Elizabethton High School partners with ETSU with Bartleby program

Published 8:10 am Wednesday, December 19, 2018

As a program grows, so too do its sponsors, and Elizabethton High School’s Bartleby program is no exception, adding another university to the list of institutions it is partnering with.

Elizabethton High School signed into another partnership for its Bartleby learning program Monday, this time with East Tennessee State University.

Corey Gardenhour, director of city schools, said such partnerships help students recognize their own strengths.

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The partnership includes guaranteed admission into the university as long as the student earns the Bartleby seal on their high school diploma, in addition to several different scholarships students can apply for.

“The relationships these students from within our program will keep students in our area,” Gardenhour said. “We want to make connections with students and universities.”

Maggie Donnellan, Community Partners Coordinator for the Bartleby program, said the partnership is only the beginning of ETSU’s relationship with the school.

“The university will be offering discounted Dual Enrollment courses,” Donnellan said. “Kids have to complete certain courses in order to graduate with the seal, and we have been adding classes since the program started.”

The program has recently signed a similar agreement with Tusculum University a few weeks ago, and Donnellan said the program aims to recruit more universities in the future.

“There are a lot of great college choices around here,” Gardenhour said. “The biggest challenge is overcoming that first bit of financial aid for the first year.”

He said the Bartleby program and its university partnerships are working to make high school more applicable to the students’ futures and make them more college-ready.

“We are trying to re-imagine high school,” he said. “Instead of just viewing ACT scores, people are moving to a more holistic view of students. […] We want to create opportunities for students to succeed.”

Donnellan said there are currently between 35 and 40 students in this year’s graduating class who are in Bartleby, but the program is not limited to those students, as Bartleby organizes a variety of classes that anyone can take. She said they are currently working on opening a required class for all seniors.

“The program reaches all students at some point,” she said.

ETSU echoed EHS’s sentiment, saying the partnership allows their common goals to align more closely.

“ETSU supports and shares the values of the Bartleby program and is excited to offer opportunities to the outstanding students on the pathway to success,” ETSU’s Vice President for Student Affairs Bert Bach said.