This paper documents critical design decisions, operational approaches, and lessons learned from the first year of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District’s work to create college-ready, college-connected pathways for every student under a $2 million college-readiness grant from the Texas Education Agency. It also describes the groundwork and conditions the district put in place in the years leading up to the grant work.
In 2010, through this grant, Educate Texas engaged JFF for a two-year period to help PSJA create a districtwide portfolio of options that enable all students to graduate high school with at least 12 college credits. This paper is based on school site visits and interviews between January and June 2011, as well as on JFF's experiences supporting the district. Interview subjects included district administrators, principals, teachers, counselors, instructional coaches, students, and individuals from the district’s partner colleges and organizations.