FORT WORTH — An early college program at the Grapevine-Colleyville school district will allow students to graduate with 60 hours of college credit and an associate degree at no cost, the program’s director said.The Early College High School will be housed at the TCC Northeast Campus and has state approval to open for the 2014-15 school year. Classes will start at the Hurst campus in August. The district’s goal is to enroll about 125 students, with the first graduating class in 2018.“We are heavily involved in our recruiting process,” said Jerry Hollingsworth, Grapevine-Colleyville schools’ executive director of instructional leadership. Informational meetings are this week for families of eighth-grade students who want to enroll.Bobbe Knutz, director of the program for the district, said she has been letting eighth-graders know about the program. “Kids are very excited,” she said.Hollingsworth said the program offers more choices for students.“This is a huge opportunity for our kids,” he said.The project is a collaboration with TCC. A similar project with the Arlington district is underway.The effort at the Northeast Campus is the fourth Early College High School program for TCC. Other partnerships are with the Lake Worth and Fort Worth school districts for classes at the Northwest Campus.A specialized early college program is taught at the Trinity River Campus in downtown Fort Worth. That program serves students in the Fort Worth school district’s Texas Academy for Biomedical Sciences. It is a collaboration among TCC, Fort Worth schools, the University of North Texas and the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.The first class of Early College High School students is expected to graduate this spring. Two students from the Fort Worth district and eight from Lake Worth schools are seniors. They will receive associate degrees in arts or science.
Diane Smith, 817-390-7675 Twitter: @dianeasmith1