Wester Middle School

FISD Expands Dual Credit Options through Collin College

Jan 13, 2017

An expanded partnership with Collin College will give Frisco ISD students the opportunity to earn an associate degree at the same time as their high school diploma.

FISD will add numerous dual credit course offerings over the next four years, providing students with even more options for academic success.

“This is a huge step forward for student opportunity in Frisco ISD,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeremy Lyon. “The District already offers many rigorous courses to prepare students for college and career. This growing partnership with Collin College enhances our current offerings and gives students even more ability to customize their schedules to meet their long-term goals.”

Collin College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and credits transfer to nearly any university. The partnership will also allow FISD students to complete the first two years of their bachelor’s degrees at Collin College tuition rates and begin as upper classmen at a university. 

“We are proud of the roles Collin College and Frisco ISD play in building a skilled and educated workforce,” said Collin College District President Dr. Neil Matkin. “We have a shared, intentional pursuit of excellence, and the college is thrilled to partner with Frisco ISD on this very important initiative.”

The number of dual credit options for high school students will increase each year until the phase-in is complete in fall 2020. Current eighth graders will be the first graduating class eligible to earn the full 60 hours of college credit needed for an associate degree.

FISD is preventing unfair impacts to the calculation of Grade Point Average (GPA) by phasing the program in over time. Students will earn a maximum point total of 5.5 for dual credit courses. Regular courses carry a maximum point total of 5.0, while Advanced Placement (AP) courses allow students to obtain up to a 6.0.

“We know no two students are the same – their needs and interests are different,” said Katie Kordel, FISD deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “This partnership allows FISD to give students and families more options. Students are able to access college facilities and gain experience to help them make a seamless transition to the next level.”

Dual credit classes will be taught at Collin College or before school at FISD high schools. Transportation will not be provided. Courses will be taught by college instructors and/or high school teachers who have a master’s degree and at least 18 hours in the subject area being taught.

Frisco ISD students will be responsible for paying for tuition, books and fees associated with courses at Collin College, which is the most affordable college in the state of Texas. Tuition for a 3-credit hour course is $128 for Collin County residents and $251 for Denton County residents. The cost is higher for out-of-county residents, since Denton County residents do not pay taxes to support Collin College.

At the 2016-2017 rates, a Collin County resident would spend approximately $2,640 in tuition and fees to complete an associate degree, or $5,100 for Denton County residents. Students who transfer to a university for a bachelor’s degree after completing an associate degree save an average of roughly $17,000 and graduate with two degrees.  

In addition, students should anticipate spending approximately $3,000 for books for the entire degree plan. Students receiving free or reduced lunch benefits may have tuition waived. Dual credit students are eligible for scholarships through the Collin College Foundation for both tuition and books.

“Collin College’s dual credit program offers amazing benefits to Frisco ISD families,” said Collin College Executive Vice President Dr. Brenda Kihl. “Completing college classes in high school pays huge dividends through both cost and time savings, which can translate to lower college debt and greater college success.”

Students interested in taking dual credit must receive permission from the appropriate high school counselor, meet Texas Success Initiative standards and demonstrate the maturity level needed to be successful in college course work. An A/B grade point average is also recommended.

Frisco ISD and Collin College will work together to provide students with academic counseling and resources to plan for their future.

“We’re so excited to see this become a reality for our students,” said Brenda Berry, FISD director of guidance and counseling. “Students can save thousands of dollars in tuition by taking advantage of this opportunity to earn college credit while they’re still in high school.”

Learn More

Frisco ISD and Collin College will host four informational nights regarding the new offerings for students in grades 8-11 and their parents. Each event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the conference center at the Collin College Preston Ridge Campus, 9700 Wade Boulevard in Frisco.

Please plan to attend on the date corresponding with your child’s school:

  • Wednesday, February 1 – Centennial, Independence, Heritage, Lebanon Trail and Liberty high schools
  • Tuesday, February 7 – Frisco, Lone Star, Reedy and Wakeland high schools
  • Wednesday, March 1 – Clark, Fowler, Maus, Nelson, Roach, Scoggins, Staley, Vandeventer and Wester middle schools
  • Thursday, March 2 – Cobb, Griffin, Hunt, Pearson, Pioneer Heritage, Stafford and Trent middle schools

You can also download the dual credit brochure