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Friday, August 25, 2017

MISD Program Helps Students Earn College Credit

The program is housed inside of Timberview High School.
Saving time and money while fostering a desire to become a lifelong learner is one of the goals of Mansfield ISD's newest Power of Choice program.

The Early College High School at Timberview will allow students to graduate from high school with an associate degree in hand. The program is currently open to ninth-graders and will add a grade level each year until this year's class becomes seniors.

Ninth-grader Jesus Herrera said the college-going culture is exactly what he needs to fulfill his dream, which is to finish what his father started.

"Since I was young, I could remember that his dream job is being an engineer, but he had to settle with being a carpenter," said the 14-year-old. "I want to become a mechanical engineer for the both of us."

The program comes at no cost to Mansfield ISD students. In partnership with the district, Tarrant County College Southeast pays for the tuition fees, while MISD covers the cost of any textbooks.

Transportation is also provided so that students from any part of the district can take advantage of the opportunity.

Herrera said his motivation is his father who
couldn't finish college.
It's a deal that associate principal Erica Bennett hopes will tear down any barrier or excuse a student may have for not wanting to go to college.

"We're looking for the student who wants to go to college, or they have the need and demand for their family and lifestyle to go to college," Bennett said.

Bennett noted that extracurricular activities are also important for students to become well-rounded individuals. Although traditional athletics or fine arts activities are not available for Early College High School students, they can still participate in any Timberview High School or Tarrant County College club.

“These students are college students. They have their student I.D. and the same benefits and access to what Tarrant County College offers,” Bennett added.

The Early College High School program is another way MISD is giving students and parents the ability to choose the educational pathway that is best for them. Herrera said it’s a pathway he is eager to explore.

"I'm pretty excited because I'm closer to being at my dream job pretty soon," he said.