Western Texas College and Texas A&M Work Together On New Degree Path

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WTC and Texas A&M partner in developing a new degree path for students at Roscoe Collegiate High School.

Creating a smooth path for students is a win for everyone.

Western Texas College and Texas A&M University are working together to initiate a new degree path for students at Roscoe Collegiate High School.

Representatives from all three schools met recently to discuss the details of this new venture. From Texas A&M, Dr. Glenn Shinn, Dr. Buddy Faries, Dr. Elizabeth Crouch, Dr. Darrell Dromgoole, and Dr. Gary Briers. Roy Bartels represented Western Texas College and Dr. Kim Alexander from Roscoe Collegiate High School.

For the past fifteen years, WTC, a leading Texas community college, and Roscoe (TX) High School have partnered for dual credit courses. Dual credit courses satisfy the curriculum requirements of both the high school and the junior college. Roscoe students could take dual credit courses during their junior and senior years.

Five years ago, Roscoe converted to an Early College High School. Now known as Roscoe Collegiate High School, this conversion allowed students to begin taking dual credit courses as freshmen. Roy Bartels, Chief Technology Officer for WTC says, "Most collegiate high schools are in large metro areas. Roscoe was the first rural school in Texas that is an early college high school."

During the past five years, a high percentage of Roscoe high school seniors graduate with their Associates degree just prior to graduating from high school, essentially getting a two year jump on their Bachelor's degree. The Roscoe Collegiate High School program, under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Kim Alexander, has become a model for early college in rural areas both in Texas and across the nation.

The latest development in this partnership is the addition of Texas A&M University working with Western Texas College to establish a route to the STEM Pathways soon to be offered through Roscoe Collegiate High School. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) creates more opportunities for students in agriculture related degree programs.

Dr. Alexander notes, "This sets the stage for RCHS students to potentially enter the Biomedical Science Program, which can lead to pre-vet or pre-med pathways, or one of the six Colleges of Agriculture, that are a door to a variety of agricultural professions".

The meeting with Texas A&M marks a huge step for both RCHS and WTC. With this new agreement, RCHS students have opportunity to enter the pre-professional program that could lead to veterinarian, medical doctor, dentist, university researcher, several agriculturally related fields, or a multitude of other professional careers. WTC students will also be able to take advantage of this partnership. Roy Bartels of WTC says, "Texas A&M is one of the preeminent universities in the country. Being able to create a smooth path for students to pursue their goals is a win for everyone involved."

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Todd Thompson
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