Falcon Early College High School to change locations
Thursday evening Ector County ISD, Odessa College and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin hosted a meeting to let parents know that Falcon Early College High School, housed at UTPB for its first three years, will be moving to the OC campus beginning this August. While the location of the school is changing the early college high school charter remains the same. As the summer goes on ECISD will work closely with both OC and UTPB to ensure that the transition for Falcon students and families will be seamless. Transition teams from all three institutions will work to evaluate, understand and meet Falcon students’ needs, including transfer of credit, classroom facilities, food service, and course scheduling. Odessa College will share specifics regarding the process with the public as well as Falcon students and families at a special meeting of the Odessa College Board of Trustees on Thursday, June 28.
Odessa College is already home to ECISD’s Odessa Career & Technical Early College High School (OCTECHS). In 2015, OCTECHS was one of only four new ECHS campuses with a career and technical education focus. It was designated as part of the tri-agency CTE ECHS Initiative by the Texas Education Agency, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and Texas Workforce Commission. OCTECHS is the high school of choice for over 360 students, freshman through seniors.
Falcon ECHS, also opened in 2015, is the home for 237 students, freshmen through seniors. Together, OC, ECISD and UTPB look forward to meeting the original goal of providing Falcon students with the opportunity to receive a high school diploma and earn 60 hours of college credit. This transition will allow students to now earn an associate’s degree along with a seamless pathway for completing a bachelor’s degree at UT Permian Basin, including university scholarship opportunities for all qualified graduates who choose to finish at UTPB.
This change helps to alleviate issues related to space and resources on the UTPB campus. The university’s enrollment is growing, as is the K-12 academy there, and it has become increasing difficult to find the space and financial resources to provide the level of excellence that all of the students on our campus deserve.
Early college high schools are designed to remove major barriers to postsecondary educational access and success. By providing early, continuous and tuition-free immersion in a college learning environment as part of the high school experience, early college high schools close the financial and resource gaps that prevent many students from attending college. Students who might not otherwise have made the choice to attend college are able to take advantage of the opportunity provided by an early college high school – becoming part of a college-going culture and earning either an associate’s degree or 60 hours of college credit towards a bachelor’s degree.