CORSICANA — Navarro College and Waxahachie Independent School District officials are working on a new partnership — Early College High School.

College board trustees were briefed on the concept during their regular monthly meeting Thursday. Talks are underway with and organizational details, said Dr. Harold Nolte, president of the college’s Ellis County campuses.

The Early College High School partnership would serve as a new model for Waxahachie’s “Global High School” concept launched several years ago, which offered an alternative learning model with emphasis on science and engineering, Nolte said. The new program’s goal is to have students involved in the four-year high school program graduate high school and earn an associate’s degree at the same time.

“We will graduate students ready for more college, or for the workforce,” Nolte told trustees.

“It will augment the existing dual-credit program,” explained Dr. Richard Sanchez, college district president.

Aimed primarily at “first generation” students from economically disadvantaged or low income populations, the Early College High School program would include 100 students in each grade level from 9th through 12th grades, similar to the Global High School model. It would be housed in a building completely remodeled for the old program, Nolte said.

Navarro College and Waxahachie administrators visited a similar operation recently in El Paso, which sparked interest for establishing a program in Ellis County. Presently, about 35 Early College High School programs are operating in Texas, and about 250 nationwide, Nolte said.

“We saw freshmen and sophomores taking college chemistry classes, and doing well,” Nolte said of the El Paso visit. “It was an eye-opening experience.”

Under the model being discussed, the Waxahachie ISD would be responsible for purchasing books, paying instructors and providing facilities. Navarro College would receive credit for student contact hours generated by the college-level instruction in the Early College High School, Nolte explained.

Both the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board would have to approve the partnership with Waxahachie ISD before the program could be implemented.

Financial reports reviewed

Trustees approved the college’s financial reports, and approved Prosperity Bank’s pledged collateral for the college’s deposits with the bank. Trustee Phil Judson had requested the review of the pledged collateral at the January meeting.

Building

presentation heard

Representatives from pm2i, a project management firm, briefed trustees on plans for possible new buildings in Ellis County. Dr. Richard Sanchez said the college is preparing plans for possible funding by economic stimulus funds. Expansion of the Midlothian and Waxahachie campuses are being considered, Sanchez said.

Bid awarded

Generation II Builders was awarded a contract to build a new 32-bed residence hall. The new hall should be completed by July 13.

Police present annual report

Kraig Hawkins, chief of the Navarro College Police Department, presented the annual racial profiling report. Hawkins said the department was in compliance, and no complaints were lodged against the college in 2007.

Policy changes adopted

Trustees approved changes to college policy on Dual Credit Testing Requirements, Teaching/Loads, and Governing Body procedures.

Next meeting set

Trustees will next meet March 26 in Midlothian.