HACC and William Penn Senior High School are working toward a new partnership that could lead to such things as a "HACC Hallway" wing at the high school.

HACC-York officials gave a presentation to the York City School Board on Monday about the pilot year of a college readiness program this year. Both sides are interested on making it a permanent program.

"We have to provide access for our young people," said York City superintendent Deborah Wortham.

HACC, worried some students weren't sufficiently prepared for college upon graduation, tested the William Penn class of 2013 when they were juniors a year ago in reading, writing and math. The results were underwhelming, with more than half of the juniors testing deficient in all three content areas.

HACC had some of its faculty volunteer to work with William Penn teachers over the summer to get HACC's own curriculum into William Penn. The results are much more encouraging, with about one in four students showing progress in reading, writing, or math.

HACC dean of academic affairs Margie Mattis said they envision a "HACC Hallway" for the readiness program, with HACC banners and even some new classroom furniture to give it a collegiate feel. Students would be recognized at graduation for completing coursework, and could get college credit upon successful completion.

Plus, HACC would help facilitate William Penn students' taking some afternoon college courses, either toward college credit or career certifications. And students could also get help on navigating collegiate financial aid and admissions.

The two sides are working on completing an agreement for the board to vote on, with the goal of having it ready for the fall.

Mattis said they believe the program will help students get through college faster without as much need for remedial programs.

York City School Board president Margie Orr is on board. "It's a great opportunity for our children," Orr said.

- Andrew Shaw can also be reached at ashaw@yorkdispatch.com.