Category Archives: College Readiness

PSAT scores from October test now available 

PSAT scores from the October test have been released, and they are available now. After spending time to take the test, it’s important to access, understand, and use the PSAT scores to your advantage.

PSAT scores will help you understand how close you are to being college ready in math, reading, and writing. PSAT test scores can also connect you to other benefits you hadn’t thought of, including enrichment programs, internships, summer camps, scholarships, and the ability to take college-level courses in high school.

Some schools are creating a special event or day to explain what you need to know, but you don’t have to wait for that. You can access your scores online NOW and learn how ready you are for college, explore which Advanced Placement courses are a good match for you, and gain insight into which skills to focus on in order to prepare for the SAT.   Continue reading

Students discover the sky’s the limit on DiscoverU field trip

High school students from across HISD attended a day-long field trip to Space Center Houston recently.

The trip, sponsored by Houston-based nonprofit organization DiscoverU, was the culmination of an outreach effort led by HISD’s College and Career Readiness Department that resulted in 57 eleventh-graders being admitted into NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) program. All students who were accepted were invited to register for the free field trip, and 51 attended.

Activities included a tour of Building 9 and Rocket Park, an astronaut talk in Space Center Theater, and a chance to explore Space Center Houston.

“Being able to a meet an astronaut was inspiring,” said Energy junior Cynthia Gomez. “They set a high goal and accomplished it.”

Students from the following high schools went on the trip: Bellaire, Carnegie, Eastwood Academy, Energy Institute, Heights, HSPVA, Madison, Mickey Leland College Prep, North Houston Early College, Northside, Sharpstown, Texas Connections Academy, Washington, and Westside. A few tenth-graders from Madison and Washington also attended.

DiscoverU’s aim was to expose students to Space Center Houston and provide an in-person introduction to the program, with the goal of encouraging and empowering HISD students to complete the five-month online course and get a chance to spend a week at Johnson Space Center next summer.

It was also an opportunity for students to meet others in the program who share their interest in aerospace engineering.

“The trip was amazing,” said Washington sophomore Jesus Reynaga. “It really gave me insight into what I want to do when I grow up.”

FAFSA priority deadline for Texas students is Jan. 15

Filling out the FAFSA is the first step toward getting many different types of financial aid for school, and finishing the FAFSA early is the best way to maximize college-award packages.

Even though the federal government doesn’t have a firm deadline as to when FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) applications need to be completed, all 50 states do, and for Texas the priority deadline is Jan. 15 – two months earlier than last year.

When applying for student aid, timing matters. Each year, the Office of Federal Student Aid offers more than $120 billion through grants, loans, and work-study funds to help students pay for higher education. Priority for this money will be given to students who apply before the priority consideration deadline.

Also, if you complete your FAFSA application by Jan. 1, 2019, you will be entered in a drawing for three $500 scholarships. The scholarships will be awarded in January. Continue reading

Parent University helps Wisdom HS mom lead the way for new PTO 

Armed with a fresh notebook and pens for jotting notes, Wisdom High School parent Erica Alvarado bounced from table to table at Thursday night’s second Parent University session, gathering as much information and resources as she could.

Alvarado’s mission was twofold: Learn as much as possible to help support her children’s education, and pass along resources to fellow parents serving on Wisdom’s newly minted PTO, for which she is president.

Parent University was designed to connect parents and children to resources offered by the district to create successful academic outcomes, as well as safe and healthy environments at home and at school.   Continue reading

10 helpful tips for filling out the FAFSA and securing financial aid for college 

Completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is important. It’s the first step toward getting many different types of financial aid for school, and finishing the FAFSA early is the best way to maximize college-award packages. But how much do you know about this financial aid application?

Here are 10 important tips about filling out your FAFSA: Continue reading

Learn about AP courses at AP Parent Night on Nov. 29 

HISD’s Innovation and Postsecondary Programming will host Advanced Placement Parent Night— an informational event where parents can learn more about AP courses at HISD.

The event will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W 18th St. Houston 77092).

All HISD middle and high schools offer advanced-level coursework designed to prepare students for success in college. During the 2017-2018 school year, 10,242 HISD students received college credit by scoring well on their AP exams, saving their families $11,782,500 in college tuition. Both AP and pre-AP courses leverage rigorous instruction to help students become independent learners.   Continue reading

HISD grad receives $40K on Good Morning America

The CollegeBoard announced that it is investing $25 million over the next five years for its new Opportunity Scholarship. And to kickstart that commitment, Booker T. Washington High School 2017 graduate Matthew Blue has been awarded a $40,000 scholarship to continue his studies at Langston University in Oklahoma.

Blue is one of the very first recipients of CollegeBoard’s Opportunity Scholarship, and the award was unveiled live on Good Morning America. Blue was a pioneer in making Official SAT Practice at Khan Academy a household name in HISD. Using Khan Academy, he increased his SAT score by more than 200 points, expanding both his scholarship and college options. Continue reading

Energy Institute HS celebrates grand opening of new facility

Known for its innovation, Energy Institute — which once programmed robots to shovel dirt at its groundbreaking ceremony — decided to forego a traditional ribbon-cutting, and instead have students use a circular saw to cut a wooden board laser printed with the school’s logo. The cut pieces were then presented to special guests at the event.

“What a journey,” Energy Principal Lori Lambropoulos said as she looked out to the crowd. “This school is the first one of its kind in the nation, and we could not have done any of this without all of you in this room.” Continue reading

Top-Tier College Night scheduled for Oct. 9 at Chavez HS

Juniors, seniors, and students interested in getting a head start on the college process are invited to attend Top-Tier College Night on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Chavez High School (8501 Howard Dr., Houston, 77017).

Admissions representatives from top colleges across the nation will be on hand to answer questions about selective college admissions.

Students must RSVP by Friday, Sept. 28Sign up here to reserve a space and to learn about options for bus transportation from your campus. Dinner will also be provided.

The evening will begin with dinner and orientation from 4 to 5:30 p.m., followed by Selective College Admissions Workshops (freshmen and sophomores) and a College Fair (junior and seniors) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Continue reading

Incoming freshmen at South Early College HS get an early start 

Over 80 incoming South Early College High School freshmen are participating in the school’s annual Summer Bridge program in which students focus on core academic subjects, team building, career and college readiness, collaborative learning, and field trips.

Over the course of two weeks, students attend mini-workshops from Houston Community College faculty and staff on topics about dual credit, library services, counseling, advising, campus safety and classroom etiquette. Students also take the Texas Success Initiative, which is the college entrance exam.  Continue reading