On Thursday, August 15, 2013, Houston Community College System (HCC) Board of Trustees voted to establish a conditional sixth and ninth grade Pre-Admission Program; a new program that will pre-admit sixth and ninth grade students into college.
Beginning this fall, and continuing on an annual basis, the parents or legal guardians of each sixth and ninth grade student in the HCC service area will receive a letter of conditional admission informing the student that if they graduate from high school with a 2.5 grade point average, stay out of trouble and pass an entrance exam, they will be admitted to HCC.
HCC Trustee Carroll G. Robinson, who led the effort to get the program approved by the HCC Board of Trustees, says that the goal of the program is to provide an incentive to encourage more students to stay in school and graduate from high school in a timely manner, college and/or workforce ready.
“My hope is that the pre-admission program will inspire and incentivize students to stay in school, graduate from high school and be more academically prepared for college,” said Trustee Robinson. “In the next few years, the goal is to see the dropout rate go down and the high school and college graduation rates of local colleges go up.”
The Pre-Admission program is part of a comprehensive plan of action developed by Trustee Robinson to help improve education in Houston to ensure that everyone in the HCC service area, who to do better for themselves and their families, has an opportunity to do so.
Originally proposed to target 6th graders solely, it was expanded when HCC Trustee Eva Laredo recommended that the pre-admission letter be sent to 9th graders as well.
In addition to the 6th and 9th Grade Pre-Admission program, if financial aid does not pay for the student’s entire tuition, HCC will either provide a scholarship or waive the rest of the tuition for the students in the program.
Students will be awarded an “Opportunity 14 Scholarship” to help pay for their college education, which Trustee Robinson hopes will eliminate any obstacles that a family encounters, which would prevent a student from pursuing a college education.
Trustee Robinson worked with the Texas Legislature earlier this year to get a statewide Texas Academic College Scholarship Day established. Being held on the first Saturday in May, the goal of the Texas Academic College Scholarship Day is to spotlight and celebrate high school academic achievement with the same energy, excitement and visibility as is now focused on athletic achievement in high school.
While this program targets sixth and ninth graders, high school seniors are also encouraged to apply and take advantage of the program. For more information, contact Houston Community College at www.hccs.edu and apply for what’s called the “Opportunity 14 Scholarship.”