UNO President Peter J. Fos Launches Advisory Committee of Area High School Administrators

University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos launched today an advisory committee of high school principals who will help the University to attract and retain talented top students and to prepare those students for their journeys through higher education.

“As we work to ensure that our students receive a quality, complete education in high school, we must also provide adequate preparation for higher education,” said Fos in an invitation to area high schools. “We at the University of New Orleans want to be a capable, enthusiastic partner on this journey."

The newly initiated advisory committee will introduce high school students to UNO’s top academic programs, as well as identify the needs of area high school students and how UNO can best help them to reach their full potential, Fos said. The committee will meet on campus each spring and fall, establishing a network of local leaders who will stay connected to and advise the university.

Joining Fos today at a luncheon in the presidential dining room were top administrators from Archbishop Rummel High School, Benjamin Franklin High School, Cabrini High School, Crescent City Christian School, De La Salle High School, Ecole Classique, Holy Cross High School, Metairie Park Country Day School, Mount Carmel Academy, New Orleans Charter Science and Math Academy, Academy of the Sacred Heart, St. Martin’s Episcopal School, St. Mary’s Academy and Xavier Preparatory Academy.

Also present were Carlen McLin, executive assistant to the president; Brett Kemker, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management; Dave Meredith, director of admissions and Kevin McLin, vice president of communications, marketing and public relations. The University’s top administrators were on hand to speak about UNO’s academic programs, admissions process and other opportunities.

Expected Outcomes

Fos said that in establishing a High School Advisory Committee, he aims first to provide area high school administrators an opportunity to see UNO’s campus, meet university leaders and learn more about University programs, so that they may “bring the information back to guidance counselors to let them know that UNO should be an option that is high on the list of their students.”

The University also aims to help provide high schools in the greater New Orleans area with opportunities for faculty development, such as workshops, participation in UNO academic programs or other educational efforts, Fos said.

“Dual credit programs” are newly state-funded in Louisiana, allowing UNO to work with area high schools to develop programs that will enable high school juniors and seniors to earn both high school credit and UNO college credit by taking special courses designed and led by UNO faculty, Fos said.

Today, he let administrators know that UNO faculty are willing to partner with or train eligible high school faculty to teach these courses at the high school or on UNO’s campus. To be eligible to teach or jointly lead a UNO class, a high school faculty member would need 18 credits in that discipline or a master’s degree in that discipline.

“Students would be able to stay on their high school campus and earn both high school and college credit -- the State of Louisiana pays for it,” Fos said. “That’s where it’s to our benefit: if we identify some of their students, they may get master’s degrees or Ph.D. degrees from here.”

UNO would select the teachers and courses, the president said. Deans and departmental chairs would determine requirements and approve courses. SACS-eligible faculty members will teach the courses, said Fos, adding that the advancement would potentially allow 20 to 25 high school students to pursue a college course on their own high school campus.

Finally, the president said, the High School Advisory Committee “will be an opportunity for these principals to sit and teach to talk to each other about issues that they might have that we can either help them with or not. So it gets them a bigger network. To some people, that’s the best advantage. To me, it rounds up what we’re really trying to do – we’re trying to get ideas on how to best serve their students and our community. That’s the whole purpose.”