Tech Collegiate High School to open Aug. 28
The high school is on the USU Innovation
Campus. / Photo by Jason Givens
By Jason Givens
July 27, 2006 | This fall, high school students in the
Cache, Logan, Box Elder and Rich school districts will
have an opportunity to attend one of a nationally growing
number of early college high schools.
The school which is on Utah State University's Innovation
Campus, will open Aug. 28 and is called the In Tech
Collegiate High School. It is one of six such schools
in Utah. According to the Early
College High School Initiative Web site, as of September
2005 there were 71 early college high schools nationwide
with 166 anticipated by 2011.
"I'm real excited," said Steve Zsiray, principal
of In Tech Collegiate High School. "It's about
giving kids a choice, parents and kids need to have
According to Zsiray the school will, in addition to
meeting all state requirements for high school graduation,
focus on engineering, science and math. He added that
it's not a traditional high school; participants will
be "thinking outside the box" using a lot
of online and experimental teaching methods.
"Kids at the high school level
need to explore more," he said.
Zsiray said a planning grant from the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation paid for training and part of the building.
The Gates Foundation is a charitable organization created
in 2000, which, according to its Web
site, was created by Bill and Melinda Gates"to
help reduce inequities in the United States and around
The foundation is "committed to raising the high
school graduation rate and helping all students-regardless
of race or family income-graduate as strong citizens
ready for college and work," the Web site said.
According to Zsiray each student will be required to
have a mentor and complete a project to help them figure
out what they want to do in life.
"We will be able to do a lot more for less,"
Zsiray said. "We're here because public schools
refuse in a lot of ways to think differently."
The mission statement found on the In Tech Collegiate
High School's Web
site said, "Our goal is to give every student
the opportunity to complete high school and at least
two years of college in a very challenging learning
Zsiray said there will be 75 students per grade chosen
by a blind lottery. He said a blind lottery is used
to ensure fairness and because it is a public school
in order to receive public funding everyone needs to
have an equal chance to attend. He said they will begin
this year with grades 9-10, they will add a new grade
each year as the students move forward until they have
grades 9-12 with a total of 300 students.
"I call it the genesis project," Zsiray said.
"Because everything will come together at once."
An article in the May 8 edition of Newsweek
discussed the changes these types of new schools are
making. Executive director of the Gates Foundation's
education initiative, Tom Vander Ark, is quoted in the
article as saying, "We are changing the goal of
high school and what it's possible to achieve there."