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Rockwall ISD and Texas Tech University announce academic partnership

(ROCKWALL, TX – May 23, 2018) Rockwall ISD and Texas Tech University formalized today a partnership at a public signing ceremony at the Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy.

This unique partnership gives Texas Tech the ability to host both face-to-face and online classes at the Academy. Students will now have the opportunity to receive a high-quality degree from a tier one university without having to relocate.

“I’m so proud we are partnered with a tier one university like Texas Tech,” said Dr. John Villarreal, superintendent of Rockwall ISD. “This partnership will offer many opportunities to our students in the future as well as the greater Rockwall community. I want to thank the former Rockwall Business Education Council and Dr. Gene Burton for their vision 10 years ago of an Academy with a university partnership. We are also appreciative to the community for their support of the 2015 bond that made this project a reality.”

The Williams Middle School Jazz Band and Amy Parks-Heath Elementary Choir added to the festivities by performing for the crowd.

The Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy will be a vital part of the STEM program for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The Academy will offer pathways designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore career options and professional certifications. The district is also partnering with Collin College to provide dual credit learning opportunities for students.

“Texas Tech has several regional teaching sites that allow place-bound students to receive a high-quality degree from a tier one university,” said Melanie Hart, vice provost for eLearning & Academic Partnerships at Texas Tech. “The opportunity to partner with Rockwall ISD and Collin College at the College & Career Academy is a unique one in that students can receive a high school diploma, an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree at one location.”

Upon successful completion of a dual credit course students will be awarded college and high school credit simultaneously. Open to students from both Rockwall ISD high schools, the Academy will host more than 50 courses in the 150,000-square-foot building, providing both high schools with space for additional enrollment capacity on their existing campuses. The Academy was approved by the public in the November 2015 bond election and will open fall 2018.

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