Two Local Colleges Ramp Up Student Readiness

student readiness
High school students | Image by Monkey Business Images

Two local colleges are stepping up to serve their student with readiness initiatives.

To enable high school students to earn an associate degree before graduating, Collin College has joined with Plano ISD to establish the Wildcat Collegiate Academy.

Similarly, the University of North Texas has taken a significant step toward advancing opportunities for its students by creating the new Satish and Yasmin Gupta Career Center at their Frisco branch campus.

Both projects provide students with a solid foundation to pursue various opportunities, whether continuing their educations or exploring different careers.

The new College and Career Readiness initiative by Plano ISD, in partnership with Collin College, will begin in the fall of 2024 and involves a “fast-track for college-bound students” through the use of dual credit courses, per the district’s webpage, allowing students to “earn both an Associate degree and a high school diploma in just 4 years.”

The program will kick off with the admittance of 125 eighth graders, giving students a choice between earning an associate of arts or an associate of science.

The district’s site states that the program will cover the cost of dual credit tuition and textbooks, and it will also provide bus routes from high school campuses to the new Wildcat Collegiate Academy.

The program offers benefits such as reducing time and tuition costs while also improving college readiness and success.

Plano ISD earned a score of 71% for College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) during the 2021-2022 school year. For its part, Dallas ISD scored 59% in the CCMR metric, below the statewide average of 65%.

Student readiness and success is also a paramount theme for UNT as its branch campus in Collin County received its first endowed gift of $3 million from Satish and Yasmin Gupta, according to UNT’s official press release. This has helped to “propel the university’s mission forward, fostering innovation and empowering students.”

In addition to supporting student scholarships, the gift was used to create the Satish and Yasmin Gupta Career Center, which held its dedication ceremony on September 21, according to the UNT’s president’s message.

“This transformative gift from Satish and Yasmin Gupta will serve as a catalyst in our ongoing mission to extend UNT at Frisco’s reach and impact, enabling us to serve a greater number of students in North Texas and foster stronger connections between higher education and industry to best support industry needs and our students’ career aspirations,” UNT President Neal Smatresk said in the release.

“With this visionary support, we can provide even more scholarships, cutting-edge programs, and immersive learning opportunities for our students.”

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