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Rockford College teams up with Lutheran HS to teach advanced Spanish

Wednesday, August 18, 2010  
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For immediate release – 8/18/10
Contact: Pamela Kellen, Rockford Lutheran High School (815-877-9551) or Chuck Brown, Rockford College (815-226-3374)

When school starts at Rockford Lutheran High School today, some 18 students will take an advanced Spanish class taught by a Rockford College language professor. 

It’s part of a first-ever collaboration between the college and Lutheran, one the two schools view as a win-win situation. Students receive higher level instruction with the option for college credit through Rockford College. The college, meanwhile, solidifies its relationship with the high school and the opportunity to attract potential students.

All classes are being taught on-site at the high school by Dr. John Burns, assistant professor of modern and classical languages.

Carl Boburka, Lutheran’s academic dean, says the school is excited about the new relationship with the college and is hopeful other such collaborations can be developed.

"We believe our Spanish program will be enhanced because of this partnership and that our upper level students will be challenged to stretch their knowledge of the language,” he said. "It is our hope that this program will lead to other potential course offerings between RLHS and the college.”

Dual credit arrangements have been developed between many high schools and colleges so the concept is not new. But the fit has to be right, including compatible class schedules, availability of the professor, alignment of curriculum and other factors. In this case, says Boburka, the match was perfect.

Dr. Stephanie Quinn, Rockford College’s executive vice president and dean of the college, says the college appreciates the high school’s desire to work with it on the innovative partnership, especially since interest in foreign languages seems to be waning.

"It is a troubling national trend that in these times, when competence to work and live in a global environment is keenly needed, the study of foreign language is declining,” she said. "We hope this partnership, and perhaps others, will succeed and expand.”    

Rockford Lutheran High School is an accredited secondary school with more than 350 students offering exceptional instruction in grades 9-12. Rockford College is a four-year liberal arts college with more than 70 majors, minors and concentrations plus two graduate programs and was recently named one of the "Best in the Midwest” by the Princeton Review for the seventh consecutive year.       

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