Trustees and Dallas ISD leadership say the seven district collegiate academies and P-TECH opening in August won’t just be a game changer for the schools and surrounding community. The program could have a noticeable positive impact on the entire city.
The collegiate academies, which will apply to become early college high schools in December, will allow high school students, at no cost to them, to earn up to 60 hours of college credit or an associate’s degree. The collegiate academies will be “schools within schools,” meaning they will be a separate program inside existing high schools.
“This will have a profoundly positive impact on our neighborhood schools and students,” Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said.
These are the seven high schools that house collegiate academies and their partner community colleges:
- David W. Carter High School (Cedar Valley Community College)
- Thomas Jefferson High School (Brookhaven Community College)
- James Madison High School (El Centro Community College)
- L.G. Pinkston High School (El Centro Community College)
- Franklin D. Roosevelt High School (El Centro Community College)
- South Oak Cliff High School (Mountain View Community College)
- Emmett J. Conrad High School (Richland Community College)
Meanwhile, P-TECH opened at Seagoville High School.
A widening income gap
Data shows that only nine percent of students from the nation’s poorest families obtain bachelor’s degrees by age 24. Cordero said the significant income gap among students who achieve their degrees by age 24 is the main reason the district is significantly expanding the number of collegiate academies.
“We need to do everything in our power to set our students up for success,” Cordero said. “By making it possible for our students to get an associate degree or 60 hours of college credit — for free and while still in high school—we set them up for a bright future.”
The collegiate academies will offer a variety of career pathways, from electronics technology and digital forensics to nursing, law enforcement, and business administration. Dallas ISD Chief of School Leadership Stephanie Elizalde said the academy’s career pathways are based on job demand and careers that offer competitive starting salaries.
Cordero said strong partnerships with the Dallas County Community College District, individual community colleges, and the city of Dallas are reasons Dallas ISD is able to rapidly expand the number of collegiate academies.
The effort is receiving support from the DCCCD Steering Committee and Dallas ISD representatives who meet to coordinate every month, as do the district’s feeder pattern executive directors, principals, college dual-credit coordinators, and four-year college partners.
“This joint effort ensures we have systems that are aligned across the board,” Cordero said. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel eight different times.”
The collegiate academies expansion aligns with the district goals adopted by trustees in January. The goals include making Dallas ISD schools the primary choice for families in the district, ensuring that 95 percent of students graduate; and that 90 percent of graduates will have qualifying scores for community college, college, military, or an industry certification.