The Harlingen CISD Board of Trustees along with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley entered into a historic agreement Tuesday for the construction of the new Early College High School.
The innovative facility will house new classrooms where Harlingen CISD students will earn college credit while simultaneously completing high school.
“This is such a game-changer for our community, for our school district,” said Harlingen CISD board Member Greg Powers.
The new Harlingen Early College High School campus will house classrooms where students will earn college credit toward degrees in computer science, engineering, or education. There will also be an option for students to complete college core classes while in high school.
“We will be having a hand in building the next generation of educators,” said Veronica Kortan, HCISD’s Administrator for Organizational Development. “This is a great partnership. It’s one that has been built on bold thinking and innovative dreaming for our kids. What we are creating is generations of impact.”
This remarkable partnership will provide students a direct pathway to UTRGV.
Upon graduation from HCISD’s Early College High School, students will have completed about half their college education at no cost to the student or their parents.
The program was made possible by the partnership between HCISD and UTRGV. The city of Harlingen contributed the property where the new campus will be built.
“I’ve told people around the state that I thought this was the best partnership with a school district that I’d ever been involved with, and this school district is just a dream to work with,” UTRGV President Guy Bailey told the Harlingen CISD Board of Trustees at Tuesday’s meeting.
The goal of the HCISD-UTRGV campus is to provide students with greater access to higher education opportunities.
“This is something that’s really going to set the tone for the future here in Harlingen,” said HCISD Board of Trustees Vice President Eladio Jaimez.
Early College High School students will graduate with about 60 hours of college credit through the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Early College High School students will not have to pay tuition and fees to enroll and complete the 60 hours.
ECHS graduates will only need an additional two years at a university to earn a bachelor’s degree.