Posted in on November 13, 2019

Award-winning teacher Jared Cole could have a life as a salesman if he ever decides to leave Arlington College and Career High School (ACCHS).

When asked to best sum up the reason to go to Arlington’s newest school, his answer was a best seller.

“The preparedness for college,” said Cole, who came to ACCHS from Arlington Collegiate High School. “Getting that associate degree. Getting that workforce certification. Giving themselves a better chance to make themselves better than they would be if they didn’t get this opportunity.”

That’s what awaits students at ACCHS, which opened this fall with freshmen only and will add a class each year. The first ACCHS class will graduate in 2023.    

College Credits and Work Certifications

Unlike ACHS, ACCHS offers both dual-credit courses and a chance to earn an associate degree from Tarrant County College by the time students graduate from high school along with workforce certificates and a chance to participate in internships and mentoring along a career pathway.          

Imagine graduating from high school with a career plan, an associate degree, an internship already completed and at a cost of only hard work and dedication. All of the finances involved in getting the two-year degree are paid for.           

Small Class Size. Big Goals. 

That’s why there are more than 100 students in the first class and around 125 new freshmen expected to join them in the fall of 2020.           

“I wanted to do something bigger than myself and accomplish more than the average student would,” said Gadeer A., who was hooked on the idea of applying to ACCHS after hearing about it in her career, technology and higher education investigations class at Ousley Junior High. “Because of this opportunity we all have we also have high expectations. You have to have your priorities. The whole community makes you want to accomplish more.”           

Gadeer is eyeing a future in law while classmate Jamainh C. sees engineering in his future. Five years from now his plan is to be at a four-year school with two years of college taken care of in high school as well as an internship already completed.           

That makes sense because it’s the same plan his parents envisioned for him when they found out about ACCHS.           

“It seemed like a great opportunity to them,” Jamainh said. “Getting two free years of college? That’s not something many people would want to pass up. And you get to go into the workforce earlier.”           

Of course it doesn’t happen that easy. Students have to be willing to put in the work. They start taking dual-credit courses as juniors as they begin attending TCC and have to be willing to miss out on some of the extracurricular activities associated with one of the six traditional Arlington high schools.           

The Early College Experience

ACCHS principal Dr. Ben Bholan, who was previously the principal at ACHS, has seen programs like this work before at ACHS. In addition to students earning their associate degree, there’s also at pathway with UT-Arlington for a four-year degree and the district is also working with Texas Wesleyan University on a similar track. And then there’s the chance at certifications in hospitality, cybersecurity, computer science, business and health science, with more possibly still to come.           

“The perfect-world plan is if I’m someone who’s interested in a business and I go intern at a business and I can get an associate degree in business and they say, ‘Hey if you can get a bachelor’s degree we’ll give you an entry-level position,’” Bholan said. “That’s the carrot. It’s the same thing with hospitality, cybersecurity and computer science. ‘We’ll give you an opportunity to work here if you get your bachelor’s.’ Even if you don’t, we can start you here because you have your certificate.”

If ACCHS sounds like the perfect path, start your journey now by applying here.