Lone Star College-University Park partners with charter school

HOUSTON (Nov. 18, 2011) – Lone Star College-University Park has signed an agreement with Responsive Education Solutions to offer students the chance to earn their high school diploma and up to two years of college credit in just four years.

iSchool High at University Park is a public charter school with multiple iSchool High locations operating throughout the state. The goal of the school is to allow students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to take both high school and college courses. The school is open to all students in the greater Houston area. Classes began on Nov. 14 with 25 students enrolled.

Responsive Education Solutions is a non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization that has a contract with the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education to offer free choice educational services through charter schools.

ResponsiveEd was formed in 1998, opening an unprecedented 15 at-risk charter schools in communities all over Texas. Over the next 13 years, ResponsiveEd has grown to more than 50 campuses, serving 10,500 students statewide. ResponsiveEd now operates Premier High Schools, Quest Middle Schools, Vista Academies, Texas Virtual Academy and iSchool High.

“iSchool High is dedicated to challenging students to think critically, to reflect and to transform their goals into realities,” said Dr. Michael Laird, the campus director. “Our students accomplish this through authentic, innovative and rigorous studies in a safe, high-tech learning environment.

“We’re very excited about this opportunity to partner with Lone Star College, which is well-known in the education world for being innovative and for fostering lifelong learning in its students,” said Laird.

All ResponsiveEd schools are tuition free just like any public school in Texas.  Enrollment is limited.

“As an incentive for our students, ResponsiveEd pays the additional cost of books, fees, and any other related expenses for dual credit with Lone Star College,” said Laird. “We recognize that not all public school districts cover those additional expenses, but we firmly believe that our students benefit from the challenge of college level work and to us it is well worth the cost.” 

iSchool High, in conjunction with LSC-University Park, will begin offering standard dual credit courses to its high school students in the spring 2012.  Dual credit courses are where a high school junior or senior can enroll in a college course and receive simultaneous academic credit for the course from both Lone Star College and iSchool High. Pending approval from the Texas Education Agency as an Early College High School, students may begin dual credit as early as the ninth grade. 

In addition to the charter school, LSC-University Park also houses Lone Star College’s second university center – the LSC-University Center at University Park – along with a number of system-wide service departments including LSC-Online, Financial Aid, Information Technology, the Veterans Affairs Center, Lone Star Corporate College and the Lone Star College Conference Center. The campus overall includes about 1.2 million square feet of building space on 71 acres.

“Lone Star College is pleased to partner with iSchool High to further enhance our mission of providing outstanding affordable education to the community at all levels,” said Shah Ardalan, chief executive officer for LSC-University Park, and LSCS vice chancellor and CIO.

LSC-University Park is located at 20515 State Highway 249 at Louetta Road and iSchool is located on campus. For more information about iSchool, call 281-546-2295.

With more than 75,000 students in credit classes for fall 2011, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Park, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit http://www.lonestar.edu/.

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