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

Area high schools get fast admission

By Susan Tallant/editor-in-chief

It pays to have connections, at least for graduates at eight area high schools because of a new program to help guarantee college admission.

The program, College Connection, partners TCC with Fort Worth ISD to assist nearly 2,000 FWISD seniors over the next two years in completing the college admissions process. Each will receive a letter of acceptance to TCC, along with their high school diploma, during their graduation ceremonies.

“We are all working together,” Toni Kilpatrick, assistant director of enrollment services, said. “I have a very good feeling about this program.”

Kilpatrick said the College Connection program pays for entrance testing fees and walks students through the admission process step-by-step.

“This is not a thorough advisement. We are just introducing them to what it takes to get into college,” she said. “We want them to know our doors are open to them.”

Kilpatrick said since each student is advised individually and the services are coming to their high schools, the process is labor intensive but beneficial. Students who plan to go to other universities can benefit because the admission process will be complete if they go to summer school at TCC.

“We want a college-bound culture … we want them to go somewhere,” she said. “If they go somewhere else, hooray! But they might be back for summer.”

The program, originating in 2003 at Austin Community College with one school district, has already made an impact. It now covers 27 districts, 58 high schools and more than 17,000 students.

“Many students find enrollment very intimidating,” Dr. Mary Hensley, vice president of college support with Austin Community College, said. “So we work one on one to help each senior through the process.”

Fort Worth school district Superintendent Melody Johnson said the district, last year, had 3,000 students who had not applied to any college.

“Now they will have that acceptance in their diploma when they walk across the stage,” she said in a Star-Telegram story last month.

College Connection is being funded by a nearly $100,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. TCC will assist with testing, advising, all phases of financial aid and admissions for the seniors.

“[The staff] is doing all of this already, just not at the same time,” Kilpatrick said. “Now we are bringing the sources to them.”

The program will be available to December graduates at O.D. Wyatt, Diamond Hill-Jarvis, Carter-Riverside, Trimble Tech, Polytechnic, Eastern Hills, Dunbar and Success.

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