Program lets students attend HS and college together

HOUSTON The program will begin in the 2008-09 school year with100 ninth graders who will attend high school and college at the same time. Parents and students can find out more about the new program at an informational meeting at Kashmere High School on Tuesday, May 20, at 5:00 p.m. A brief tour of the HCC Northeast Campus will follow the meeting. Bus transportation to and from HCC will be provided. Students throughout the Houston Independent School District are eligible for the program.

Students who complete the Kashmere High School/HCC College Connection Program will graduate with a Kashmere High School diploma and an Associate's Degree from Houston Community College. Those students would then be able to enter a four-year college as a junior.

HISD North Region Superintendent Cynthia Wilson said, "This program is a result of our collaboration with HCC Northeast Campus President Dr. Margaret Ford and board member Bruce Austin. Our HISD board continues to set high expectations related to dual credit opportunities for our high school students and this effort will certainly assist us with that initiative. It shows what can be accomplished through cooperative efforts. It benefits HISD, HCC, our students, their future employers and the community as a whole."

HISD operates several early college programs in collaboration with the Houston Community College, but the Kashmere program is the only early college model in HISD provided in conjunction with an HISD high school. Therefore, students enrolling in this dual credit program will enjoy the benefits of attending a traditional high school including athletics, UIL Competition, band, choir, dance and other fine arts offerings. In addition, students will be exposed to a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, which will provide students with the solid skills and concepts necessary to prepare them for careers and post-secondary education.

Students in the new program will attend classes at Kashmere and HCC's Northeast campus. Bus transportation between Kashmere and the HCC will be provided.

Kashmere Principal Charlotte Parker said, "The financial cost associated with college is tremendous. The ability to provide our students the opportunity to complete two years of college course work, free of charge, is phenomenal and saves our families thousands of dollars."

The program will focus on mathematics, science, engineering and technology. In addition to the foundation academic courses, HCC offers outstanding workforce programs in Chemical Engineering Technology, Petroleum Engineering Technology, Instrumentation and Process Technology.

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