Community College Board elated by Dallas ISD collegiate academy plan

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“Game changer” were the words of the day during a discussion with the Dallas County Community College District Board of Trustees about Dallas ISD’s plan to open eight new district collegiate academies next fall.

Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Deputy Chief Israel Cordero briefed the DCCCD trustees on April 5 about the collegiate academies that will allow high school students to earn up to 60 hours of college credit and an Associate Degree in Applied Science at no cost to them. DCCCD trustees were noticeably excited about the partnership with Dallas ISD that will make the collegiate academies a reality.

“This is a game changer to me. It’s not only going to speed up and make more efficient use of our funds and the way we get people through the system, but it will do so toward a specific goal,” DCCCD Trustee Bob Ferguson said. “I’m pumped up about it.”

Brookhaven College President Thom Chesney said that Dallas ISD’s collegiate academy push is making it a model in Texas.

“This is a statewide game changer,” he said. “(Other school districts) are looking to us for that leadership, and we are providing it.”

The collegiate academies will be “schools within schools,” meaning they will be separate programs inside existing high schools.

These are the seven high schools that will house collegiate academies starting next school year 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)
  • 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)

P-TECH (Pathways to Technology Early College High School) will open at Seagoville High School next year. Click here to learn more about the P-TECH model.

Strong partnerships

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 academy 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 have qualifying scores for community college, college, military, or an industry certification.

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