Texas A&M University and Western Texas College have partnered to initiate a new degree path for students at Roscoe Collegiate High School.
Texas A&M will work with the Texas community college to establish a route to the STEM Pathways, which will be offered soon through the high school. STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Math — creates more opportunities for students in agriculture related degree programs, according to the colleges.
“This sets the stage for [the high school students] to potentially enter the Biomedical Science Program, which can lead to pre-vet pathways, or one of the six Colleges of Agriculture, that are a door to a variety of agricultural professions,” said Kim Alexander, Ed.D., the superintendent at Roscoe Collegiate High School.
Western Texas College and Roscoe Collegiate High School have already been partnering for dual credit for the past 15 years. Dual credit courses satisfy the curriculum requirements of both the high school and the junior college. Roscoe students could take dual credit courses during their junior and senior years. Five years ago, the high school began allowing students to begin taking dual credit courses as freshmen.
“Most collegiate high schools are in large metro areas,” said Roy Bartels, chief technology officer for Western Texas College. “Roscoe was the first rural school in Texas that is an early college high school.”
During the past five years, a high percentage of Roscoe high school seniors graduate with their Associates degree just prior to graduating from high school, essentially getting a two year jump on their Bachelor’s degree. The Roscoe Collegiate High School program, under the leadership of Dr. Alexander, has become a model for early college in rural areas both in Texas and across the nation, according to the schools.
The partnership with Texas A&M is a great next step, the schools noted.