BISDs College & Careers Connection Program Targets 18-24 yr old Drop Outs


POSTED: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 10:34am

UPDATED: Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 4:30pm

BROWNSVILLE - Drop out numbers are going down here in the Brownsville Independent School District, but what about the students who dropped out years ago?

A new program, the College and Careers Connection program offered through BISD is targeting students 18-24 years old who are looking to come back and earn their high school diploma.
He dropped out of high school two years ago, but is now training for a new job, at Carling Technologies, while going back to school to finish up what he lacks in order to earn his high school diploma.

Twenty year old Joshua Rodriguez, a Porter High School dropout, is making a big change.

"What made me want to come back was all those days I would break my back in Corpus working in the oil field. It just made me realize that, why should I be breaking my back if I can come back and get an education then go to college and be somebody bigger," says returning student Joshua Rodriguez.

Rodriguez admits he made pretty good money in the oil field but it's not something he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

He made the decision to go back to school last week, he's one on nearly twenty students at the Brownsville Learning Academy campus, who are getting a second shot at a better future.

The College and Careers Connection program allows students who lack less than six hours of credits or who are missing one part of TAKS, to come back and catch up.

"The curriculum is basically online, it's an A+ program, it will be using AP modules, depending on the course they need and it's available on A+," says BLA Principal, Aimee Garza.

In the meantime, the program is working with several businesses, like Carling Technologies, to offer returning students either internships or jobs as they complete requirements for their diploma.

Principal Garza says many of these students now have a positive outlook on their earning potential.

"This is definitely an opportunity, the doors are opening up again for them and I guess they are starting to figure out that, the high school diploma, it's a high school diploma, and yes I need it to further educationally wise or careers wise. So is there a need? –Yes. And is it a great opportunity for students?

"Through innovative recovery strategies like the one on the BLA campus, nearly 1300 dropouts in Texas have earned their diploma in the last two years," says Garza.

In a few months, that number will grow as Rodriguez and dozens of other students earn their diplomas and start their lives.

For more information contact Brownsville Learning Academy pricipal, Aimee Garza, at 982-2860.

The BLA campus is located at 733 Palm blvd, Brownsville, TX 78521.  

Comments News Comments

The question posed at the beginning of this story is a great one. It seems that Brownsville Independent School District has found part of that answer in the College and Careers Connection program. Helping 20 students gain their diploma is already a success, but taking this idea of helping dropouts and applying a program that has increased flexibility, can help raise that number much higher. From all of us at, we wish you the best of luck.

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