Through a unique Lone Star College-CyFair and CFISD Dual Credit partnership, the inaugural College Academy cohort of 134 students are on their way to earning a college degree by the time they graduate high school.
The College Academy is designed so qualifying CFISD freshman may begin taking a sequence of college-level courses through the LSC-CyFair Dual Credit program, which simultaneously provides credit toward their high school diploma.
“It was really important for us that our students did not lose the high school experience during this process, so the program had to include the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities and clubs,” said Dr. Mark Henry, CFISD’s superintendent of schools.
In addition, the students have the benefit of a low-cost jumpstart on college credit as well as the opportunity to graduate high school and then transfer to a four-year university as a junior.
Last fall, 134 Cy-Lakes High School freshman became the first cohort in the College Academy pursuing an LSC-CyFair Associate of Science degree to be earned before they graduate high school in May 2021.
This summer, 40 of those students, now sophomores, took Yolanda Brown’s college-level course, Intro to Communication (Speech 1311) at the LSC-Cypress Center. The course included a major project requiring students to use time management and writing skills, advance their critical thinking skills, and to study at a more mature rate than in high school.
“More than half the class expressed their fears of having to give speech presentations. So, at least once a week I talked to the students about the importance of keeping themselves motivated and how it is the key to graduating college, getting a great job, and achieving their dreams,” said Brown. “All of the students worked hard, passed the course, and were great students.”
Cy-Lakes High School Principal Sarah Harty said “Our students learned so much about college life this summer. LSC-CyFair, through our College Academy program, afforded them the opportunity to be on a college campus working with a collegiate instructor. What a great introduction for them!”
This fall, 122 cohort sophomores are enrolled in college-level History 1301, while another 427 freshman students at four more high schools are taking advantage of the College Academy established this year at Cy-Ridge, Cy-Park, Cy-Woods and Langham Creek. In 2019-2020, LSC-CyFair and CFISD administrators expect to implement the College Academy at additional CFISD high schools.
“This program is just another excellent example of CFISD’s commitment of ensuring ‘opportunity for all.’ Through this collaborative partnership, we are able to provide the students of our community with the unique opportunity to enter the workforce with a college credential or to continue on with their education towards the completion of a bachelor’s degree after high school,” said Dr. Seelpa Keshvala, LSC-CyFair president.
For information on the College Academy or Dual Credit, contact your student’s high school counselor. For information on LSC-CyFair programs, go to Lonestar.edu.