BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — Hanna, Pace, Veteran's Memorial, Rivera and Lopez. These are the five BISD schools that were selected for early college designation.
Students from these high schools will now be eligible for dual enrollment. They can take Texas Southmost College courses for college credit towards their degree. They'll also have the opportunity to work more closely with school board members.
Of every school district in the state of Texas, Brownsville received the most selections for early college high schools.
"The only difference is that they're getting their college credit hours at the high school campus," said Veteran's Memorial High School principal Mary Solis.
"Well they're going to have access," said Veteran's Memorial High School teacher Dr. Melba Lucio. "The courses are going to be more in-depth and they're going to decide, 'yes this is what I want to do' or 'not what I want to do."
In addition to helping students find their interests, this opportunity symbolizes an affordable future. 60 early college credits, the equivalent of an associate's degree, can save a family up to $20,000 on college classes.
"I think it'll open students' minds up that college is an option, especially now since they can't afford it," said Veteran's Memorial High School student Amaris Cuellar.
"It's really important that we get it here because it will inspire a lot of students to actually achieve what they couldn't before and do a lot of things that they couldn't do before," said Veteran's Memorial High School student Andrew Douglas.
Early college schools in Brownsville, like Hanna High School, will now be referred to as Hanna Early College High School. School officials say this will help promote more of a higher learning culture in Brownsville.
"As a principal, my responsibility is to encourage those students that are college bound as much as encourage those students that may not be thinking about attending college," said Solis.
The early college high school classes will start during the 2014-2015 school year.
"We're just really excited and there's no where else to go but up here now," said Solis.
Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.