The Academies was introduced in 2005 to provide Hispanic students a unique opportunity for high-achieving high school juniors to earn an associate degree from South Texas College tuition-free while completing their high school graduation requirements, specifically in the STEM fields. Through partnerships with school districts, parents, and the community the Academies successfully serves more than 250 students annually through 10 academies across 4 campuses. The Academies focus on: Dual Enrollment Engineering, Computer Science Academy, Criminal Justice Academy, and Medical Science Academy. Participants gain exposure to a college atmosphere at an early age. Students have the opportunity to receive hands-on experiences, and every Friday the program hosts professionals from local universities to speak to the students about various bachelor degrees, financial aid, campus housing, admissions, etc.
Our goal is to provide Hispanic students the opportunity to obtain an associate’s degree before completing high school. The mission of the Academies is to inculcate a “college-going” culture within their student body by providing the unique opportunity for students to complete an associate’s degree while also completing their high school requirements.
· Since 2005, 597 students have graduated with an associate’s degree through the program. There were 293 students enrolled in the Academies for spring 2014. Further, 65% are first-generation college students, 99% are Hispanic, and 52% are female.
· Students’ overall have an average GPA of 3.2.
· 100% of students completing the Academies have successfully transitioned to 4-year institutions.
· Academies students are required to apply for at least 4 scholarships per month. As a result, over $8.8 million in scholarships has been awarded.
· 10 Academies students have been awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship and 5 have received the Dell Scholarship.