Shorecrest opens program for teens graduating high school but not ready for college

Teens who are graduating from other schools and not ready for college are going to Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg for a gap year.

"This is designed for students who feel like they’ve missed out on their high school experience and for those who feel like they’re not ready to go off to college," says Nancy Spencer, head of school.

Spencer says across the nation, closed classrooms and distance learning were setbacks and some college-bound seniors felt the effects.

"What excites me about this is it’s really an opportunity to change the trajectory of a student’s life," says Spencer. "It’s an opportunity to get back a year he or she may have missed."

It’s for graduates of schools other than Shorecrest. The tuition is nearly $27,000, but students will get a year of rigorous academics, including advanced placement courses, and a school community colleges look at.

"Because don’t forget, an admissions officer is not only considering your academics, but they’re also considering your core [curricula], what value you add to your community. So we invite these students to join our community and dive into it," says Tiffany Blessing, director of college counseling at Shorecrest.

"This is another way to not stand still, but to move in a direction they really want to explore," says Blessing.

Gap year students will start and finish with Shorecrest seniors next school year. They’ll receive post-graduate certificates.