Dallas ISD and the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) are set to operate 23 Early College High Schools (ECHS) in the 2017–2018 school year. This will make Dallas ISD and the DCCCD a statewide leader in providing an opportunity for students to earn up to 60 hours of college credit or an associate degree—at no cost to them— while earning a high school diploma.
The Texas Education Agency last week announced the ECHS designations. The TEA only grants the ECHS designations to schools that are on track to meet six rigorous benchmarks and operate best practices.
Additionally, Dallas ISD and the DCCCD are building on the ECHS model by incorporating the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) framework. The framework brings together the high school, its college partner and one or more industry partners to provide students with real world knowledge and skills.
“We are extremely proud that Dallas ISD received these new ECHS designations for all 17 of our collegiate academy programs,” said Usamah Rodgers, Dallas ISD executive director of P-TECH and Early College Programs. “Dallas ISD now has 23 TEA-approved ECHS in conjunction with the DCCCD and the University of North Texas at Dallas, which demonstrates our commitment to graduate students who are college and career ready.”
More than 46 industry partners are partnering with the DCCCD and Dallas ISD. The industry partners will provide students with mentorship, job interviews, site visits, and some will be selected for internship opportunities.
“We are excited that opportunities for Dallas ISD students continue to expand when it comes to preparing them to enter tomorrow’s workforce,” said Israel Cordero, Chief of Strategic Initiatives and External Relations. “These Early College High Schools add to existing district programs that are successfully making college a reality and supporting career-readiness even before students graduate from high school.”
Dallas ISD and the DCCCD have seen remarkable interest in the collegiate academies. The collegiate academies received more than 4,800 applications for about half that many spots during the last application period that was open Dec. 5 – Jan. 31.