Tag Archives: College Readiness

AVID program supports low-income students’ quest for college

The desks in seventh-grade teacher Zachary Cummings’ AVID classroom at Hamilton Middle School are arranged so that students can work in groups. Collaboration is one of the five hallmarks of AVID, along with reading, writing, inquiry, and organization.

Cummings’ students recently quizzed each other on Cornell notes they took on a PowerPoint presentation about the history of Apple Inc. Cornell notes are just one example of college-level study techniques students learn in AVID, a global nonprofit organization directed at students who are capable of completing a college-preparatory path if they receive the proper support. The focus is on low-income students whose families don’t traditionally attend college.

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EMERGE scholars reunite to reflect on college experience, prepare for internships

Graduates of HISD’s EMERGE program reflected on their first semester of college and learned how to begin a summer internship search during a “homecoming” event held especially for them on Jan. 6. The EMERGE Scholar Homecoming, which took place at the University of Houston, reunited students who came home for the winter break from colleges such as Columbia University, Oberlin College, Smith College, and Yale University.  Continue reading

Senior challenges giving students extra incentive to apply to college


Completing college and financial aid applications early often yields its own rewards, but for students at two HISD campuses, it could also mean a free ticket to the senior prom or a day spent shadowing an admired professional.

Sharpstown High School Principal Rob Gasparello launched the Senior Challenge at his campus last fall, and students who meet all criteria are eligible to attend both the senior prom and the annual senior trip for free.  Continue reading

Dream Summit to prepare HISD international students for college

The HISD College Readiness Department will hold its first-ever Dream Summit to assist international students with the college application and financial aid process on Saturday, Dec. 13.

“Students will have the opportunity to hear from Texas universities and community colleges and learn about admissions requirements and financial aid and scholarship opportunities for international students,” said HISD College Readiness specialist Josefina Trevino. “Our hope is that they leave the Dream Summit feeling more confident about the process for applying to college.” Continue reading

Middle school students tour TAMU-Galveston, learn about maritime studies

It was the trip of the year for Woodson Leadership Academy sixth-graders. Nearly 100 youngsters traveled to Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) to explore the world of marine and maritime studies.

The students split into small groups, and Texas A&M students took them on walking tours of the campus located on Pelican Island, followed by a hands-on lesson about oysters from Wetlands Center and Field Trip Coordinator William Daily. Daily jumped into the water at the Dr. Sammy and Charlotte Ray Oyster Garden and started fishing around for oysters to show eager students, who passed around them around, marveling at tiny creatures attached to the rough shells. Continue reading

HISD announces commitment to expand college access at White House event

Houston ISD EMERGE students visit Boston College, June 4, 2014. (Dave Einsel / Houston ISD)

Houston ISD EMERGE students visit Boston College, June 4, 2014. (Dave Einsel / Houston ISD)

HISD College Readiness Assistant Superintendent Rick Cruz will join President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders Thursday to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action serves to strengthen the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country as they help the U.S. reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment. The event is being held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. Continue reading

HISD educators, administrators tour California schools integrating Linked Learning approach

A team of 40 school educators and  district support staff recently traveled to California for a site visit of five schools that have successfully combined core academics with career-based knowledge and skills in collaborative and research-intensive learning environments known as Linked Learning. Continue reading

HISD College Fairs Help Students Make Big Decisions

Whether to stay in state or go out of state for college is a big decision for HISD seniors, and an upcoming college fair may help students and their parents make that important choice. College fairs are a great way to collect information about potential schools – students can meet face to face with college representatives, ask pertinent questions, and even get insider tips on how to get admitted to the school of their choice.

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College Readiness Month Encourages Students to Plan Now for the Future

It doesn’t matter if your child is 4 or 14, it’s never too early to start planning for college.

That’s the message Houston Independent School District College Readiness Manager Yolanda Norman is spreading this October as the district celebrates College Readiness Month.

College Readiness Month is designed to get students thinking about college and prepare them to not just gain admission, but complete a degree and graduate. The goal, Norman said is to get students thinking critically about their future and long-term plans.

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Ivy League Universities Actively Courting HISD Students

HISD is producing some of the brightest students in the nation—and now those students are attracting attention from some of the most prestigious universities in the country.

Two deans and a professor from Yale visited two HISD campuses recently to spread the news that an Ivy League education is well within even the most financially challenged student’s reach—and that they want HISD students in particular.

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