Woden ISD helping students get college degrees

WODEN, TX (KTRE) - By Donna McCollum - email

WOODEN, TX (KTRE) - This year a school in Lufkin and one in Nacogdoches County have yet another opportunity to help students advance. It's called Early College High School.

Eighth-graders in the Woden ISD are on track for not only a high school diploma, but also a college degree.

"Students will be able to have the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours in an articulated degree plan, which is actually the equivalent of the first two years of college." said Heather Bergman, the director of curriculum instruction at Woden ISD.

Woden and Pineywoods Academy in Lufkin are the only early college high schools in Deep East Texas. There are no more than 50 across the entire state. The high-school reform model targets students not usually found in traditional advanced placement courses.

"It looks at non-traditional college-going students who may actually not be on a path for graduation and one of the fundamental beliefs is that acceleration, not remediation, makes the most difference in students who are struggling," said Bergman.

Another difference from dual credit is the early college high school offers college curriculum specific to a student's interest. Right now, Woden is delivering a nursing program.

Research shows if they can hit that 20-hour threshold, they're much more likely in finishing a four-year degree.

Potentially, every child entering the brand new Woden Elementary School could graduate from Woden with a high school and college degree. They can't begin too soon in preparing for their academic future.

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