First Presenter's Institution

Tarrant County College-South Campus

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Ballroom D

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

Early College programs appeal to the Head and Heart of the 5H holistic strands. The “Head” strand is met by early college programs in that the students are part of Title I programs, coming from situations that include poverty, domestic violence and other social and educational circumstances that may prevent them from continuing their education.

The “Heart” strand is met in that an Early College setting allows students in at risk situations to create a new environment that is stimulating, comforting and allows the student to grow in educationally nurturing situations while providing higher education and creating opportunity.

Brief Program Description

Tarrant County College, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, has created an environment at its district that has made an Associate’s Degree attainable for students in the county’s most challenged high schools and may provide ideas for outreach and recruitment to those interested in developing an Early College High School within their home institution.

Summary

The availability of a college education has not always been made real for students in socioeconomically disadvantaged high schools, but Tarrant County College, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, has created an environment at their district that has made an Associate’s Degree attainable for students in the county’s most challenged high schools.

Tarrant County College-South Campus has partnered with three different school districts; Everman Independent School District, Crowley Independent School District and Fort Worth Independent School District. Each ECHS at South Campus consists wholly of students who are eligible for Title I funding, each student is a First Time In College (FTIC) student, and most are students that may not otherwise be able to attend college for either credit or non-credit certificate courses under normal circumstances.

Each of these programs is at various stages of development and the presentation will include practical information on the process of opening and retaining a program on a community college campus. We mentor each applicant to the program from testing to registration and each school year we have seen a minimum of 20 percent growth from the previous year.

South Campus’ ECHS programs consist of two models; the School-within-a-School Model and the fully on campus model where the college district has provided designated quarters for the ECHS and students are on the college campus all day. Each student must apply for acceptance to the program in the eighth grade and are screened by each principal to determine suitability for the program. At this time, 83% of students are college ready in the areas of Reading and Writing when admitted to the program as incoming high school freshmen.

Additionally, student personal growth has been overwhelming and students in the Fort Worth program are housed in a new building on South Campus where they have created a mascot and developed their own clubs and extracurricular activities. Also, this ECHS has retained all students from their inaugural 2015-2016 school year. These are the types of results that should be shared with other institutions that are thinking of developing ECHS programs within their districts.

Evidence

At this time, each of the three Early College High Schools attached to Tarrant County College-South Campus has recorded data that show 83% college readiness among incoming freshmen. Additionally, two of the school districts have shown 20% growth year over year. Each year there are boot camps to prepare students for testing and each student is interviewed and vetted for acceptance to their home program. Each of the three programs on South Campus has shown growth, high achievement amongst first time in college students, and has provided a safe and nurturing atmosphere for students who may not otherwise be able to attend college due to mitigating factors outside of the school setting. Counselors, Success Coaches and veteran faculty have made each venture successful since inception.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Wendy Jasper-Martinez is the Director of Academic Affairs at Tarrant County College-South Campus. She provides administrative oversight for the campus' Dual Credit and Early College High School programs as well as all areas of academic operation for the campus. Ms. Martinez has been instrumental in the planning, development, and opening of the three Early College High Schools at South Campus and has worked closely with area high school administrators to create collegiate opportunities for students who wish to pursue higher education in high risk settings.

She has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, a Master's Degree in Public Administration and is completing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Tarleton State University.

Keyword Descriptors

college, early college programs, title I students

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-6-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

3-6-2017 4:15 PM

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Mar 6th, 3:00 PM Mar 6th, 4:15 PM

Early College High Schools: Achieving the Dream of College for Urban, North Texas Students

Ballroom D

Tarrant County College, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, has created an environment at its district that has made an Associate’s Degree attainable for students in the county’s most challenged high schools and may provide ideas for outreach and recruitment to those interested in developing an Early College High School within their home institution.