Texas to pilot accelerated college prep program
- The University of Texas at Austin will pilot a TEXAS MicroMajor program beginning next school year in the city's secondary school district, to encourage easier transition for students from high school into higher education.
- Participating students will take courses from UT curriculum along with high school advanced placement classes to prepare for entry into specific majors.
- More than 1,000 students are already taking courses that will count towards UT credits through its existing ISD partnerships, which unlike the TEXAS MicroMajor program, are not focused in one specific area of study.
Pathways is one of the major buzzwords in higher education today, and partnerships such as this one are key to creating additional recruitment tools and ease of admission for diverse school districts in a state. When added to the state's admission program for top achieving high school students into its two systems of higher education, there is a built in appeal and financial benefit for students that families can visualize beginning during their freshman or sophomore year of high school.
But perhaps more importantly, these programs also encourage retention and achievement by filling in learning and information gaps which otherwise would persist in high school curriculum standards without UT engagement. Large state colleges have similar agreements all over their respective regions, but the degree-specific pathways could be the strategy to help in reducing achievement gaps, while spurring workforce development.