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New Texas law aims to increase college enrollment rates

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 11:01pm

A startling statistic – a study finds more than a third of all US high school graduates - - aren't prepared for college. But a new Texas law aims to change that. Starting next year -- incoming freshman will have to choose a concentration.

Game boards and websites colorfully explain the path to high school graduation as new law, House Bill 5, requires.

"It gives them new graduation endorsements or pathways like we used to call our majors in college,” Angelica Nieto, the Associate Superintendent of Ysleta Independent School District explains.

Socorro and Ysleta Independent School Districts are preparing their incoming freshmen for the new law. "The students will have an opportunity to choose from five endorsements and from those it's like a college degree plan,” Patt Oneill, the Assistant Superintent of SISD says.

Those endorsements -- or career paths -- include everything from arts and humanities to the sciences. "So they can start focusing on the right pathway,” Nieto adds.

Ultimately the goal is to change the current statistics , "37-percent of the students that graduate from high schools here in the United States are not prepared for college,” Oneill claims.

Some do have concerns about the new law. Norma Salceda, of the Lower Valley, worries about her grandson having to choose a path so early in life. "I think it's good, but sometimes it puts a lot of stress on the kids, also. Like on the STAR test and all that it's very stressful on the kids because my younger kids get very stressed on that,” Salceda tells us.

But educators say students can change their minds -- and their paths -- at any time. "Right now they might choose one subject area or one endorsement but then after a year in high school they want to change they will have that flexibility,” Oneill explains.

Unlike a board game, where there's only one winner, educators say House Bill 5 is a win-win for every student. SISD will be launching their new website on HB5 Friday. YISD will be handing out their information brochures at every meeting.
Ysleta Independent School District –
Socorro Independent School District –


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