Overview of High School Programs and Services
South Texas College has one of the largest High School Programs and Services in the State of Texas. The program was established in 1997 to provide dual enrollment opportunities to high school students. As of 2013, the program serves over 12,000 students. STC has partnerships with 21 school districts at 68 high school sites. The High School Programs & Services Office aggressively promotes a "college-going" culture through dual enrollment courses, programs in Academies, drop-out Recovery Early College High Schools, and college readiness enrollment initiatives.
High School Programs & Services Initiatives
Dual Enrollment Courses
South Texas College recognized early in its history that dual enrollment is a key strategy to accelerate college readiness for high school students and has demonstrated its commitment by waiving tuition and fees for dual enrollment students. STC is a leader in the State and nation in creating dual enrollment opportunities for all students. STC also understands that dual enrollment opportunities should be available to students interested in career and technology courses leading to careers in the applied fields. As a result of the College's efforts and commitment, the dual enrollment population increased from 8 students in 1997 to over 12,000 students in 2013.
Dual Enrollment Academies
Since 2005, South Texas College has been offering a unique opportunity for high achieving high school juniors to earn an associate degree from STC while they complete their high school graduation requirements. The Academies are two-year dual enrollment programs for high school juniors who are interested in earning an associate degree at South Texas College during their junior and senior year at high school . Since 2005 (9) Academy students have received the Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship.
STC offers the following Dual Enrollment Academies:
- DEMSA - Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy (Established in 2005)
- DEEA - Dual Enrollment Engineering Academy (Established in 2006)
- DECSA - Dual Enrollment Computer Science Academy (Established in 2010)
- DECJA - Dual Enrollment Criminal Justice Academy (Established in 2012)
- SCADE - School to Career Academy in Dual Enrollment for Welding (Summer 2012)
- Welding (Summer 2012)
- Electronic Health Records Specialist (Summer 2013)
Early College High Schools
South Texas College supports 15 Early College High Schools. Each ECHS is an autonomous public high school designed to create a seamless transition between high school and college. By design, ECHSs are small, innovative high schools that allow students least likely to attend college, an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and two years of college credit. More importantly, the transition from high school to college is eased by blending high school and college curriculum into a cohesive unit. Over 3,000 students are participating in Early College High Schools.
9th Grade Initiatives (McCCTI)
The McCCTI (McAllen College & Career Trans ions Initiative)program was developed in partnership between South Texas College and the McAllen Independent School District to prepare at-risk students from McAllen ISD for both attainment of a high school diploma and dual enrollment credits at South Texas College. The objective is to mainstream students into the regular dual enrollment program by the tenth grade or eleventh grade. Program strategies include teaching classes in a college environment, utilizing the small learning communities concept with a low student-teacher ratio, providing instruction using the team teaching approach, offering TEA-approved Career and Technical education courses, and offering half-day 3 block instruction. Since 2006 over 265 students have participated in this program.
High School Recovery Programs
The Recovery Program was developed by South Texas College and participating school districts to target out-of-school adults, ages 18-25, who reached the 12th grade, but did not graduate from high school due to high school credit or Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) deficiency. Recovery Program students enroll in classes that are contextualized in the areas needed for high school credit recovery and/or the TAKS. As part of the program, students are also enrolled in Career and Technology college courses at South Texas College. After students successfully obtain the necessary high school credits and/or master the TAKS exam, students are able to earn their college credits, which may be applied towards a certificate or associate's degree in the same field. As of 2011 over 2000 students have graduated from STC supported Recovery programs.
The TexPREP program is an agreement between South Texas College, The University of Texas at San Antonio and participating school districts to offer an academically intense, mathematics-based summer program which stresses the development of abstract reasoning and problem solving skills. The purpose of the program is to identify achieving middle and high school students with an interest in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and other mathematics-related areas and to increase their potential for careers in these areas. The mathematics-based program, which is approximately seven weeks in length, is presented over the course of four summers to students entering grades seven to tenth. As of 2012, STC has partnered with four ISDs and has served 305 students.
WaterBotics is a summer camp featuring underwater robotic technology in which teams of students at the middle and high school levels work together to create submersible robots. The WaterBotics robots are able to speed across a pool, maneuver underwater, and rescue a malfunctioning submarine or other toy object using LEGO brand and other component parts. Students use LEGO Mindstorms™ software along with basic principles of physics and engineering to design, build, test and redesign their robots. Participating students gain hands-on experience with information technology, science concepts, and a series of complex challenges which build valuable awareness and interest in STEM careers.