Making College a Reality

ACC and AISD team up to create more collegians

Austin Community College president Robert Aguero knows how mystifying college can seem for students whose relatives haven't gone through the experience. He likes to recall a presentation he was giving a group of potential first-generation college students, in which he explained that a normal college load is 12 hours.

"Finally one student raised his hand and said, 'You know, I want to go to college, but I don't know if I can go 12 hours a day,'" said Aguero.

It is these kinds of misconceptions that ACC and AISD are hoping to dispel through a new College Connection program announced on Thursday. In what Aguero describes as "a hand-holding process," all seniors at AISD's 12 high schools will undergo a barrage of workshops, counseling sessions, and college fairs designed to help them hit testing and financial aid deadlines and to nail down the notion that post-secondary education is an inevitable part of their futures. Then, at the end of the semester, every AISD grad will be given a letter of acceptance to ACC. The idea, says AISD superintendent Pat Forgione, is to make college not just a vague aspiration, but a "natural progression from high school."

"At graduation I often ask students what they plan to do, and they say they want to go to ACC but they often haven't acted on it," he said. "If it's May and it hasn't been acted on, it's not going to be acted on."

The College Connection program is the latest in a series of ACC-AISD partnerships: AISD has also subcontracted with ACC to run its career and technology programs, and AISD students can participate in dual-credit programs in which students can earn ACC credit for classes they take in high school. (Perhaps as a next step, AISD could eliminate the middleman altogether and subcontract with ACC for an entire dual-credit high school experience, in which students graduate from high school with a college degree.) But in any case, many students will no doubt appreciate AISD's efforts to smooth the bumps between wanting to go to college, and actually making it to class.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More education
Top 10 Education Stories
Top 10 Education Stories
Reading, writing, arithmetic ... well, that's three!

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 30, 2016

Patrick: Cut Costs for Rich Kids
Patrick: Cut Costs for Rich Kids
Lt. gov. targets tuition credits, waivers

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 2, 2016

More by Rachel Proctor May
Chartering Middle School
Chartering Middle School
Hoping to reach middle-schoolers who could go off track in a regular school setting, district moves forward with charter school plans

June 2, 2006

TAKS Scores Show Both Improvement and Trouble for AISD
TAKS Scores Show Both Improvement and Trouble for AISD
Numbers down for the crucial third and 11th grades

May 26, 2006

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

education, Robert Aguero, Pat Forgione, AISD

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle