New BCHS program moves students closer to college degree: Core Complete
New BCHS program moves students closer to college degree
Bay City Independent School District is the leader in Matagorda County in secondary student opportunities, and is broadening that lead through its new “core complete” initiative. The initiative offers high school students the opportunity to be “core complete” when they graduate from Bay City High School. This designation is awarded to BCHS graduates who complete designated core college courses required by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) while at BCHS. Through BCISD’s partnership with Wharton County Junior College (WCJC), BCHS offers such college courses. Students who complete the approved 42 semester hours core curriculum at a Texas school must be accepted as core complete at any Texas higher education public institution.
BCISD Superintendent Dr. Marshall Scott III tasked his executive team with making “core complete” a reality for BCHS students from his first weeks on the job in June 2017. “Thanks to the work of our Chief Curriculum Officer Lisa Moya and BCHS Principal Estela Reyes, we are ready to roll out this new initiative for our families,” said Dr. Scott.
“We are excited to be able to offer this,” said Moya. “Students will be able to take a core that ties into their future college studies, further customizing their high school curriculum pathways.”
BCHS’s core complete courses will be a combination of face-to-face in-person instruction and online classes. “As more higher-ed coursework moves online, high school students will benefit from earlier exposure to online courses while still in high school,” said Moya. “This will allow them to further develop soft skills such as pacing, time-management, becoming their own best advocate, and the like,” she added.
The BCHS Core Complete program has begun this Spring semester, starting with speech and economics courses. The program will continue to roll out into the summer, with a variety of courses offered for grades nine through twelve. The Fall 2019 semester will see BCHS building more college labs into the master schedule.
Dr. Scott offered that students who graduate as core complete will only be approximately 18 hours/six courses away from achieving an Associate’s Degree. “In the near future, we hope to be able to add the Associate’s Degree option for our high school students,” he said. “Further, research shows that students in poverty benefit even more from the exposure to early college coursework. Students who get college credits while still in high school are more likely to move onto achieve a college degree.”
High School students will realize many benefits from taking the core complete coursework while still at BCHS.
First of all is the cost savings. The partnership with WCJC allows students to get in-district tuition rates. Plus, students are still living at home while taking the coursework, so families save on housing and transportation costs. Additionally, the students are still under the close eye of their high school support staff, so they benefit from access to them.
The partnership with WCJC will see expansion of courses and certifications offered at BCHS. Fall 2019 will see additions such as Dual Chemistry – a pre-requisite course for Process Technology certification. Also new for the upcoming Fall semester is the Education Pathway, which is for students wanting to enter the Educational field. Manufacturing Technology and Health Information Systems are expected to be added in Fall 2020.
According to the THECB, the Texas Core Curriculum (TCC) is a 42 Semester Credit Hour (SCH) core curriculum for all undergraduate students in Texas public higher education.
One of the most important provisions of the TCC is that it allows students who successfully complete a 42 semester credit hour (SCH) core curriculum at one institution to transfer the entire set of completed courses to another public Texas higher education institution without having to repeat any core courses. Students who transfer without completing the entire 42-SCH core curriculum also receive credit for each of the core courses they successfully complete.
Although the courses included in the TCC may vary by institution, every Texas higher education institution's core curriculum must include the following Foundational Component Areas and semester credit hours:
- Communication (6 SCH)
- Mathematics (3 SCH)
- Life and Physical Sciences (6 SCH)
- Language, Philosophy and Culture (3 SCH)
- Creative Arts (3 SCH)
- American History (6 SCH)
- Government/Political Science (6 SCH)
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 SCH)
- The Component Area Option (6 SCH)