University and Calallen ISD Join to Offer Dual Credit Course Offerings on Calallen Campus Beginning Fall 2010
KINGSVILLE - March 03, 2010
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Students from the Calallen Independent School District and several other area school districts will soon be able to get a jump start on college before graduating high school, thanks to a new dual enrollment program between Texas A&M University-Kingsville and the Calallen ISD.
The new joint program is designed to allow high-achieving high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit for two courses per semester while earning high school credit for those same courses.
“The purpose of the dual enrollment program is to prepare high school students for college level coursework, while simultaneously awarding both high school and college credit,” said Dr. Rex Gandy, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “A&M-Kingsville’s purpose in offering the dual enrollment courses in Calallen is to offer additional choices of courses for the students, while allowing the high school students to continue with traditional AP courses and extracurricular high school activities.”
University standard general education core classes in areas including English, math, political science, computer science and speech are scheduled to be offered starting in fall 2010. Classes, which will target high school juniors and seniors, will be taught by A&M-Kingsville faculty. Students in the dual enrollment program will earn college credit at reduced tuition rates. As the program develops, administrators will consider adding additional college classes and possible summer courses.
Two wings of the current Calallen Middle School will be re-wired for emerging technology and will serve as the central location for the dual enrollment classes.
Calallen ISD superintendent Dr. Arturo Almendarez said he hopes to have as many as 100 students participate in the dual enrollment program beginning in the fall semester. More than 250 students and parents from Calallen and other districts, including Odem-Edroy, Agua Dulce and Banquete, attended a recent informational meeting and expressed interest in the program.
“Our hope is our students will take advantage of this opportunity and will have one, possibly two, years of college completed before they leave high school,” Almendarez said.
To be admitted to the dual enrollment program, students must first be admitted to Texas A&M-Kingsville. Once students are admitted to the university, registering for classes at A&M-Kingsville after high school will be a seamless transition, university officials said.
Dr. Duane Gardiner, associate vice president for academic affairs said the program is a win-win for both A&M-Kingsville and the high school students who will enroll.
“We hope this will attract the best and brightest students in the area,” he said. “We expect to keep a large number of these students here at A&M-Kingsville after high school graduation.”
A&M-Kingsville vice president of enrollment management Manuel Lujan said the benefits of the program reach beyond the classroom and could have a lasting impact on higher education in the area. Some of those benefits already are taking shape in the form of the collaborative effort between administrators from A&M-Kingsville and Calallen ISD. As classes begin, that collaborative work will continue with high school teachers and A&M-Kingsville faculty.
“These types of partnerships are necessary to facilitate and increase participation rates in higher education and in South Texas, particularly,” Lujan said.
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