Press Release: JFF Develops ‘Back on Track to College Replication Network’ in Texas

BOSTON, MA (June 21, 2011) — JFF is forming the Back on Track to College Replication Network in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley in partnership with South Texas College and six school districts. The goal of the Network is to develop and spread “Back on Track” schools that serve youth who have fallen significantly off track from graduation, or who dropped out altogether. These schools not only graduate these young people, but also help them transition into postsecondary education and career credentials.

The Back on Track to College Replication Network builds on the successes of the Texas Education Agency’s Texas Dropout Recovery Pilot Program (TDRPP), which has provided performance-based funding to help dropouts return to school, earn a diploma, and transition to college. The Network’s anchor site is the College, Career, and Technology Academy (CCTA) in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) school district. Since 2007, CCTA has graduated 769 off-track students college-ready—with more than 250 also earning some college credits.

The Network brings together the school districts of Brownsville, Donna, Edinburg, La Joya, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, and San Benito, along with South Texas College and Texas State Technical College. The first Network gathering is June 22-23 in McAllen, Texas. Lessons learned will be shared on the Texas Back on Track website to be launched later this year

“CCTA has been recognized nationally as an innovative design, and Texas has policies that promotes both dropout recovery and college- and career-readiness for this population,” said Lili Allen, program director at Jobs for the Future. “The Network will allow us to provide on-the-ground demonstrations of successful practices in dropout recovery and postsecondary transitions that can be adopted by other programs statewide and nationwide.”

“Back on Track” schools allow former dropouts and those off track from completing their high school diploma to seamlessly transition into college courses when they are ready. Students focus on what they need for both graduation and college readiness, and they begin college courses while finishing their high school requirements.

“It is wonderful to see the impact CCTA is having, not only in the PSJA community, but in neighboring school districts as well,” said Dr. Daniel King, PSJA ISD Superintendent. “With this new replication network, even more young adults will have the opportunity to regain control of their future by finishing high school and getting a college education.”

Funding for the Back on Track to College Replication Network is through a grant to Jobs for the Future from Open Society Foundations.

About Jobs for the Future

Jobs for the Future works with our partners to design and drive adoption of education and career pathways leading from college readiness to career advancement for those struggling to succeed in today’s economy.

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