team is the smart lab, where students work on high tech projects like building robots. It’s just another program that has gotten the students interested in college and beyond.
“If anyone asks me to build a robot in the future, sure, yeah, I can do it,” said student Hailey Sullivan.
“I’m just driven to succeed and push myself as far as I can go,” said Herron.
The next round of accreditation is in five years.