POSTED: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 2:53pm
UPDATED: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 3:16pm
BROWNSVILLE — College prep is a growing priority in Brownsville. The University of Texas Brownsville and Texas Southmost College are doing their part, along with Brownsville ISD to get young adults ready for higher education. One of those ways is through the Brownsville Early College High School.
"Right now BECHS picks our classes, which we're taking the basics, history, pre-cal biology, but I want to focus on business and then after business get into law school," says BECHS junior Erik Hernandez.
Erik is one of the 335 students enrolled at the Brownsville Early College High school campus getting ahead.
"We're doing our associates degree in high school, so we'll graduate with our associates degree.
Each course is taught by an actual college professor from the university.
"We pay about 20-thousand dollars a year in costs for you. So you'll get your education all the way to your junior year paid for, all of your requirements will be out of the way, we pay for transportation, food, tuition, books....but you have to work," says BECHS Principal, Dawn Hall.
When Hall and her staff recruit at middle schools here in Brownsville, she tells it exactly how it is. Students can expect at least an hour and a half to two hours of homework each night, zeros aren't given, work has to be done, and they have a zero tolerance for disciplinary issues, which are extremely rare anyway.
"I really like the kids to recruit themselves initially," says Hall.
Usually about 225 students apply each year, but only about 100 are accepted and Hall admits, they do give preferential treatment.
"We give preference to children who are first in their family to go to college. Ninety-eight percent of our kids here are the first in their family to go to college.
As for Erik, he's already thinking far beyond his time here at BECHS.
"I think I want to get into politics because I want to be a politician and help the community and I see BECHS as a good way to start my future," says Hernandez.
For more information on the Brownsville Early College High School visit their website at: