STEM Early College HS now accepting applications

Current eighth-grade students interested in attending STEM Early College High School (STEM ECHS) in the 2020-2021 school year can now submit an online application by Feb. 7, 2020.

STEM ECHS, in partnership with Palo Alto College, was established in 2014 to provide students an education focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, where they can earn up to 60 college credit hours. Ultimately, students have the opportunity to graduate high school and earn an associate’s degree, tuition-free.

Along with the college courses at Palo Alto College, STEM ECHS offers students the opportunity to explore the fields of computer programming, biotechnology and robotics on the high school campus. Students start taking their first college course in the spring of the ninth grade year.

“The opportunity provided to our STEM ECHS students is amazing and truly deserving to our community,” Harlandale ISD Interim Superintendent Samantha Gallegos said. “This is a representation model of college life for our students, where they get first-hand and onsite classes in a personalized environment.”

Enrollment is open to current eighth grade students who will enter high school for the first time next year in August. Applications are available now online or a paper application can be filled out and submitted to either the campus or a middle school counselor. In order to qualify for STEM ECHS, students must be promoted to ninth grade for the 2020-2021 school year. 

“STEM ECHS is granted the opportunity by the state to enroll students that are historically underrepresented in college courses,” STEM ECHS Principal Michael Littlefield said. “Whether that means first-generation college students, students from families that may not be able to afford college tuition or students that have experienced challenges in school but want to start the process of building their future.”

At the end of this school year, STEM ECHS graduates will have earned approximately more than 14,000 college hours, saving students approximately a combined $2.4 million in tuition.

“STEM ECHS is an opportunity for any incoming high school freshman to start their college careers with the support that comes from a public high school,” Littlefield added. “Students that enter STEM ECHS with a dream can be taught how to become responsible, and in turn, begin the process of realizing their dream.”

During all four years of high school, the campus helps STEM ECHS students find the university that best matches their needs and assists with finding the financial support they need to pay for the continuation of their degree. Students may also participate in the sports offered at the school they would be attending (at either Harlandale HS or McCollum HS). Transportation options are available to students from the two comprehensive high schools, Harlandale HS or McCollum HS, as well as to Palo Alto College.

For more information, parents and students can call STEM ECHS at (210) 989-3500.

To learn more about STEM ECHS, click here to view video.

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