Early college designs enable high school students to earn college credit while in high school. In the case of PSJA's newest graduating class, nearly a quarter earned Associate’s degrees or other college credentials, a great measure of success. Read about the strategies employed by the PSJA school district in the JFF publication Sharing Responsibility for College Success.
Read our success story profile of the PSJA school district.
PHARR, TX (May 15, 2015) – Four hundred and eighty-five Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD seniors will be receiving their Associate's Degree or College Certificate from South Texas College today and tomorrow during the college’s spring commencement exercises at the State Farm Arena.
These High School students will receive their college degree two weeks prior to their high school diploma.
The PSJA School District is a leader in offering early college opportunities to its students. Thirty-three percent of high school students participating in South Texas College commencement ceremonies this weekend are enrolled in PSJA schools.
PSJA ISD has expanded access to college through its Early College initiative. All eight PSJA high schools are now officially designated Early College High Schools and are providing up to two years of free college courses, including tuition and books.
A total of 215 PSJA seniors will be receiving an Associate Degree in the following disciplines: biology, chemistry, criminal justice, computer science, engineering, interdisciplinary studies, math, physics, political science, psychology, Spanish and secondary education.
A total of 270 students are graduating with a College Certificate in: computer information specialist, computer specialist, electronic health records, medical office specialist, multimedia specialist, payroll assistant, recruiter assistant and structural welding.
“We are please to provide all of our high school students with the opportunity to graduate with an Associate Degree or certificate that will help them get a head start on their post-secondary education and the career of their choice,” Dr. Daniel King, superintendent of schools said. “This year we have over 200 graduating with an Associate Degree. We should be increasing this number by at least 100 a year over the next few years.”
This ambitious plan has many PSJA graduates completing their Bachelor’s Degree in as little as two years.
PSJA ISD thanks the staff, parents and public/private funders for their support and dedication to the PSJA family and the district’s College3 initiative that is focused on graduating PSJA students College Ready, College Connected and College CompleteTM.
“PSJA’s Early College High School program offers more than just two years of college credit. These students graduate with two years of successful experience in higher education that puts them above most of their peers when they enter the university,” Dr. King said. “Many of these students complete their university work within 2-3 years after their high school graduation and go on to graduate work or professional schools at a younger age saving time and money. At PSJA, our message to high school students is ‘Start College Now! Complete Early! Go Far!”
If you would like more information about PSJA ISD’s early college opportunities, please call the district’s College Readiness Department at 354-2044.