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

First early college class to graduate

Georgia+Phillips%2FThe+Collegian++Thirteen+students+from+NW%E2%80%99s+early+college+high+school+will+graduate+this+spring+with+both+a+high+school+diploma+and+an+associate+degree.+Nineteen+students+in+all+will+graduate+from+TCC%E2%80%99s+first+early+college+high+school+class.+
Georgia Phillips/The Collegian Thirteen students from NW’s early college high school will graduate this spring with both a high school diploma and an associate degree. Nineteen students in all will graduate from TCC’s first early college high school class.

By Tabitha Redder/nw news editor

Georgia Phillips/The Collegian  Thirteen students from NW’s early college high school will graduate this spring with both a high school diploma and an associate degree. Nineteen students in all will graduate from TCC’s first early college high school class.
Georgia Phillips/The Collegian Thirteen students from NW’s early college high school will graduate this spring with both a high school diploma and an associate degree. Nineteen students in all will graduate from TCC’s first early college high school class.

When 13 students cross the stage May 10 to get their associate degrees from TCC, they will have to wait a few more weeks for their high school diplomas.

They make up the first early college high school class at TCC and will graduate from NW Campus.

Nineteen seniors are graduating, and 13 have sufficient credits to graduate with both their high school diplomas and their associate degrees.

TCC’s ECHS program began on NW in 2010 with Lake Worth ISD as the first partner and Fort Worth ISD joining the following year. Each year, around 100 students are added to the program.

“The students that apply for our program are very serious academic students. Most of the students here aren’t really into the traditional track of the high school,” early college high school Principal Lawrence Galloway said. “They aren’t really bothered by pep rallies or sports teams or athletics. They’re really into school and are really high-achieving students.”

Students start in their ninth-grade year taking college-level courses like BCIS computer classes, physical education, dance and other fine arts courses and work their way up to more intense classes like English, history, government, sciences and math.

Instead of having a large number of credits required by both high school and college, students have a more reasonable amount of dual-credit courses that qualify for both.

“We have freshmen that come in, and they only have two college classes per semester,” administrative assistant Rebeca Ventriere said. “By the time they’re juniors or seniors, they have most of their classes at the college campus. We’re talking anywhere from 15-18 college hours per semester.”

ECHS student Robert Trejo is graduating in May and joined the program because he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.

“I’ll be ahead of them,” he said of other students his age. “I’ll be used to the college experience and everything while they’ll still be used to high school.”

Graduating students are transferring to the University of North Texas, Texas A&M, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at Arlington. They will be classified as second-semester sophomores or juniors based on their college credits.

“I’m very excited for the first class because not only are they the first class we have, but they are the first early college high school graduates in Tarrant County,” Galloway said.

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