The Austin Community College District (ACC) and Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) celebrated the first Early College High School program on an ACC campus Thursday, October 27, at Round Rock Campus.
The Round Rock Early College High School at ACC provides students the opportunity to earn a two-year college degree while in high school. More than 100 RRISD ninth-graders are currently enrolled.
“This marks an exciting beginning of new opportunities for our students to thrive and find success at all levels,” says Dr. Steve Flores, Round Rock ISD superintendent. “Two years of college with a high school diploma allows our students to be better prepared for the workforce or college.”
“Together, with Round Rock ISD, we’re changing how students and their families think about their future,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president and CEO. “This is a pathway for those who are willing to work hard. The fact that a student can earn college credits up to an associate degree free of charge is an opportunity of a lifetime.”
The students attend classes at the new ECHS facilities at ACC Round Rock Campus, taking high school and college courses concurrently.
“I love this place. It’s the atmosphere. We work together as a team to achieve the same goal,” says Elijah Rogers, Round Rock ECHS at ACC student. “I can potentially graduate high school with a college degree. This is an opportunity that a lot of people wish they had. It’s an amazing start to my future.”
Texas has been a national leader in the early college high school movement since it began in 2002 as an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2011, ACC and Austin Independent School District launched Early College High Schools at Reagan and LBJ high schools. There are now eight ECHS programs at ACC. The data show an improvement in academic performance and rising enrollment at the schools. More than 940 students are currently enrolled in ECHS programs at ACC.
ECHS is funded through public-private partnerships, grants, and shared-cost agreements, enabling school districts to offer the programs at no charge to students.
For more information about early college high school, please visit austincc.edu/echs.
View photos of the ribbon-cutting celebration.Back to Top