Canyon ISD joins Amarillo College's Diplomas & Degrees program


By Joe Wyatt

Amarillo College and the Canyon Independent School District are poised to ratify an agreement that will give qualified CISD students the opportunity to pursue full associate degrees in general studies beginning in the ninth grade.

Amarillo College launched its Diplomas and Degrees program in 2009 to enable top-performing students in AC’s Dual Credit network to pursue associate degrees with a chance to graduate concurrently from high school and AC.

Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, AC president, and Dr. Darryl Flusche, CISD superintendent, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11 at the CISD Administration Building, 3301 N. 23rd St.

“We are so privileged to welcome CISD into the Diplomas and Degrees program,” Lowery-Hart said. “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.”

Diplomas and Degrees is primarily designed for students whose eighth-grade Texas Success Initiative (TSI) scores demonstrate college readiness. Successful graduates sometimes begin their university careers as full juniors.

However, schools or school districts already in the Dual Credit network must formally opt in as partners of Diplomas and Degrees before students may take part in it.

AC has previously signed similar MOUs with Ascension Academy, Amarillo Collegiate Academy, Amarillo ISD, Bushland, and Highland Park schools.

“Working with Amarillo College’s Diplomas and Degrees program opens doors to more opportunities for our students,” Flusche said. “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.”

Approximately 40 of the 60 credit hours needed to graduate from AC 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 predominantly during summers at AC.

For more information about AC’s Dual Credit program, including Diplomas and Degrees, please contact Jason Norman, co-director, at (806) 371-5214.

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