The University of Texas at Arlington announces new partnerships with the Grand Prairie and Mansfield school districts for a significant expansion of Bound for Success, the early admissions initiative aimed at increasing the number of high school students who earn a college degree.
The collaborative program provides high-achieving students deferred, unconditional admission provided they graduate with a recognized college preparatory diploma and satisfy the Texas Success Initiatives requirements.
It also provides advising services and support to help students maximize opportunities to earn college credit through dual credit high school courses, be well prepared for college and navigate the college application and admissions process.
The pilot program began last fall with the Arlington school district, and each partnership is tailored to meet a district’s needs. Combined, the three districts represent 125,000 students and their families.
“ A college education provides students with a spirit of discovery, inquiry and creativity, awareness and sense of community – all of which enable them to survive and to thrive in a rapidly changing world,” UT Arlington President Vistasp M. Karbhari said. “ Bound for Success is a warm welcome from UT Arlington to each and every student who aspires to a level of achievement and success that only a college degree can provide.”
In Grand Prairie, Bound for Success will serve every junior from Grand Prairie, South Grand Prairie and Dubiski Career High Schools – with different requirements based on class ranking and SAT or ACT scores. Students ranked in the top 25 percent of their junior class will receive deferred, unconditional admission, contingent upon their earning a college preparatory diploma and meeting Texas Success Initiatives requirements.
Students not in the top 25 percent may earn deferred, unconditional admission by meeting minimum SAT or ACT composite scores and other criteria, such as first earning college credit through the Tarrant County College or Dallas County Community College districts.
UT Arlington admissions advisers will be scheduled to work four days a week in district high schools, assisting students with admissions, financial aid and housing applications. The University also will provide three evening college preparation workshops and three evening financial aid workshops per high school each year.
The early admissions effort is aligned with the school district’s college and career readiness initiative, which begins preparing students for college as early as Pre-K.
“The GPISD Board of Trustees has placed an emphasis on college and career readiness for all students, and this opportunity is just one of the many efforts under way in our school district to connect students with success after high school,” Grand Prairie schools Superintendent Susan Hull said.
Hull added: “We are confident that this effort to introduce our students to a premier Tier One university that is close to home, affordable and offers academic programs aligned with our students’ interests will be a win-win for everyone.”
Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, UT Arlington provost and vice president for academic affairs, called the Grand Prairie partnership “a wonderful example of resources being leveraged to enable a high level of interaction between UT Arlington and high school students.”
“The resources being made available by GPISD ensure a higher level of success for all students and enable pathways to be defined for even those not in the top 25 percent,” Elsenbaumer said.
In Mansfield, Bound for Success awards juniors in the top 20 percent of their class pre-admission to UT Arlington, contingent upon their completion of a college preparatory diploma and that they meet Texas Success Initiatives requirements.
But the UT Arlington-Mansfield ISD partnership also allows q ualifying students to choose dual credit courses through the College of Engineering and the Mansfield school district’s “Project Lead the Way” Science, Technology, Engineering and Math sequence. Or, qualifying Mansfield students may select a dual credit Criminology Criminal Justice program aligned with the district’s Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security program.
Mouser Electronics Inc., a Mansfield-based global distributor of semiconductors and electronic components, and the Mansfield ISD Education Foundation, have dedicated scholarship funds to support Mansfield high school students who enroll in the UT Arlington dual credit engineering and criminal justice programs.
“This agreement represents an impressive collaboration in our community. The MISD Education Foundation, Mouser, UT Arlington and the MISD have combined resources to provide an amazing educational opportunity for our students,” Mansfield schools Superintendent Jim Vaszauskas said. “I am so proud of this partnership and the possibilities it provides for our students.”