Students in the Canyon Independent School District are about to get some good news.
On Wednesday afternoon, CISD officials will sign a memorandum of understanding with Amarillo College that will allow its students to take dual-credit classes thus receiving both high school and college credits. It's part of AC's Diplomas and Degrees program.
Canyon ISD students who qualify for the program can begin pursuing a full associate degree in general studies starting their freshman year.
Amarillo College President Russell Lowery-Hart and CISD Superintendent Darryl Flusche are expected to sign the memorandum at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the CISD Administration Building, 3301 N. 23rd St. in Canyon.
"We are so privileged to welcome CISD into the Diplomas and Degrees program," Lowery-Hart said in a prepared statement. "We believe this is truly a win-win. Canyon schools have a track record of producing excellent scholars, and the benefits to those who qualify for this program can be enormous in both time and money saved."
The Diplomas and Degrees program is primarily for students whose eighth-grade Texas Success Initiative scores demonstrate college readiness. Successful graduates sometimes begin their university careers as full juniors, according to an AC news release.
"Working with Amarillo College’s Diplomas and Degrees program opens doors to more opportunities for our students," Flusche said in a prepared statement. "Our district strives for every graduate to have a plan for their future. We believe this program extends the choices for equipping students when they graduate high school."
Amarillo College began the Diplomas and Degrees program in 2009 to allow top-performing students in AC’s Dual Credit network to pursue associate degrees with a chance to graduate from high school and the college at the same time.
Amarillo College has similar agreements with Ascension Academy, Amarillo Collegiate Academy, Amarillo ISD, Bushland ISD and Highland Park ISD schools.
About 40 of the 60 credit hours needed to graduate from Amarillo College are offered through the Dual Credit program. Mainstream college courses, primarily electives, comprise the remaining hours needed for high school students to obtain a degree, and those are completed mostly during summers at AC, the news release stated.