Pikes Peak Prep has been approved to launch a new innovative program this fall that is geared to serve young adults who wish to complete their high school career AND go to college. Pikes Peak Prep, an eight year old Colorado Springs public charter school located near downtown, will offer students who are high school aged up to age 21, the opportunity to attend high school classes from 5-9 each evening to earn their high school degree AND will pay tuition for students to enroll in Pikes Peak Community College and/or other local higher education institutions, as well as cover the cost of the college textbooks.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to provide families of Colorado Springs this additional option to complete their high school degree AND go to college. College is very expensive and for many students, it’s just a dream. We think our new program will open doors to hundreds of Colorado Springs students and help make dreams a reality,” Walt Glover, president of the school board said.

“We believe the program that is planned by Pikes Peak Prep will meet an unmet need in the community,” said Ethan Hemming, executive director of the Charter School Institute. “A big part of CSI’s mission is to support innovative approaches to helping at risk populations complete high school and go to college. We’re glad to see Pikes Peak Prep’s board take on this additional effort.”

The new program, Pikes Peak Middle College, will provide wrap around student support services and assist students in getting child care while they attend PPMC, assist them in finding housing, jobs, and other supports as necessary. The school will hire student support specialists to work every day to help students be successful. The program is more of a dropout prevention program than a recovery program as it seeks to serve students who have life changing experiences that prevent them from continuing to attend traditional day-time high schools. It is modeled after a new program recently launched in Gary, Indiana by the Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation (GEO). GEO supports the development of Pikes Peak Prep.

Pikes Peak Middle College will start with 100 students this fall and grow to serve 400 over the next 5 years. Pikes Peak Prep, a K-12 charter school, recently added 16 new classrooms to its Costilla campus. Pikes Peak Middle College will use Pikes Peak Prep’s high school classrooms as well as the school’s computer labs, desks, and on-line curriculum during the evenings and weekends.