Pasadena ISD expands Early College HS program to each high school campus

Pasadena ISD expands Early College HS program to each high school campus
Posted on 07/13/2017
Pasadena ISD expands Early College HS program to each high school campus

This fall, Pasadena ISD will offer the Early College High School (ECHS) program at all five of its high school campuses.

The program allows students to earn both a high school diploma from Pasadena ISD and an associate’s degree from San Jacinto College.

ECHS puts students on the fast track to post-secondary and career opportunities while boosting student achievement and providing hands-on experience in high demand industries.

Students start taking college-level courses in the ninth grade. By their senior year, they can complete their high school requirements and focus on a full college schedule. Through ECHS, students can graduate with up to 62 college hours, which allows them to save money on college tuition and get ahead of the competition.

Students who are chosen to participate in the program must complete a rigorous application process involving interviews, letters of recommendation and proof of good standing. Though not limited to any student demographic, the Early College program targets students who may be the first in their family to attend college.

The Early College High School is part of the district’s “school-within-school model,” where students can engage in extracurricular activities, campus events and athletics at their campus while enrolled in the program. As a bonus, students have access to San Jacinto College’s campus libraries, tutoring facilities, writing centers and computer labs.

The district expanded the ECHS program following the success of the pilot program at PHS, which began in 2011. PHS and San Jacinto College graduated its third cohort of ECHS students last school year.

“The expansion of our ECHS program will allow Pasadena ISD to continue increasing access to higher education and career opportunities for students of all backgrounds. The more we connect students to the college-going culture, the better their chances are of being successful in high school, post-secondary opportunities and a career,” said Jennifer Boushley, ECHS district coordinator.

The Early College High School expansion project was made possible with funds from a $175.5 million School Bond issue passed in 2014, which provided roughly $18 million for ECHS programs. Construction is near completion.

These Early College High School programs are expected to graduate a total of 500 students per year with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.

Dobie 
Dobie Ninth Grade Campus

Memorial
Memorial ECHS

Rayburn
Rayburn ECHS

South Houston
South Houston ECHS