TEA News Releases Online
June 10, 2010
Early College High School graduates earn associate of arts degrees
and $5.6 million in college scholarships
(AUSTIN) – A select group of Texas seniors are graduating this year with not only a high school diploma but also an associate of arts degree under the state’s Early College High School (ECHS) program.
Eleven of the state’s 41 early college programs graduated seniors this year with the students earning scholarships totaling more than $5.6 million. Six of these schools also offer an associate of arts (AA) degree and 308 of the graduating seniors enrolled in these six programs earned an AA degree in addition to a high school diploma.
“Our Early College High School campuses have become national models by providing opportunity for at-risk students in all parts of our state,” Commissioner of Education Robert Scott said. “The success of these students demonstrates that we are employing the right strategies to increase graduation and prevent students from dropping out.”
Early College High Schools serve students who would not otherwise consider attending college by offering a high school diploma and up to 60 college credit hours or an associate of arts degree. The target population includes first generation college-goers, low-income students, minority students, and English language learners.
With 41 early colleges in operation, Texas is a nationwide leader in developing this program. Early colleges open with a 9th grade cohort and add a new cohort each year until the school serves grades 9-12.
Early College High Schools are developed by the Texas High School Project (THSP). Considered one of the most innovative high school programs in the country, THSP was launched in 2003 by Gov. Rick Perry in collaboration with the Texas Legislature and private foundations.
“Early College High Schools demonstrate that at-risk students thrive when challenged with college-level work and are immersed in a college environment,” said Kelty Garbee, TEA’s Early College High School program manager. “By earning college scholarships or an associate’s degree at high school graduation, these students have a head start in successfully pursuing a postsecondary degree.”
Early College High Schools are located on or in close proximity to a college campus and are aimed at allowing students who are historically underrepresented in the college-going population. Early College High Schools provide dual credit at no cost to students, create a seamless transition from high school to college, offer rigorous instruction and accelerated courses, and provide academic and social support services to help students succeed.
In all, more than 900 students graduated from the early colleges in May. Many of these students could graduate with up to 60 hours of college credit. Those early colleges with 2010 graduates are:
- Carrollton Farmers Branch Independent School District and Brookhaven College: Early College High School at Brookhaven College
- Corpus Christi ISD and Del Mar Community College: Collegiate High School
- Dallas ISD and Mountain View College: Trinidad “Trini” Garza ECHS at Mountain View College
- East Central ISD and University of Texas San Antonio: East Central High School
- Flour Bluff ISD and Texas A&M – Corpus Christi: University Preparatory
- Hidalgo ISD and University of Texas Pan American: Hidalgo ECHS
- Houston ISD and Houston Community College: Challenge ECHS
- Houston ISD and Houston Community College: East ECHS
- Laredo ISD and Texas A&M International University: Laredo ECHS
- Rapoport Academy Public School and Texas State Technical College – Waco: Paul and Jane Meyer Public High School
- Socorro ISD and El Paso Community College: Mission ECHS
Texas employs proven research-based and cutting edge strategies to prevent dropouts and recover students who have previously dropped out. These strategies include providing challenging and personalized learning environments, role models and mentors, academic support to help struggling students catch up and data systems to identify struggling students early.
In 2010, TEA allocated approximately $250 million in state and federal funding for targeted dropout prevention and recovery initiatives. The state additionally allocated $335 million in High School Allotment funds and approximately $3 billion in Compensatory Education Allotment funds to school districts.
To read more about how Texas identifies, prevents, and recovers dropouts, please visit the TEA’s dropout information website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=3505&menu_id3=814.
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