As counselors, we contribute to the preparation and development of our students’ postsecondary plans. In Denton Independent School District in Texas, the partnerships we have with the local higher education institutions play an invaluable role in helping our students succeed. Here are four benefits students in our district have experienced as a result of our partnerships with local colleges and universities.

Dual Credit Opportunities
Denton ISD students are able to earn college credit before they graduate by taking college courses 
at any of the two- or four-year institutions in our community. Because courses can be taken 
at school or at the university or college campus, students get exposed to life on a college campus, and they become acquainted with the college application process before their senior year.

Greater College Access
The partnership with our community four-year institutions guarantee admission of Denton ISD juniors who are in the top of their class. Juniors in the top 20 percent gain admission to the University of North Texas and those in the top 30 percent obtain admission to Texas Woman’s University. The students who choose to participate in these programs are given the option to take part in on-campus experiences throughout their senior year to help them with the transition from high school to college.

Early College Exposure
Our high school students are not the only students who benefit from our district’s collaborative partnership with the colleges in our community. All Denton ISD sixth graders are taken on a field trip to tour the campus of the University of North Texas. During these tours, students view dormitory rooms, converse with professors and college students, and tour campus facilities. The opportunity to observe campus life firsthand increases student engagement in the college preparation process and helps students envision themselves as college students.

Invaluable College and Career Readiness Resources
Representatives from North Central Texas College, Texas Woman’s University, and the University of North Texas serve on our planning committee for our district College and Career Expo. They bring their expertise in the college admissions process and share resources and connections that afford our students additional opportunities to become college and career ready. 
Whether you have colleges and universities 
in your immediate geographic area or not, 
I encourage you to reach out to your higher education colleagues to foster collaborative partnerships that provide students additional resources and increase college and career readiness on your campuses. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

This article was originally published in Texas School Business


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