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Buffalo charter school starts early college program

Ryan Zunner

Students at one local charter school will have a new program to take advantage of that will give them a leg up on college before even graduating high school.

The Early College and Career Pathways Partnership allows students at Buffalo’s Charter School for Applied Technologies a chance to dual-enroll at SUNY Buffalo State or SUNY Erie to earn up to 55 college credits.

CSAT Assistant Principal Brett Lutterbein said the program will introduce students of all backgrounds to higher education.

“We believe that this program, the vision for this program, will be a catalyst for equity in Western New York by providing college level coursework, exposure to careers in the Buffalo community,” said Lutterbein. “This is ultimately a game-changer for our school community.” 

Academic areas the partnership focuses on include health and human services, business, communications, and manufacturing.

SUNY Erie Interim President William Reuter said CSAT students dual-enrolled will take classes with no cost. 

“SUNY Erie partnerships with K through 12, sector businesses, community leaders and college partners are key to improving student performance and career readiness,” said Reuter. “These pivotal collaborations will strengthen awareness and create seamless transitions from high school to college, and from college to career.” 

While many students may end up pursuing a full associate or bachelor’s degree with their earned credits, Principal Lutterbein said dual-enrolling can be just as beneficial if that isn’t a goal. With non-degree certificates and professional internships serving as another avenue for success.

Ryan Zunner joined WBFO in the summer of 2018 as an intern, before working his way up to reporter the following summer.
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