Wednesday, February 1, 2017

DISD Academies Update

The information below was provided by Patti Burks, the faculty representative to the DISD Collegiate Academies Steering Team, on January 30, 2017

Here are some items of interest for faculty regarding the DISD Collegiate Academies:

Cohort 1
  • Over 300 students from the cohort 1 schools were enrolled in a college course in Fall 2016. While final grades have not been tallied, preliminary indications are that over 90% successfully completed their college course. 
  • Revisions to some of the pathways are underway and DISD is working with DCCCD to identify the high school courses that correspond to each college course. The pathways should be updated on the website in the next month or so.
  • Faculty in the cohort 1 pathways should have already identified the textbooks needed for 2017-2018. You should also be communicating with the high schools to finalize schedules, software and equipment needs.
Cohort 2
  • Ten additional collegiate academies are planned to open in Fall 2017. Some of these pathways include AS or AA degrees as well as AAS degrees which include more liberal arts courses.
  • Recruitment efforts are underway now and the application process has begun. There appears to be a lot of interest in the academies and plenty of applicants.
  • Many of the cohort 2 academies only have 2 pathways rather than 3. It is not known at this time what the split of students will be at each school. Faculty are encouraged to meet with their dual credit liaisons and affiliated high schools to coordinate this effort and ensure that the colleges have the resources to support the number of students in each pathway.
  • You should receive a request for textbook, software and equipment requirements in the next 2-3 weeks for the cohort 2 academies. Our goal is to communicate the needs early enough to make sure that the courses are ready to go on day 1.
  • The budget allocation from the District Office includes an assumption that the staffing for the academies will be 40% full-time faculty and 60% adjunct faculty.
  • Finding qualified adjunct faculty to teach in the academies is proving to be very difficult. 
    • Classes must be held during the day.
    • In several of the technical programs, the contact hours for the courses are high (6-7 hrs per week) which means that an adjunct can only teach 1 course per semester per our employment rules
    • Classes are very specialized – particularly in years 3 and 4 – which means there are fewer qualified applicants, particularly who are not already working full-time.
    • In many cases, the academies are competing with each other for the same applicants.
  • Faculty are encouraged to discuss with your VPAA and VPBS the need for full-time faculty dedicated to the academies for the programs to be successful and not negatively impact our current students.
  • We are investigating ways to help with the staffing issue including centralized advertising specifically for the academies, recruitment from DISD teachers and retirees, discussions with industry partners, etc. 
Industry Partners
  • All cohort 1 and cohort 2 schools have at least one industry partner and most have more.
  • Discussions are underway with each industry partner to fully define their role and relationship with the academy and the college.
Professional Development
  • A second dual credit professional development session was held in January prior to the semester with over 70 attendees.
  • All dual credit faculty are encouraged to join the Blackboard Early College High School Dual Credit Community site which includes many policies and procedures for dual credit, the professional development materials, etc.
    • Login to Blackboard
    • Click on Community
    • Enter Dual Credit in the search box
    • Click on “Early College High School Dual Credit” community
    • Click Enroll to self enroll
Please share with all faculty and let me know if you have any questions.


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