Rigorous High School Program To Expand At MDC-West

The School for Advanced Studies is coming to MDC-West this fall.

“We are very academic-centered,” said Omar Monteagudo, the principal of the School for Advanced Studies at a March 12 open house at MDC-West. The event was attended by about 100 prospective students and parents.  

The nationally acclaimed collegiate high school with programs at North, Kendall, Wolfson, and Homestead Campuses currently serves 600 students. The rigorous and prestigious program enrolls students during their last two years of high school. Participants take high school and college courses simultaneously allowing them to work toward their associates in arts degree and high school diploma. Many of the graduates continue their studies at high ranking universities like Yale and Princeton.

MDC-West will take 60 to 80 students in its first year. High school sophomores who have a 3.0 unweighted GPA, pass the Post Secondary Education Readiness Test and have a clean disciplinary standing are encouraged to apply. Among the requirements to stay in the program are maintaining a 3.0 high school unweighted GPA and a 2.0 in College classes.

“This program will open many doors for my son in the future,” said Luisana Parra, one of the parents at the session.

Miami Dade College has partnered with Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 28 years. This educational model is also available at other higher education institutions such as Florida International University, where it is called the Academy for Advanced Academics. The selection process is based upon a random lottery system, Monteagudo said.

Those enrolled can participate in most MDC organizations and also high school honor societies, such as the National Honor Society. Similarly, they can participate in sports teams at their local high schools.

“I like that we are taking college classes now, because when we graduate, it is not going to be a completely new transition,” said Leonardo Segura, a first-year SAS student from the Kendall Campus. “It’s nice being able to have the experience now.”

The application for the program is available on the SAS website www.mdc.edu/main/sas/ The deadline to submit it for the 2016-2017 academic year is April 29.

“Here’s the opportunity to take some brilliant kids to give them the chance to excel faster and really make a difference in the community,” said MDC-West President Roger Ramsammy.

Maria Vizcaino

Maria Elena Vizcaino, 20, is a mass communications/journalism major at MDC-West. Vizcaino, who graduated from Ronald W. Reagan Doral Senior High School in 2015, will serve as a briefing editor for The Reporter during the 2016 summer semester. She aspires to become an investigative print journalist.