Talawanda grads take to Miami
Published: Friday, September 27, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013 01:09
For some students, the journey to Miami University is a very short one. Every year, about 250 Talawanda High School (THS) students graduate right in Miami’s backyard.
The two schools have a special relationship that has evolved over the years, according to Holli Morrish, Talawanda School District (TSD) employee and co-chair of the Miami and Talawanda Partnership.
“Years ago, there was an open admission policy for Talawanda graduates,” Assistant Director of Admissions Ann Bader said. “But that has been gone for over ten years and Talawanda students are reviewed in exactly the same way as any other applicant in our pool.”
According to THS guidance counselor, Matt Smith, roughly 45 high school seniors in an average graduating class of about 250 apply to Miami.
“I’m glad there isn’t an open enrollment policy because, honestly, there are just too many students that aren’t academically ready,” Smith said. “It would be a waste of money and a waste of seats at Miami.”
“Forty-four percent of Talawanda graduates continue on to a four-year college, and twenty-two percent go on to a two-year school,” Morrish said.
Miami accepts around 60 percent of Talawanda’s applicants, which is 14 percent lower than Miami’s general acceptance rate.
Miami junior and Talawanda graduate Kathryn Leveline said she applied for Miami in the same manner as every other student.
“Yeah, I had to fill out all of the applications, do the essays, get all of the signatures, I did the whole process,” Leveline said. “Miami people came to our school to help, but they went to other schools too. I remember my mom saying that [Talawanda students] used to be able to just come here,” Leveline said. “But that went away forever ago.”
“Miami and Talawanda have had a formal relationship for over eleven years” Morrish said. “It is a positive experience, and no one says no when a good opportunity can be developed to bring good together.”
According to Morrish, Miami and Talawanda collaborate in numerous events designed to get Talawanda students thinking about the pursuit of a higher education.
Such programs include “Goals at the Court,” in which Talawanda students attend a Miami Women’s Basketball game, and “Goals for Life,” the follow-up program where the students return to Miami’s campus to have a more in-depth discussion about leadership.
“These programs are not only Talawanda programs, but also involve Miami groups, such as the education department and ROTC,” Morrish said. “These programs give mutually beneficial results, for instance, these programs give the Education majors an opportunity to work with children and build experience that they will need in their career pursuits.”
Morrish said Talawanda brings elementary through middle school students to Miami to have them exposed to the idea of college at an early age.
“Believe it or not, even though many students live ten, maybe fifteen miles away from the Miami campus, a lot of Talawanda students have never been on a college campus, and Miami gives them the chance to see how it works.” Morrish said.
Though all the programs take place on Miami’s campus and are co-sponsored by the university, it is not an incentive to come to Miami, Morrish said, but rather an incentive to go to college at all.