Friday, March 8, 2013

EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL: Students could graduate with up to 60 hours credit

An early college high school is coming to Arlington via a unique collaboration between the school district and Tarrant County College.

The AISD  Board of Trustees this week approved the submission of a notice of intent to
pursue designation for an early college high school campus.

“As part of our Achieve Today. Excel Tomorrow. strategic plan, AISD and Tarrant
County College staff are collaborating regarding the establishment of an ECHS,” a school spokesperson said. “This campus would allow 100 AISD students each year to earn a high school diploma and up to 60 college credit hours during their four-year high school career.”

A motivated, high-achieving high school student could conceivably graduate from  high school with  as  many as 60 hours college credit, giving them junior level status at the college or university level – a major head start that would also save them thousands of dollars.

 “In accordance with our beliefs that every student can succeed and that school environment impacts achievement, an ECHS will provide students who might not otherwise consider
attending college a unique opportunity to become part of a college-going culture and
potentially earn an associate degree,” Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos said.

“Establishing an early college high school is an exceptional opportunity for AISD
students and our community,” Cavazos added. “Through this partnership, AISD students enrolled in the campus would have access to college facilities, resources and services as early as their freshman year in high school. We are committed to educational excellence, and an ECHS will provide innovative and rigorous learning experiences for students and create an accelerated path to college.”

TCC Southeast Campus President Bill Coppola said the community college system endorses the concept enthusiastically.

“Tarrant County College has always enjoyed a wonderful and collaborative partnership
with the AISD,” Coppola said. “The development of an early college high school is another extension of that partnership. This endeavor meets the college’s mission of developing
strategies to improve access and affordability to all students within our service
area. The Southeast Campus is committed to reaching out to the AISD community to create an environment that results in the creation of a college-going culture."
(Article written by L. Johnston, AISD. Photos are illustrative and file art only)

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