Beginning this fall, students at Fort Worth ISD’s Success High School will be able to take classes both to earn their high school diploma and start toward a college degree as part of a special P-TECH program in partnership with the Tarrant County College Connect and South Campuses.
P-TECHs (Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools) are innovative open-enrollment high schools that allow students least likely to attend college an opportunity to receive both a high school diploma and a credential and/or an associate degree.
P-TECHs are nothing new to TCC, but Success High School is a new model. Students are older and have had their educational careers interrupted for various reasons. Other students may be immigrants who are seeking to start their educational journeys. Instead of 16-week semesters, they take classes, all of them online, in eight-week blocks.
“These students can elect to take one dual credit course, or they might take more than one,” said Amy Draper of the FWISD’s Office of Innovation. “The students will be on their own individual paths. The program is open to all our students. Not all will participate, but we hope that a large percentage choose to start their dual credit experience and then maybe, when they finish, transition right into TCC or even another post-secondary institution.”
Faculty from TCC Connect will teach the courses, and resources such as writing centers, math labs, veterans services, library access and a fitness center will be available from either the Connect or South Campuses.
“So, they can get the big overview at South Campus if they want to do it face-to-face,” said Audra Barrett, director of the Weekend College at TCC Connect. “Now, if they happen to call Connect Campus, we can still assist them here. We would do much of the same things, but virtually. So that’s where the partnership of the TCC South and Connect Campuses comes together.”
Each P-TECH school offers a variety of programs to prepare students for the workforce, and the Success/TCC program will concentrate on business education. The required private sector business partner will be Stemuli, an “educational metaverse” that connects companies to their future workforce and students from diverse and economically challenged households to a digital world of opportunities.
As the business partner, Stemuli will offer preferential interviews to Success students who meet qualifications for jobs with the company. They will furnish many work-based learning opportunities such as guest speakers and will assist with such things as résumés, mock interviews, job shadowing and internships.
“A lot of these students are behind due to unforeseen circumstances or are lacking credits and might be your students who might not have the opportunity go on to post-secondary education,” Draper said. “So, we feel this is a really great opportunity to kind of get them acclimated to the college environment at TCC and hope they’ll just keep going.”
Information on the Success High School/TCC partnership is available from Audra Barrett, director of TCC’s Weekend College at 817 515-8024 or at Audra.Barrett@tccd.edu.