The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Marine Creek students get early college experience

By Haneen Khatib/nw news editor

The Marine Creek Collegiate High School, a part of NW Campus for two years, gives high school students the chance to get ahead in their education.

“Students can apply through their middle school during their eighth-grade year to enter as a freshman,” said Amy Moore, school principal.

Moore said Marine Creek wouldn’t be where it is now if it wasn’t for the help of Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley.

Not only is Marine Creek on NW Campus, but TCC also helps in many ways.

“TCC provides facilities, waives college tuition and provides college textbooks. The independent school district partners provide the high school faculty, textbooks and instructional supplies,” Moore said.

Although located on a college campus, Marine Creek Collegiate is an actual high school.

“All of our classes are attended at TCC, but the Lake Worth students go to high school during eighth period for band or athletics,” said Dennis Ralon, Marine Creek student.

Certain qualifications must be met to enter the school.

“There are a number of criteria considered, including academic, attendance and disciplinary history,” Moore said.

After students apply and get accepted, Marine Creek becomes their primary high school, Moore said.

Marine Creek makes sure its students aren’t getting too heavy of a load.

“We start them off small with core classes, only high school credits including BCIS [computer classes] and PE. Then year by year, it advances to more,” Moore said.

Not all high schools are involved in the program.

“This program is a result of a very strong partnership between Tarrant County College, Fort Worth Independent School District and Lake Worth Independent School District,” Moore said.

Marine Creek’s goal is to help students in any way possible.

“Our goal is to help students transfer into a four-year college with their associate degree,” Moore said.

The program helps students get some of their college credits out of the way before actually attending college.

“The program is four years long because in four years, we are to complete the four years of high school as well as two years of college, the years necessary to receive an associate degree,” said Lalita Sundarrajan, Marine Creek student.

The difference between Marine Creek and other collegiate programs is that it starts students off in ninth-grade with the option to take as many classes as they’d like while other programs start them off their senior year with a class limit.

“There are no limits to how many courses they [students] can take. There is a degree plan to follow according to high school curriculum, and we want students to graduate with an associate degree,” Moore said.

Students pay no additional costs to join the high school.

“The supplies needed for high school classes have to be bought by students, as usual, and any materials, textbooks, etc., needed by the college professors are provided by the school,” Sundarrajan said.

Sundarrajan encourages students to apply.

“I would say that this program is very beneficial because once you graduate high school, you can go to a four-year college or university, and your coursework will be that of a junior. But you will qualify for scholarships and tuition help, etc., that an entering freshman is qualified for,” she said. “This program provides a very different environment that opened my eyes about how college life really is.

“And if for some reason, you are unable to continue your schooling, you can enter the work force with a better opportunity than that of a person who only has a high school diploma.”

Although this program helps students get ahead, they must be committed because of the extra work.

“A student honestly needs to set up time to study, be responsible for the coursework and do all the necessary as well as extra things to ensure themselves getting a good grade in a college class,” Sundarrajan said.

Some students were personally chosen to be a part of the program.

“In the second semester of my eighth grade year, they consulted all of the 50 chosen students that were getting the opportunity to attend early college in the beginning of our ninth grade year,” said Dennis Ralon, Lake Worth high school student.

Marine Creek has a limit to how many students get accepted each year.

“Our goal is to have an incoming class of 100 freshmen every year and eventually have 100 students in every grade,” Moore said.

Moore said all early college high schools keep classes small because the students are so young.

Students can succeed in this program, Ralon said. The only thing that costs to get in this high school is dedication and responsibility, he said.

“The program is to get students ready for real college, to help them get in a better college and gain college credits while they are in high school,” Ralon said.

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