Roscoe Collegiate ISD is currently in its fifth year as an Early College. The Early College program has experienced consistent growth over the past four years. The Fall 2013 Semester began with over 100 of the 110 students in grades 9 through 12 enrolled in 265 college classes, totaling 824 hours. Completion rates for the Associate Degree have also grown steadily from one student four years ago, to 52% of the 2011 graduating class, 58% of the 2012 graduating class, and 73% of the 2013 graduating class. The current expectation for the Class of 2014 is approximately 89%, nearing the original goal of 90% associate degreed graduates by 2015.
As a result of the initial Early College endeavor, Roscoe Collegiate is now heavily invested in a college readiness program, AVID, for all students in grades 7 through 12. Additionally, the district has adopted a Common Instructional Framework that is comprised of the 21st Century skills, of which employers are demanding proficiency among their employees. As a means of assessing the level of student engagement in the Common Instructional Framework, the district has also adopted the Harvard Instructional Rounds Model, consisting of both internal and external assessment of student engagement on a weekly basis. Finally, the district is partnering with a world leader in understanding and educating poverty, The Leadership and Learning Center, located in Denver, Colorado. The focus of this partnership is to close the literacy gap among low-socioeconomic learners by grade 3, thereby empowering these students to become truly college ready by grade 9 and beyond.
Roscoe Collegiate is also now in year two as a STEM Academy, the first as a full designee. The purpose of STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math, is to develop students who demonstrate high levels of aptitude in the STEM fields, thus empowering them to pursue the abundance of careers in STEM fields having been identified as having acute shortages of qualified applicants. As a result of the STEM designation, we are also nearing completion of the second year of a two year investigative process, with assistance from a STEM Advisory Committee consisting of over 50 members from local, regional, and state universities, AgriLife Extension, T-STEM, Educate Texas, Region 14 Education Service Center, as well as the local, regional, and state business and political communities. After receiving voter approval last May to construct a $3.5 million STEM Research Center, the committee is currently investigating the most effective design to enable the Research Center to complement the E-ON Center for Innovation and Higher Education and the Collegiate Wellness Center in the district’s attempt to provide the real world relevance deemed necessary for successfully demanding the required rigor for true college and career readiness.
As a member of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, Roscoe Collegiate continues in the development of a multiple measure accountability system. Two aspects of that system for Roscoe will include student developed research presentations and evidence based electronic portfolios. The STEM Research Program will become the basis for student led research, data collection and analysis, and research poster development and presentation, as we strive to develop a lesson cycle for a research based institution. This will be the lesson cycle to which all students in grades 3-11 will adhere, culminating with a year long, career path relevant, capstone research project in grade 12. The purpose of the capstone research projects will be to create additional scholarship opportunities for students seeking financial assistance with the completion of undergraduate and graduate college degrees. The model will also include student apprenticeship experiences consisting of both intern and extern opportunities in grades 10-12, leading to business and industry recognized endorsements symbolic of true workforce readiness.
The Roscoe Collegiate 4H Program is being used as a vehicle to stimulate student interest and engagement in STEM related practices and research. Students in grades 3 through 12 are currently working across the curriculum to develop 4H science research projects and posters. These research posters will be presented at local, regional, and state 4H competitions in an attempt to elevate student STEM research skills, enabling them to better handle the rigorous demands of a Research Based Early College and STEM Academy at the high school level.
As a result of the developmental process for The Roscoe Collegiate Model, the district has evolved away from the 20th Century concept of an Independent School District into more of a System Model approach. Currently, members of the Roscoe Collegiate System include the original two-year higher education partners, Western Texas College in Snyder and Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, as well as the original parent organization for Early College and T-STEM, Educate Texas. Additionally, the district has a four-year university partnership with Angelo State University, as well as system partnerships with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, 4H, and the Texas Tech T-STEM Center. This Systemic Model approach enables Roscoe Collegiate to better provide students with the resources necessary to engage in a much more globally competitive educational and work force environment, than students heretofore have experienced, upon graduation from high school. It is the goal of Educate Texas at the state level and Jobs for the Future at the national level for The Roscoe Collegiate System Model to become a model that can be replicated by other schools in Texas and the United States interested in 21st Century School Transformation.