CVSD Partners with Local Higher Ed to Offer AA Degree at UHS with CVHS & RHS to follow

Additional information on the new CVSD AA-DTA Degree in the HS program can be found at

The CVSD School Board approved this program at their May 7, 2024 special board meeting. View the CVSD School Board presentation or recording.

Thanks to a new partnership with Eastern Washington University (EWU) and Community Colleges of Spokane (CSS), incoming freshmen at University High School (UHS) in CVSD will have a new college pathway option available this fall. CVSD will expand to Central Valley High School and Ridgeline High School for the 2025-2026 school year with similar programs.

This collaboration weaves together educational offerings that provide high school students the opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts Direct Transfer Agreement (AA-DTA) degree at their high school campus. Previously, high school students could earn EWU credits through College in the High School, or attend courses on Spokane Community College (SCC) or Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC) campuses to earn an associate degree in conjunction with their high school diploma. This new opportunity will provide students the flexibility to remain on their high school campus and participate in the daily activities of their high school community while pursuing a college-level degree.

“I’m thrilled our ideas merged into this new partnership. It provides a great option for our CVSD students who want to earn their two-year college degree yet stay at their own high school campus,” said CVSD Superintendent John Parker. “Providing a variety of pathways to college better serves the needs of all of our students—regardless of their socioeconomic status or readiness and ability to traverse to a college campus.”

CCS Chancellor Kevin Brockbank agreed, noting, “This partnership benefits everyone because it gives students choices and removes barriers for high school students who may not be able to navigate transportation challenges to easily attend community college classes at our campuses. Some students are eager to go off-site, but others want to stay at their high schools.”

EWU already offers College in the High School with credentialed high school instructors at all three CVSD comprehensive high schools. These courses would comprise two-thirds of the required courses in the AA-DTA degree. The remaining one-third of courses would be taught online by faculty from SCC. Students who complete the program would graduate with both their high school degree and an AA-DTA degree from SCC, in this instance. An AA-DTA guarantees a student will enter a Washington state public university as a junior, with their general education credits complete.

“Eastern is proud to continue our longstanding community partnerships with our local school districts and the Community Colleges of Spokane,” EWU President Shari McMahan shared. “As a regional public university, expanding access to higher education is a cornerstone of our mission, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this innovative opportunity for high school students to get a head start toward completing a four-year degree program.”

The AA-DTA that will be offered onsite at UHS will be a good fit for students who plan to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, rather than a Bachelor of Science degree. It will focus on social science classes instead of lab science or advanced math courses. Students seeking a four-year degree in science, mathematics, allied health or technology will either want to wait until graduation or attend Running Start classes during their junior and senior year at SCC or SFCC. There is a potential that yet-to-be-developed programs at Central Valley High School or Ridgeline High School could contain a STEM focus. Plans will need to be individually tailored at each school based on their unique teacher qualifications.

The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) reviewed this new program. “This program will tear down barriers for each and every student within Central Valley and Spokane who wants to engage in advanced coursework and graduate from high school with an associate degree,” said State Superintendent Chris Reykdal. “This initiative is a testament to the courageous leadership of Central Valley School District, Community Colleges of Spokane, and Eastern Washington University, and I hope we will soon see similar opportunities for students across our state.”

These local partnerships are a win-win for the Spokane community as well as its workforce in helping get young adults into the workforce sooner than usual.

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