Students get early jump with college readiness programs

While some students spend their lazy summer days sleeping in, others chose to participate in some of the college readiness programs offered by Frenship Middle and High Schools.

“I thinks it’s a great opportunity,” Simone Emmett, incoming freshman, said. “It’s a big step-up and would help me to get scholarships, get into more colleges and give me more opportunities.”

For the past few month, students have been participating in the Summer Scholars Academy, “Creating a Vision” College Visitation Program and taking classes in preparation for the first year of Early College High School.

The ECHS provides students accepted into the program the opportunity to receive an associates of science or an associates of art, dual-credit, at no cost, while still attending Frenship High School.

Incoming freshmen Emmett, Marissa Valadez and Laura DeLeon are taking keyboarding and career connections to prepare them for their first year as Early College High School students. Emmett said she hopes to gain more than educational opportunities from ECHS.

“It helps you grow up and realize all your responsibilities instead of right whenever you get out of high school you’re like, ‘Look at all this stuff I have to do,’” said Emmett. “Instead, you’re already getting used to it.”

Bonnie Stennett, college readiness coordinator, said these online courses will benefit the students in the fall.

“This summer, students are taking some online classes so when they start their freshman year it opens up some more spots so they can get their credits needed so they can start dual-credit their sophomore year at the earliest,” said Stennett.

Emmett, Valadez and DeLeon are three of 125 students enrolled in online summer courses. Other students have spent their mornings preparing for exams.

The Summer Scholars Academy is a three-week program built to help students improve their scores on national standardized tests.  Each week, students attended morning classes in preparation to take the ACT, SAT, and PLAN, PSAT and Accuplacer.  Classes were  June 2 – 20 and had more than 150 students participate.

“Students realize now how competitive it is getting into the top universities,” said Stennett. “This gives them an added advantage. Even if it’s just getting those three more points on the ACT, that could mean thousands of dollars in scholarships.”

Stennett said another incentive was students who attended all days of the ACT and SAT prep-classes and took the tests on the following Saturdays had their test registrations fees reimbursed.

Students who participated in the “Creating a Vision” College Visitation Program on June 4 had the option to visit the campuses of Lubbock Christian University, Texas Tech University and South Plains College.  This program was open to all incoming seventh- through 10th- grade students.

“It started them getting into the thought process about going to college and getting them in the campus setting,” said Stennett.  “Some of them have never seen a college campus outside of a football game. They had the opportunity to talk to admissions and see what is offered to them as close as Lubbock or Levelland.”

Even though taking some time out of the summer may be a turn-off to some students, Emmett said she thinks it’s a good use of time.

“It really isn’t bad,” said Emmett. “It gives me something to do, and it’s a lot  better than just sitting at home and being a couch potato.”

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