Early college campuses come out on top

Scores shine the light on hard work at Collegiate, Branch 

Corpus Christi’s two early college campuses were its highest-performing high schools in 2017-18, according to the Texas Education Agency.

Collegiate High School earned an overall score of 97, while the Harold T. Branch Academy for Career and Technical Education received a 95.

“I think what’s important is what’s behind the scores. I think it’s important that people recognize and understand all the variables that compose that score and that a score is just face value, but the work behind the score is probably the most important,” said Tracie Rodriguez, director of Early College and Workforce Education and principal of both Collegiate, which is on Del Mar College’s East Campus, and Branch, located near West Campus.

The next highest-scoring high school in CCISD was Veterans Memorial, which received an 86. The Overall Performance score is calculated by comparing the Student Achievement grade and the School Progress grade. The higher of the two is selected and counts as 70 percent of the Overall score. The remaining 30 percent is the Closing the Gaps score, which measures how different populations of students are performing.

“It is affirmation,” Rodriguez said. “It is something that we share within our own school community, that we take pride in. We celebrate with students and tell them how proud we are.”

The pride is shared among many students.

“Collegiate has so many accomplishments and many things to be proud of. However, I am most proud of everyone’s thirst for knowledge, said junior Matthew Benavides, who hopes to pursue a civil engineering degree at the University of Houston. “The teachers are always willing to help their students and the culture of the school is like a family. If we are falling behind they will do everything in their power to teach us what we need to know to succeed.”

Victoria Garcia, a Collegiate junior who plans to take a gap year to travel the world or join AmeriCorps before college, agrees.

“Everyone is welcoming, caring and willing to put in the time for you to succeed,” Garcia said.

During the 2017-18 school year, Collegiate’s graduation rate was 95 percent, while Branch’s was 90.

“We expect every student to graduate and we expect every student to have a transition plan to a post-secondary experience and/or military plan,” Rodriguez said. “If a student pursues a college education we prep them and provide that plan for them. If they choose to move into the workplace we still provide a transition plan because one day they might choose to come back to school.

“If it is that they want to go military based we are inclusive of utilizing their educational experience in high school, especially with college credit to enter the military potentially with a higher rank because of their college credit,” Rodriguez added. “So we’re very intentional about ensuring that every graduate has a transition plan to something that’s going to benefit their future.”





Collegiate                                  Branch

Student Achievement         95                                                 93

School Progress                  94                                                 93

Closing the Gaps                100                                               100

OVERALL                            97                                                 95

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