Next school year, Plano ISD high school students will have a streamlined pathway to earning an associate degree and a high school diploma at the same time. The program, called the Wildcat Collegiate Academy, is the result of a partnership between Plano ISD and Collin College.
The academy will start in Fall 2024 with rising ninth grade students at Vine High School to continue at Plano Senior High School. Transportation will be available to PISD students who are admitted to the academy.
“Earning college credit in high school is an academic and financial game changer for many of our students and their families,” said Plano ISD Superintendent Dr. Theresa Williams. “As a parent of a child who earned an associate degree at the same time he earned a high school diploma, I know how beneficial this type of program can be in accelerating a student’s path at the university level. The Wildcat Collegiate Academy is one of several academy programs designed to advance Plano ISD students to their future, and we are grateful for this partnership with Collin College.”
According to Neil Matkin, Collin College district president, the program is an expansion of the current partnership that enrolls approximately 1,350 students in dual credit classes, works with the Plano ISD Health Sciences Academy at Williams High School and Plano East High School and works with the Plano ISD Industries Academy located at the college’s technical campus. These programs will continue to be offered in addition to the new Wildcat Collegiate Academy.
“Collin College is thrilled to partner with PISD to bring the collegiate academy model to Plano,” Matkin said. “This model is a triple win for students, their families, and the communities we serve. Academy students can save time and experience the amazing opportunity of attending their high school graduation as college graduates. With two years of college credit under their belts, these students can then transfer to area universities as juniors, saving tens of thousands of dollars. And our already vibrant community will reap the benefit of future employees who will be in the workforce much sooner and with less debt.”