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5 Chicago High Schools To Begin Offering Associate's Degrees

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel is joining Chicago Public Schools officials, the City Colleges of Chicago, and corporate leaders in unveiling beefed up plans for five new high schools that could also offer their students community college degrees.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the emphasis is on technology.

Emanuel said, with help from IBM, the city will have five so-called "early college STEM schools" – high schools focused on science, technology, engineering and math – where students could also get a two-year associate's degree.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports


Last October, IBM gave $400,000 a Challenge Grant to Chicago to create five STEM high schools and draw up plans for six-year high schools where students can get an associate's degree after finishing high school.

The mayor said, in addition to IBM guiding curriculum at one school, students at other schools would get help from Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Motorola and Verizon Wireless.

"They'll get mentoring, internships, and opportunities at jobs. It's in coordination between the Chicago Public Schools with the community colleges, although, also we're also going to be inviting in four-year institutions in the area," Emanuel said.

The schools are in different areas of the city and will welcome their freshman classes in September.

Matt Blakely with Motorola said the degrees could lead to jobs.

"Not only will these schools allow Chicago Public Schools to make sure that the skills being taught are the ones that employers need, but it's going to help develop the direct links between employers who have the jobs and the students who are coming out of the system," Blakely said.

The five new high schools will be located at: Lake View High School, 4015 N. Ashland Av.; George H. Corliss High School, 821 E. 103rd St.; Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School, 5101 W. Harrison Av.; Chicago Vocational Career Academy High School, 2100 E. 87th St.; and a new Southwest Side high school being built at 7651 S. Homan Av.

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