By Ryan Johnston
President Robert Zeigler met with San Antonio Independent School District Superintendent Roberto Duron to discuss setting up an Early College High School program that would enable students to earn a diploma and associate degree in five years.
“We haven’t made any real decision on the matter yet. There are no prominent plans on what to do,” Zeigler said. “San Antonio is a natural for us. It is a way for us to expand a program that we already have in place. However, at this point, we are just talking.”
Unlike this college’s Gateway to College program, which helps students who were dropouts or at-risk of dropping out a chance to earn a diploma and college credit, Early College is for any student.
“Our Gateway to College program is mostly for students who dropped out, but this is a way for them to expand their dual-credit program,” Zeigler said.
With the Early College program, the general model would be for the student to apply, he said.
However, he said it can be criteria set or it could be done in a lottery fashion, where students are picked at random for the program, but it is usually up to the district to decide how to develop the program.
“Generically, you work with kids, and within the time they finish high school, they could have up to 60 hours of college credit,” he said.
“Realistically, most students get about 30 hours of college credit (during high school).”
“This is a way for them to get a head start on college while still in high school.”
Zeigler said the Texas Education Agency has been interested in setting up Early College High School programs throughout the state as part of its Close the Gap initiative between high school and college and college and the workforce.