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

TR opening early high school

By Erin Ratigan/tr news editor

Beginning this fall, TR Campus will become the resident campus for junior and senior students of the Fort Worth ISD’s early college high school program.

Established in 2011, the Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences is a collaboration between Fort Worth ISD, the University of North Texas, the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center and TR Campus.

2014 marks the first year ECHS students will attend classes on TR.

“Before then, dual-credit courses were held at the TABS campus,” said TR dean of humanities and TABS liaison Scott Robinson. “Next fall, the entire junior and senior classes will be in residence at TCC-Trinity River. For now, freshman and sophomores stay at their high school.”

TABS is intended to give first-generation college students a head start by helping them earn up to 60 college credits. Courses are offered to students beginning at eighth grade.

“Graduating from high school with 60 or more college credits tuition-free is a huge leg up for any college-bound student,” Robinson said.

The reason for the move is to introduce students to the college environment while allowing them to use the library and other campus resources.

TABS principal Troy Langston said these resources are invaluable and will benefit students.

“These are students who will be taking dual-credit college courses,” she said. “Use of the library, the writing center, those sort of things would be very valuable.”

It has not been decided how TABS administration will be affected.

“We’re working out that model whether we’ll have rotating administration,” he said.

Robinson said the popularity of ECHS programs is the motivation it gives students.

“ECHS schools create a college-bound culture among FTIC [first-time-in-college] students, increase success rates and provide opportunities for collaboration between ISDs and institutions of higher learning,” he said.

Though ECHS students are younger, Robinson said they will attend classes with regular TCC students. He said this will help promote equality among classmates.

Robinson said his daughter often hid her ECHS status from other students when she attended Lamar University.

“Unfortunately, her professors often identified ECHS students the first day in class as the ones who will set the pace,” he said. “As far as I can tell, the age difference left no lasting scars.”

TABS dean of instruction Nikki St. Amand said though the move to TR will benefit students, it has come with added difficulties for school administration.

“We have a big challenge ahead of us: trying to figure out how to provide for our students at two different locations,” she said.

She said when FWISD and UNTHSC developed the program, they wanted both students as well as local universities to benefit.

“At that point, we didn’t have any close local institutions who could award credit to the students,” she said, “so TCC, thank goodness, got involved.”

Though TABS primarily serves lower-income and minority students, St. Amand said they hope the student body will remain diverse and multicultural.

“[Our] goal is that our student population will ultimately represent Fort Worth ISD’s population,” she said. “We want a well-rounded representation of Fort Worth.”

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