CFISD Highlighted for Dual Credit Participation

Cypress, TX (March 29, 2016) District 7 State Sen. Paul Bettencourt praised CFISD for its dual credit success during a March 23 press conference highlighting the achievements of Senate Bill (SB) 1004, allowing public school students to take dual credit courses with the four community colleges in Harris County.

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From left: Kathy Guerra, Cy Creek senior; Terri Shell, Cy Creek lead counselor; Dr. Mark Henry, CFISD superintendent; and Amber Stephens, Cy Creek college and career specialist

Sen. Bettencourt revealed that SB 1004, which was passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, coincides with a 14-percent increase in dual credit classes taught in Harris County from 2014-2015 to 2015-2016.

“Research shows students perform better in high school and in college after taking dual credit coursework and that is why I was happy to author SB 1004 that would give students in Harris County more options for dual credit courses,” Sen. Bettencourt said. “The new dual credit expansion program will allow school districts to work with any community college system to offer unlimited dual credit courses and remove the current three-course limit requirement.”

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Senator Paul Benttencourt speaks with Cy Creek representatives; Dr. Mark Henry addresses the crowd

Dr. Mark Henry, CFISD superintendent, was invited to speak at the press conference, held at Lone Star College–University Park. Partnering with Lone Star College–CyFair, CFISD boasted a dual credit enrollment of 6,847 in 2014-2015 and has increased enrollment to 7,733 in 2015-2016.

“Because of the positive partnership we enjoy with Lone Star–CyFair, we really look at it as a K-14 program,” Dr. Henry said. “In order for students to increase their chances of success, they need postsecondary education or training. Why not start while they are in secondary?”

Cypress Creek High School senior Kathy Guerra was also invited to speak at the press conference. She has earned 16 total dual credit hours since her junior year, which she will apply toward a biomedical engineering degree at the University of Texas at Dallas. A first-generation American and the first in her family to attend college, Guerra said the program has prepared her for an eventual career as a cardiologist.

“I’m really glad this legislation is moving forward because of how it will benefit the future generations of college-bound students,” Guerra said. “I have a younger brother who I am going to encourage to take dual credit courses because I have seen firsthand what it does. It helps prepare you for college. Now I will be able to have the higher education that my parents weren’t able to access.”

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Cy Creek senior, Terri Shell

Guerra was joined at the press conference by Cypress Creek administrators Terrie Shell, lead counselor, and Amber Stephens, college and career specialist, who she credited for the additional college preparation.

“I didn’t have much background knowledge of how the college experience and process would be,” she said. “Having them give talks and host parent nights—all those resources helped further my knowledge to be better prepared to go to college.”

Guerra had previously given dual credit and AP presentations to sophomore Cypress Creek students and parents during parent night to prepare her for the press conference.

“It was a bit overwhelming, but I’m glad I was able to come here and see a little more background into what people are trying do for other students’ future education,” she said.

Courtesy of the District