Collin College and the Plano Independent School District recently signed an agreement to create the Wildcat Collegiate Academy. The new academy will start in Fall 2024 and will offer Plano ISD students a streamlined pathway to earn an associate degree and a high school diploma at the same time.
With cohorts of 125 students, the collegiate academy will be open to all eighth grade/rising ninth grade Plano ISD students. Students will start at Vines High School and continue at Plano Senior High School. Transportation will be available for Plano ISD students who are admitted to the academy. Wildcat Collegiate Academy students can earn an associate of arts or associate of science degree from Collin College.
“Earning college credit in high school is an academic and financial game changer for many of our students and their families,” said Plano ISD Superintendent Dr. Theresa Williams.
“As a parent of a child who earned an associate degree at the same time he earned a high school diploma, I know how beneficial this type of program can be in accelerating a student’s path at the university level. The Wildcat Collegiate Academy is one of several academy programs designed to advance Plano ISD students to their future, and we are grateful for this partnership with Collin College.”
According to Dr. Neil Matkin, Collin College district president, the college and PISD have a strong, longstanding partnership with approximately 1,350 students enrolled in dual credit classes, the Plano ISD Health Sciences Academy located at Williams High School and Plano East High School, and the Plano ISD Industries Academy located at the college’s Technical Campus.
“Collin College is thrilled to partner with PISD to bring the collegiate academy model to Plano,” Dr. Matkin said. “This model is a triple win for students, their families, and the communities we serve. Academy students can save time and experience the amazing opportunity of attending their high school graduation as college graduates. With two years of college credit under their belts, these students can then transfer to area universities as juniors, saving tens of thousands of dollars. And our already vibrant community will reap the benefit of future employees who will be in the workforce much sooner and with less debt.”
A Plano ISD academy open house, with information on the new Wildcat Collegiate Academy, will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 at Vines High School cafeteria, in Plano.
For more information about the new Wildcat Collegiate Academy, attend the open house, speak to a Plano ISD counselor, or visit www.pisd.edu/wca. Dual credit courses will still be offered at all three Plano ISD senior high schools for students who are not in the Wildcat Collegiate Academy.
Collin College serves more than 58,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates, including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) in Cybersecurity, a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Construction Management, and a new Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Clinical Operations Management. The only public college based in Collin County, Collin College is a partner to business, government, and industry, providing customized training and workforce development. For more information, visit www.collin.edu.