Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) has come a long way since February 2003 when its founders met in a downtown basement to dream about how to better support first-generation students in Dayton, Ohio.
This week, Ohio Governor John Kasich chose seven Ohio schools to recognize for leading the way in innovation. Governor Kasich held up DECA as a model for a curriculum that weaves together college preparation and work experience, according to The Dayton Daily News.
As an early college, students at DECA have the opportunity to take college courses and earn up to 60 college credit hours before graduating from high school. DECA opened in fall 2003 as a partnership between Dayton Public Schools and the University of Dayton – six months after the founding faculty originally met in that basement.
Now, more than 10 years later, DECA has over 1,100 students and nearly 100 percent of graduates are attending or have graduated from college. The school focuses on providing an opportunity for first-generation urban students to go to college. Since its inception, DECA students have:
Earned over 5,000 college credit hours while in high school