Category Archives: College Readiness

Dual credit class connects students to community

Taking dual credit classes can be a daunting task, but Sonia Noyola at Northside High School has found a way to ease her students into the program by connecting their projects back to the community.  

Since she started teaching dual credit Government classes at Northside, Noyola’s students’ community awareness and empowerment projects have served as an extension of her dual credit classroom. 

Their latest project was S.H.I.N.E. (Spirit, Honor, Innovation, Nuance, Education) Fest, a student-led film competition held at Houston’s White Oak Music Hall that attracted submissions from several HISD schools and postsecondary institutions. The connection between these projects and the dual-credit course content is not lost on her students.   

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HISD seniors to receive associate degrees during HCC commencement ceremonies

On Friday, nearly 500 high school seniors from a dozen Houston Independent School District campuses will walk across the stage at Houston Community College commencement ceremonies to receive their associate degrees and work certifications.

The HISD students are enrolled in dual credit programs in the district’s Futures Academy and at early college high schools. The students simultaneously earned two years of college credits or valuable industry certifications in high-demand career fields – all at no cost to them.

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Senior recipients honored at Board of Education and Superintendent Scholarship Dinner

Houston Independent School District graduating seniors who have overcome odds and adversity to achieve their academic goals were honored at the annual HISD Superintendent and Board of Education Scholarship Dinner on Wednesday evening. 

At the dinner, which was held at the Cockrell Boy Scouts Center, each of the 46 award recipients and their families were treated to a dinner and reception hosted by ABC 13 reporter Stefania Okolie. Kinder HSPVA senior Racquel Leonard performed a gorgeous rendition of Disney’s “I’m Almost There.” 

After the performance, Leonard, who will attend Loyola University in the fall to study music, was surprised with her own HISD Superintendent and Board of Education Scholar Award. The scholarship, originally worth $2,000, was increased to $5,000 after HISD’s Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan learned that Leonard was short on her tuition.  

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At YWCPA, a red-carpet celebration of 100% senior college acceptances

It was a day of celebration as students at Houston Independent School District’s Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy held a red-carpet celebration in honor of 100% senior college acceptances on Thursday.  

During a special school-wide assembly, YWCPA students walked a red carpet to announce the institutions of higher learning where they will continue their academic careers. Some have been accepted to the nation’s most prestigious universities, including Bryn Mawr College, the University of Virginia, Berea College and Texas A&M University. 

“We are so excited and proud of you all,” YWCPA Principal April Williams said to a cheering crowd of students, parents and staff. “Always come back to visit us and help us to build upon that strong YWCPA spirit.” 

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HISD celebrates first-ever Academic College Signing Day

For the first time ever, HISD hosted Academic College Signing Day for the district’s top University Interscholastic League (UIL) Academics, Music, and One Act Play students.  

Nearly 190 students from 32 high schools signed ceremonial letters of intent in the presence of their families, teachers, and classmates.  

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Summer Student Leadership Program accepting applications for high school students and district alumni

HISD is currently accepting applications for its 2019 Summer Student Leadership Program, a six-week paid summer internship and leadership development program for HISD high school students and alumni currently enrolled in college.

In line with HISD’s mission to provide students with the tools to reach their full potential, the program addresses the need to expose students to fulfilling careers and skills employers demand in a rapidly changing world. Participants will gain valuable employment experience and have the opportunity to test-drive career pathways before choosing a college major or entering the workforce.

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University of Houston-Downtown offers free tuition to low-income freshmen

Beginning this Fall, the University of Houston-Downtown pledges free tuition to incoming freshman if they have a family income of up to $50,000. 

The pledge, also known as the Gator Pledge, is a grant for students entering college for the first time. To be eligible, students must be Texas residents, a high school graduate who has earned a recommended or distinguished diploma, and eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant. Students must enroll as a full-time student at UHD and maintain 24 credit hours within a 12-month period. 

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Mexican university offers HISD students higher education opportunities

HISD high school students interested in studying abroad attended a college information session on Friday led by Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez, the president of Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP). 

The university is one of the most prestigious in Latin America. It is one of the few accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the same organization that endorses major universities like the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University and Tulane University.  

“Universidad de las Américas Puebla is one of the most beautiful universities in Mexico,” Derbez said. “UDLAP is a multi-cultural community that offers many on-campus activities to international students.” 

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Student goes from Harvard ES to Harvard University

Bridgett Ramirez was born and raised in Houston, the oldest of three children. She began her formal education at Harvard Elementary School and is now attending Harvard University in Boston. She is the first in her family to go to college after graduating from Lanier Middle School and Heights High School.

Ramirez credits the HISD EMERGE program with helping her get into Harvard U. “EMERGE gave me the mentorship that my parents were not able to provide. The one-on-one relationship that I built with (EMERGE Program Manager) Esau Molina was so valuable. He made sure I was prepared for the college-application process, and he helped me get SAT prep.”  Continue reading

HISD launches maritime education partnership with UHD, HCC and Port of Houston

The Houston Independent School District, the University of Houston-Downtown, Houston Community College, and the Port of Houston Authority joined forces Thursday to announce a new education partnership that prepares students for maritime careers.

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan, UHD President Juan Sanchez Munoz, Port of Houston Authority Chair Janiece Longoria and HCC Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Janet Wormack each signed a Letter of Intent that outlines a seamless career pathway for students that begins in high school, extends to higher education institutions, and ultimately leads to potential maritime jobs at the Port of Houston.

“HISD is proud to partner with UHD, HCC and the Port of Houston Authority to offer our students greater opportunities and pathways for successful maritime careers,” Lathan said. “Great things are happening in Houston, and great things are happening for the students of HISD.” Continue reading