Monday, August 24, 2015

EDUCATION - Early College

"Does early college for high school students pave a path to graduation?" PBS NewsHour 8/18/2015


SUMMARY:  In a Texas border town where nearly all high school students live in poverty, the school district is trying an experiment to get more kids into college.  Instead of waiting until students graduate to enroll them in higher education, the school is pairing with a local college to offer courses for free.  Hari Sreenivasan looks at whether this method for closing the college graduation gap is working.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  When superintendent Daniel King walks the halls of his South Texas high schools…

DANIEL KING, Superintendent, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District:  How it’s going?  How are you guys doing?

HARI SREENIVASAN:  … he’s not focused on the fact that nearly all of his students live in poverty or that almost half learned English as a second language.  What King talks about almost exclusively is college.

DANIEL KING:  Have you started college classes already?


HARI SREENIVASAN:  In a district on the Mexican border where most adults have no college education, Daniel King is intent on ensuring that their children get one before they even leave high school.

DANIEL KING:  What are you going to study?

STUDENT:  In the medical field.

DANIEL KING:  In the medical field?  Any idea what yet or…

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Seven years ago, King’s district, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, partnered with South Texas College to offer classes for free to all 8,000-plus high school students.

DANIEL KING:  It brings a lot of purpose to high school, because college becomes something concrete for them.

Are you going to have an associate degree or…

DANIEL KING:  These students have the potential to leave here with two years of college under their belt.  So, that’s a big economic savings.
HARI SREENIVASAN:  So far, more than 95 percent of the students who graduated Pharr-San Juan-Alamo District with an associate’s degree have gone on to pursue their bachelor’s.

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