School Highlight: The Delta Program

Written by: Jon Downs

Are you looking for a unique educational opportunity for your child that focuses on relationships, community, student voice and self-advocacy? Then consider State College Area School District’s Delta Program, available to students in grades 6 through 12.

Founded upon the importance of building strong relationships between students, teachers and families, the Delta Program’s primary goal is to foster a strong sense of community; one that is a safe and nurturing educational environment for students of all backgrounds.

Begun in 1974, the program was known as the “Alternative Program,” and offered high school students a learning path that differed from the traditional classroom setting. Just eight years later, the program expanded to include seventh and eighth grade students.

The program continued and in 1989, community service became a requirement — an important aspect of the program to this day. A few years later, the name was changed, and in 2014, the program expanded to include a middle level cohort.

This abstract learning experience — democratically run by students, teachers and parents — focuses on the properties of the student voice. It is a community through and through, one that prides itself on students taking ownership of their school and individual experience.

In 2020, the program relocated from downtown State College near Penn State to a brand-new facility on the North Campus of State College Area High School. With no more than 295 students enrolled in the program for the 2023 academic year, there is a low teacher-to-student ratio. This assures individualized attention and stronger relationship building between students and staff.

The program is full of innovative thinkers and creators, and welcomes students who want to become a part of this community-minded learning experience.

Are you considering a move to Centre County, but are concerned about your child’s education? Then have no fear — State College Area School District receives high marks, in part due to efforts like the Delta Program. School officials will gladly take the time to give you a tour of the district’s facilities, and discuss the benefits this program can have for your child. Please contact The Delta Program at 814-231-1000 to schedule a meeting with the director.

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