LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Eighth-grade parents were treated to a pleasant surprise last night when Lufkin High School announced their kids would have the opportunity to get free college.
Lufkin ISD has announced it will be partnering with Angelina College to bring an early college program, to Lufkin High School's campus.
Two years ago, Angelina College and Lufkin ISD became interested in the "Early College High School, which has now been funded with an anonymous grant.
"The student and parent cannot be charged when you're a TEA-designated school," said Angelina College's concurrent admissions counsel, Phillip Johnson. "Which is very different from the other model. You don't have those parameters."
The Texas Education Agency designation brings with it a blueprint of resources, like ready access to tutoring.
Students will have the opportunity to earn a full associates degree, but it's not a requirement.
"Really it's the goal of making for success, whereas just taking dual credit is not going to be as structured as what a TEA ECHS is going to be," Johnson said.
The "Early College High School" will start with the current 8th-grade class and will fill a total of 120 seats.
"Whether it's a student that's highly motivated, a student that may need a no-cost solution to a college education, or may even be the first in their family to go to college, this is such an amazing opportunity," said director Julie McManus, the director of counseling at Lufkin High School. "I'm so excited for our students to be able to offer them up to 60 college credit hours, at no cost."
Malcolm Deason is the father of a 7th grader, but he said that he's already thinking of applying.
"This will give kids that don't necessarily have that benefit and opportunity to see the reality of college, early on," Deason said.
"Early College High School" classes will start in the spring of 2019.
The program officially becomes available to students when the anonymous grant donor signs for funding.
Applications are available by visiting the 8th-grade counselor, at Lufkin Middle School. The application process will close on March 9th.