The program, which starts in August, will allow students at Estacado and other high schools to take dual credit courses, thus graduating with 60 college credits.
Officials from the Texas Tech University College of Education and the Lubbock Independent School District (LISD) signed an agreement today that makes official an Early College High School campus at Estacado High School.
Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis, Provost Lawrence Schovanec, LISD Superintendent Berhl Robertson, Jr. and LISD board chairman Dan Pope signed the memorandum of understanding at the LISD board meeting today (Nov. 19). The program is funded in part through the East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood grant and matching dollars from Texas Tech.
“Texas Tech University is honored to partner with LISD and Estacado High School on this Early College High School initiative,” College of Education Dean Scott Ridley said. “This fast-growing movement in our state and nation dramatically improves the probability that high school children living in poverty will complete their university degree.”
Early College High School will allow high school students to earn dual credit hours that count toward high school and college degrees. Students who start their first year of high school will graduate four years later with 60 hours of college credit, classifying them as juniors. Students will not have to pay tuition on these college courses.
Most dual-credit classes will be college basics, including English, science, public speaking, math and history. Some electives will be available, including information technology, psychology, introduction to acting and art.
The schedule will get increasingly more intense as students progress, with only two college courses in the first year, four in the second and eight in the final year. Most of the classes will be held on the Early College High School campus at Estacado, and Texas Tech professors will travel to the location. Students will have some mainstream high school classes and will be able to play sports, be in the band and go to prom and other high school events.
Students at schools who feed into Estacado will have first priority. Students who feed into other LISD schools may apply to attend Early College High School. There is not a set number of students who can be admitted.
The program will start in August. Representatives from Texas Tech and LISD will reach out to students and their families to begin enrollment. Students must have passed the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment to enroll in college courses.
“We are thrilled about the partnership with Texas Tech University and the implementation of the early college model at Estacado,” said Theresa Williams, the deputy superintendent for academic services at LISD. “This has been a yearlong collaborative process of researching and planning between Lubbock ISD and Texas Tech. It will be a game-changer in their lives and will forever alter the trajectory of their future success.”