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Lone Star College-North Harris prepares high school students for college through CARE Initiative

The College Awareness Readiness and Education (CARE) Initiative at LSC-North Harris, in partnership with the Spring Independent School District, is helping lead the way to ensuring that high school students are college-ready by the time they graduate.

As part of the grant-funded program, new high school curricula were implemented in Spring ISD in the fall of 2012. Faculty and staff from LSC-North Harris and Spring ISD worked closely together to develop the new curricula, which integrated high school and college coursework, in both English and math. The result is challenging classes that keep high school students on track for a successful college career.

In addition to the revised curricula, the program’s advisors attempt to engage students early on with regards to attending college. They visit the high schools, look at sophomore students’ placement scores, and meet with students to discuss the class options that are available.

“We want to start early by making sure that every student knows what opportunities are available for them,” said Jeana Cleaver, CARE coordinator and advisor. “By getting these students interested at an early stage in their high school career and by letting them know that there are people that will be there for them every step of the way, we can guide them on the right track for college.”

In yet another strategy to raise students’ achievement levels, the CARE Initiative recently held a CARE College at LSC-North Harris for more than 170 ninth graders, from Aldine ISD’s Nimitz Ninth Grade Campus and also from Spring ISD. The program was designed to give students information about the options available for them. In addition to the informational sessions, students had the opportunity to attend a college fair and hear about student life and activities at the college, as well as take campus tours.

“The inaugural CARE College was a successful event and we cannot wait to start planning for next year,” said Jeana Cleaver. “The enthusiasm of the participants was high and the students were excited to find out all they could about college. We are looking forward to working with them and their classmates as they progress through their high school careers and into post-secondary education.”

At the college level, the grant features CARE Learning Communities to provide opportunities for college students to accelerate their developmental studies course work in reading, writing, and math as well as freshman English and college algebra.

The student success rates of those in the learning communities have been consistently higher than the rates of their counterparts. The success rate in freshman English is 91 percent, compared to 64 percent in other LSC-North Harris ENGL 1301 sections, and the success rate for college algebra is 86 percent, compared to 70 percent in MATH 1314 sections.

The CARE initiative is funded by a $1,175,000 grant awarded to the Lone Star College System in 2012 to focus on college awareness, readiness and education initiatives, with a goal of preparing high school students for college, accelerating the progress of college students through developmental, pre-college-level math and English, and fostering success in college algebra and freshman English.

This Gulf Coast Partners Achieving Student Success (GC PASS) grant was awarded to the Lone Star College System, with Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College-Cy-Fair, Spring Independent School District, and Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District as the sub-awardees. It was awarded by the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin, and funded by the Houston Endowment.

For more information about the CARE Initiative, contact Jeana Cleaver at 281.618.5476.

Lone Star College-North Harris is located at 2700 W.W. Thorne Drive, one-half mile south of FM 1960 East, between Aldine-Westfield and Hardy Roads. For more information about the college, call 281.618.5400 or visit LoneStar.edu/NorthHarris.

Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, 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 the nation. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.