The Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the seventh largest district in the nation and is working toward making all of their students college ready in the future by creating a “college-bound culture” in all of Houston schools. Essentially, all a college-bound culture consists of is sending students and parents the message that college is possible for their children from a very early standpoint in their educational career and reinforcing those ideas through in-school programs.
How Do Houston Schools Create a College-Bound Culture?
It’s easy enough to what Houston Schools are doing to create this culture if it’s broken down into its main components:
– Making College Accessible: Houston Schools are making this idea their top priority in creating the college-bound culture in all their schools. Teachers are sending very early messages to students and parents that college is a possibility and that Houston Schools will do everything possible to make it happen for their children. Beginning at the elementary level, HISD counselors are holding special college-awareness seminars for both parents and students. They are also creating career development activities for children of all ages to help them understand that their work in Houston Schools will directly relate to their career someday. For older school-age students, HISD is developing a mentoring program to help students with their weakest subjects.
– Advanced Placement Courses: Advanced Placement (AP) courses can reduce the number of college classes your child has to complete. Houston Schools believe that all children should be given the opportunity to take AP classes in order to help them eventually succeed at the college level. In order to make this happen, the HISD is increasing the number of students allowed to take pre-AP courses in middle and high school. For those not eligible to take pre-AP courses, Houston Schools are offering tutoring to help prepare students for the work-load.
– Dual-Credit Courses: Dual-credit courses allow students in Houston Schools to take college-level classes that apply toward their High School diploma and toward receiving an Associate’s Degree by the time they graduate high school. This significantly lowers the amount of money dual-credit students have to pay for their college education, thus making college more accessible to many students in the HISD.
Overall, Houston Schools have created a plan to enhance the college experience in the eyes of both parents and students by creating a college-bound culture in all of their schools. As parents, we should take part in helping our children develop a strong desire for a college education. In a world where a high school diploma doesn’t get you very far anymore, college is necessary for our children in order for them to lead healthy and successful lives. This college-bound culture in Houston Schools allows us to see and monitor our children’s desire for college and allows us to help and encourage them in any way we can.