His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, inaugurated today DWC High School, the 1st Hybrid School in the MENA area technologically designed for maximum student achievement.
The Dubai Women’s College High School for girls will be an independent educational institution located on Dubai Women’s Collge (DWC) campus and taking advantage of its world class facilities.
With the mission of creating an outstanding school where each student’s full potential is developed by using a combination of engaging face-to-face instruction and individualized online learning, DWC High School will open for Emirati and Non-Emirati students from grade 9 – 12. “The enrollment period will begin in early January for incoming 9th grade students because this is a new technologically supported model, starting with 9th graders will allow the students to fully benefit from the entire program. It will also allow an extra year of English immersion in an aggressive academic program,” Jeff said.
DWC High School will be 1st Hybrid School in the MENA area; which combines the best elements of face to face and virtual education. The students will work at their own pace but with staff to assist them. The social elements are enhanced as non-learning time is minimized and students are more collaborative in their task accomplishment while together. The face to face element also provides an opportunity to build a community and culture of futuristic learners and leaders.
Dr. Howard Reed, Director of DWC, said that there are many universities and colleges around the world that run very successful high schools on their campuses. “Dubai Women’s College is proud and excited to be opening DWC High School, in partnership with K-12 from the USA. The first cohort of 9th graders will be in September 2012. This will be a prototype blended learning school that will give talented female students the opportunity to prepare for an ambitious educational future. It will also provide a much needed new model of secondary education in Dubai,” he pointed out.
Dubai Women’s College High School will be the first of its kind in many ways: it’ll be the first high school operating on the campus of a college or university in the region; the first hybrid high school in the MENA region offering a blended learning model which combines the advantages of technically advanced online education with face-to-face education; through this model, DWC High School is the first school to present an expanded choice of subjects and to allow the students to move at their own pace with individualized tuition.
Jeff Herr, Head of DWC High School said that the vision of DWC High School is to create the best learning environment for young women that best prepares them to be leaders for the future.
It’s worth mentioning that DWC High School is collaboration between Dubai Women’s College (DWC) and K12 Middle East FZ LLC who decided to launch a hybrid high school in support of the UAE Ministry of Education 2010-2020 strategic initiatives. “Presently 96% of students graduating from public high schools in the UAE are not ready for University – creating a dilemma where 1/3 of the higher education budgets are spent on University Prep courses. The Ministry has mandated the inclusion of University Preparation courses in the high school curriculum, thus producing university-ready high school graduates,” commented Jeff.
The DWC High School curriculum will have three components: The U.A.E. Ministry of Education curriculum which is used for Arabic, Islamic Studies, and Social Studies courses as required by the U.A.E. Ministry of Education; the K12 International Academy curriculum which is a proprietary award-winning curriculum utilizing online and offline content to enhance learning and optimize academic achievement; and DynEd Hybrid ESL which is an English as a Second Language course designed to be delivered as a hybrid program. The curricular foundation of the K12 International Academy curriculum is developed from the best curriculums around the world and is designed to help the student to become academically competitive globally. This will involve hands-on materials, including textbooks, CDs, videos, and hands-on manipulatives, complement online interactive elements of the overall schooling experience to cater to different learning styles and to maximize the learning objectives.
Jamie Stewart, Dean of Business, Education and Learning Resources at DWC. Said that using a mastery-based approach to the key subject areas of English, Math, and Science, the curriculum is technologically designed to maximize student achievement. “Using a well-developed curriculum management system, students are able to progress at their own pace. They must demonstrate a strong understanding of basic concepts before proceeding ensuring that they have the foundational knowledge to take on higher learning. The technology and the instructional design that helps to make this happen is what makes DWC High School very unique,” he pointed out.
The core curriculum will be provided by K12 which is accredited by all US regional accreditation bodies and Advanced (International Accreditation). It is expected that the high school will meet all requirements of both the Ministry of Education and the local educational authority. Students graduating from DWC High School will be given both an American high school diploma as well as a local equivalency diploma.