Mansfield News

District gives students head start in college

The Mansfield school district is focused on its students’ education, even after they graduate from high school.

The district has been finding ways for students to get automatic admission, scholarships and college hours for its students and a variety of ways -- and institutions -- where the students can get them. Last month, the Mansfield district announced a partnership with Texas Wesleyan University, joining Tarrant County College, the University of Texas at Arlington, Prairie View A&M University and the University of North Texas, which already have partnerships with the MISD.

The Texas Wesleyan agreement is unique, however, focusing on education majors. Mansfield high school students will be able to take dual credit education courses, earning up to 52 hours of college credit at the private college. After they head to college, the district would like to bring those Mansfield graduates back for student teaching, explained Darrell Sneed, area superintendent.

“This gives us an opportunity to create a pipeline,” Sneed said. “We know the quality of education they received in high school. You like to see your own do well.”

District partnerships with five colleges are giving Mansfield graduates a leg up when heading to college.

At Tarrant County College, Mansfield students make up 23 percent of the 7,200 high school students taking dual-credit classes. Students pay $50 per three-hour class, while the district picks up $127 per class and pays for the textbooks. Students who qualify for free or reduced lunches can take the classes for free and have their textbooks paid for, Sneed said.

In an agreement with UTA, students can get their associate’s degree at TCC, then spend their last two years of college at UTA for a total cost of $10,000. In a separate agreement with UTA, the Bound for Success program, Mansfield graduates whose grade point average ranks them in the top 25 percent get automatic admission to the university. The agreement with UNT also gives Mansfield’s top 25 percent automatic admission, plus one graduate from each of the district’s six high schools also gets a $1,500 scholarship.

The Prairie View A&M pact also gives Mansfield’s top 25 percent automatic admission, and each high school gets three $5,000 scholarships to hand out.

“We’re looking to get our kids any advantage,” Sneed said. “Higher education is near and dear to me. I have three children. This is a way to make college affordable.”