Updated: July 14, 2014 6:39AM
Students at Morgan Park High School will have the opportunity to take college courses under a new program with St. Xavier University.
The Southwest Side school is partnering with the university as part of the Chicago Public Schools’ International Baccalaureate program, allowing juniors and seniors to take college-level courses at St. Xavier if they are eligible, starting next fall, it was announced Thursday at SXU’s Chicago campus.
Morgan Park Principal Carolyn Epps said the program will help put the 98-year-old high school “over the top” for the quality education it provides.
“We are going to be, once again, the premier school on the far south side of Chicago,” Epps said, adding that about 85 percent of the school’s students get accepted to four-year colleges.
A coordinated effort such as this partnership offers the best possible future for the students, teachers and schools in the city, said Chicago Public Schools chief executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett.
“We believe there is no downside in this partnership,” Bennett said.
Two years ago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a major expansion of CPS’ International Baccalaureate program. Similar partnerships have been established between DePaul University and Lake View High School and between Loyola University and Senn High School.
Applications to the program and its enrollment have “taken off like fire,” Emanuel said Thursday. “This is just one milestone on a long road to success.”