• What does it cost to go to TCHS?

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    Nothing! TCHS is a public high school. Other than some specific program items you might need (like a uniform or some tools), you will not pay anything to attend TCHS.

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  • Can I go to college?

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    We can't say it enough - yes!  While the old stigma is that you either go to tech school, or to college, that has all changed. Not only can you earn college credits while at TCHS, with the classes you're already taking for high school, but seventy-five percent of our graduates go on to post-secondary education. Our alumni tell us that TCHS prepared them for college more than any other class in high school - they knew what they wanted to study for a career, so they didn't change their major and go back and forth between paths. This can save you time, money and stress as a student!
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  • Can 9th graders attend?

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    We take any and all students, in any grade, that the districts will allow to come. Districts, at this time, are not typically sending 9th graders.

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  • If a student comes in 11th grade, will he/she be behind other students who started in 9th or 10th?

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    No. There is an overall scope and sequence that students go through to complete the program, but we have students work on what they are ready for. In Commercial Graphic Arts, for example, the teacher has 10th through 12th grade learners; there are 3-4 students working on one thing, another small set working on another, etcetera. This is one of the things that makes our teachers special: because we are so project-based, teachers can customize to where different pods of students are in the curriculum.
     
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  • How do students get to TCHS and back to their home school?

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    Transportation is provided by your home school district; they will provide a bus that goes back and forth. Each day your school is open, we're open; if there is an inservice or snow day, we coordinate changes in transportation with the sending school.
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  • Can students drive here?

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    We do not have a lot of parking, but some students do need to drive here, so we make accommodations on an as-needed basis. For students on co-op, they may need their car to get to work. There's a hierarchy of allowing students to drive, but we can work with you on your specific needs.

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  • How much school time will I be missing?

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    None - this is school! Only TCHS offers a lot more than your high school electives. Woodshop at your high school might take you one semester; in our program, you will study this trade for 2-3 years and become certified through the standards of the industry. Some students will also choose to take their academics here; this might be because the student has difficulty fitting classes they need into their schedule. Others just swap their electives for classes here. The way each schedule is created is based on the students needs.
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  • Is there homework?

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    It depends on the program. Our programs aren't traditional education classrooms; some do have an academic, theory portion that requires reading and writing assignments. But others are strictly about the hands-on components, which happen in the lab at school. So there may be homework, or there may be just in-class work.
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  • Do you have tutoring?

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    Yes! We have a learning support center here, so we deliver support faster than you can ask for it - that's a promise!

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  • Is there a longer school day here?

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    No. We stay within the local high schools' school days. At Downingtown West, for example, you would arrive at TCHS Brandywine at 11:45AM on the bus, and you are there until about 2PM, when you dismiss to your bus back to Downingtown. This gets you back in time to play a sport, or to catch the DWHS bus home.

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  • I thought I heard you offer online courses. How can I take one of those?

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    Under the CCIU organization that runs TCHS, we have access to an online K-12 school called Brandywine Virtual Academy (BVA). BVA allows students to take online classes for any core or elective subjects that they can't fit into their schedule once they add TCHS. For example, a 4th year of a language, or a last year of P/E and Health, might be tough to fit in. If you are in a situation where coming to TCHS may not be possible with a class you have to take to graduate, then the first course you take online with us will be subsidized by TCHS, in order to make TCHS possible for you. If you have any barriers like this, email us at admissions@cciu.org.
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  • Can I still play sports, or be in the band?

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    Yes! Your bus will get you back to school on time for any after-school activities. If you are in an ensemble that meets during the day, we'll work with your guidance counselor to be sure your schedule includes what you need.
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  • Where can I learn more about student activities? I'm not familiar with SkillsUSA?

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    SkillsUSA has 250,000 student participants across the country, and every student at TCHS is automatically a member. This nationally recognized organization is all about professionalism, job skills, problem-solving skills, and collaboration. Each TCHS program offers a chance for their students to compete with other SkillsUSA students - first in the building, then in the region, then at states, then at nationals. Our Commercial & Graphic Arts team came in third in the country in 2013! To learn more about SkillsUSA or the other clubs we organize (DECA, HOSA, etc.), reach out to admissions@cciu.org. We will connect you with the advisor of that program at your local campus.
     
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  • Will I get to experience working in the field?

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    All students are required to spend some time in the field doing a job-shadow. Some students also participate in a co-op opportunity, where work is performed during the school day at an on-site, real-world workplace and counts toward your course hours.

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  • Scholarships - what are they based on? Can anyone get one? Are there limits per class?

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    Our guidance counselors administer a great scholarship program, with donors from all over the county. We give approximately 20-25 scholarships each year - not all are a full-ride to college, of course, but all scholarships provide several thousand dollars toward college. Being a part of a student youth organization, such as SkillsUSA, can also qualify students for scholarships. Usually, it is not based upon need; it is based on achievements and accomplishments at TCHS.

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  • What if I technically go to one campus, but another campus offers a program I want?

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    If you aren't in one of the districts closest to the campus you'd like to attend, you have the right to come here. Contact admissions@cciu.org, and we'll start working right away to find the solution to transportation, scheduling, and other challenges - they can be overcome!
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  • What happens if a student applies for one program, attends for a while, then would like to switch?

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    Yes, absolutely. Students that come here in 10th grade often have an idea of what they want; many, though, are unsure. We will administer a career test to help those students choose a program that might be best suited to their interests. We also provide shadow opportunities in the school, so students can visit for a day and see if they like the classroom, program, and activities. You can email admissions@cciu.org to arrange for this visit. However, after a year - or even a marking period - if a student decides he/she wants a change, we will send him/her to one of our guidance counselors to decide what the best path is for them.

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  • What is the fitness center for at TCHS Brandywine?

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    It is for our students who take Physical Education here; our faculty and staff to use; and is also a part of some of our programs, such as Criminal Justice.
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  • I am hopelessly torn between two different programs that I love. Could I study in both?

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    We would do what is best for you, but for some programs (like Cosmetology), in order to obtain a certificate or license, you need hundreds of hours of study and experience, which can only be achieved in more than one year at TCHS. Other programs have similar certifications, and you want the maximum amount of time to achieve that level of expertise. Our best advice, after years of helping steer students toward a career they love, is that you like both programs equally, so chances are you will be happy in both. Pick one program knowing that you'll have no regrets, and stick with it all the way through, so you can truly take advantage of all the opportunities it offers.

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  • Is there an average student-to-teacher ratio?

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    It varies from class to class. As you can imagine, some of our best classes are some of our most popular classes. Criminal Justice at TCHS Brandywine, for example, has 30 to 35 students in each section! But in those cases, we have teachers and assistants to help those teachers; the ratio isn't low, but we give them the supports that they need. When a class roster gets too large, we do cut off the program (that's why it is important to apply early!), but it is important for us to accommodate as many students as we can. Other programs have small classes; our Marketing Program, for example, is a new program, so it has a smaller roster that is on the rise.
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  • If I'm not accepted, what can I do?

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    Admission is based on several factors, including grades, attendance, behavior, and your application. Sometimes students are not accepted for one or more of those reasons, but we work with school counselors to offer opportunities for the following year or the next semester, and we offer parameters that your child can work to meet to be accepted in the future.

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