NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 20, 2023) – Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) today announced a partnership with the National Education Equity Lab (Ed Equity Lab), an education justice nonprofit that delivers college-credit bearing courses from top universities to historically underserved communities around the country. This revolutionary collaboration with Ed Equity Lab, the first of its kind in the state, aims to enhance the academic journey of MNPS students by offering them a chance to enroll in college-level courses, at no cost, while still in high school.
Starting this fall, pilot programs have been launched at Maplewood High School and Antioch High School. Maplewood is offering an environmental science dual enrollment course in partnership with Howard University. Antioch is offering a computer science course in conjunction with Stanford University. Like all dual enrollment courses, the credits earned will be designed to be transferable to other universities.
“Metro Nashville Public Schools is deeply committed to equity and excellence, and this groundbreaking partnership with the National Education Equity Lab will unlock incredible opportunities for our students,” said MNPS Director Dr. Adrienne Battle. “We aim to show our students—many of whom come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds—that higher education is not only attainable but also achievable. Through this initiative, we expect to see an uptick in the number of MNPS graduates attending colleges locally and nationwide.”
“Our work is rooted in the idea that while talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not. We aim to change that — by providing scholars in high schools nationwide with the access and support to succeed in rigorous courses from the country’s top colleges,” said Leslie Cornfeld, Founder and CEO of the National Education Equity Lab. “By pioneering this education justice effort in the state of Tennessee, MNPS is setting a precedent for what is possible when schools and universities work collaboratively to break down barriers to higher education.”
Founded in 2019, the National Education Equity Lab aims to democratize access to higher education by collaborating with leading colleges and universities to provide, and support, professor-led college-level courses in Title 1 high school classrooms across the country. To date, the Lab has served nearly 15,000 students in 134 cities across 30 states. More than 80% of participating scholars who complete their courses achieve a passing grade, earning transferable college credits and a university transcript.
Maplewood High School and Antioch High School are the first MNPS schools to partner with the Lab. The initial offering for this semester has enrolled a select group of students into the pilot programs.
This state-of-the-art educational model is made possible through the generosity and vision of community sponsors and supporters who believe in the potential of our young scholars to excel in college and beyond.
“By harnessing the power of this innovative partnership, Metro Nashville Public Schools is setting the stage for a future where all students have the resources, opportunities, and support they need to achieve their best potential in higher education and their careers,” concluded Dr. Battle.
The Ed Equity Lab partnership falls under the umbrella of the University MNPS initiative launched by Dr. Battle to strengthen relationships with colleges and universities to provide students with early post-secondary course access and preparation and opportunities for full-tuition scholarships for post-secondary success, along with programs to provide mentorship, early teaching contracts, and support resources to set students up for success in college and beyond.
Previously announced University MNPS partnerships include Tennessee State University, Lipscomb University, Belmont University, Nashville State Community College, and Fisk University, which offer MNPS students full-tuition scholarships in various fields of study, from business and education to health sciences.