Texas City Independent School District’s new early college high school program aims to provide a free college education for students least likely to enroll.
Created to provide at least two years of free college education, the program, which will start in August, gives students the chance to receive either an associates degree or at least 60 credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree by the time they graduate from the 12th grade.
“The early college high school program will allow students least likely to enroll in college the opportunity to receive a college education,” Lincoln Hypolite, principal at Texas City High School said.
Anne Anderson, executive director of curriculum and instruction for the school district, said the program has been a long work in progress.
“For the past six months, we have focused on what recruitment will look like and how we are going to staff,” Anderson said.
The district will house the early college high school program in La Marque High School and Texas City High School so students will have easy access to their college-level classrooms.
Students will have the opportunity to take basic or advanced classes, including English, math, science and social studies.
All students involved in the early college high school program will participate in the Advancement Via Individual Determination program, which provides support, study skills and a transition to post-secondary education.
Students involved in the program will increase the number of college level courses they take as they transition through grade levels, according to the school district. Eventually, students will take college level courses almost exclusively during their junior and senior years.
Students in the program will be able to participate in campus athletics, fine arts and some career and technical education programs.
District leaders said they hope providing a free college education program to high school students will aid them in job searches after graduating from high school, not only advancing those least likely to attend college, but providing them a two-year head start on those not involved in early college high school programs.
The district still partners with College of the Mainland to provide dual credit college-level education. But unlike early college high school, dual credit courses cost students money.
“With early college high school, the opportunity is open to high school students at the doorstep and with no cost associated,” Ricky Nicholson, principal at La Marque High School said.
The district will be hosting an information session on the program 6 p.m. Thursday on the Texas City High School and La Marque High School campuses.
Applications for registering for the early college high school program are only open to incoming freshmen until Feb. 10. The application can be accessed on the Texas City Independent School District website.
The district is opening the program only to incoming freshmen for the first year, but hopes to open up the program as students involved in the program move into higher grades.