The University of North Texas and Frisco ISD have teamed up to offer students a head start on a college degree.
As sophomores, Frisco ISD students who meet the requirements can apply for half-day dual credit classes through UNT at a discounted tuition rate starting their junior year.
Dual credit allows students to earn high school and college credit at the same time and is transferable to most Texas colleges and universities. High school students enroll in university classes and, upon successful completion, credits apply to high school graduation and a college degree.
The UNT dual credit program, called North Texas NOW!, is the first collaboration between the university and Frisco ISD as UNT prepares to open a new Frisco campus in 2023.
“Our collaboration with Frisco ISD offers juniors, who are academically ready for university-level classes, the opportunity to accelerate their higher education experience without missing out on high school experiences,” said Jennifer Cowley, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
In August, the first cohort of nearly 60 high school juniors enrolled in four core classes that emphasize collaboration and hands-on learning. Courses are offered on site at the existing UNT at Frisco - Hall Park campus, but this fall, due to COVID-19, students had the option of taking classes in a partially or fully remote format.
Liberty High School junior Marco Figueroa participates in UNT classes in the morning and has a newfound interest in political science.
“I never really found politics interesting, in fact I found them quite boring, but Dr. McKay has sparked a newfound interest in me,” Figueroa said. “Using relevant examples of important national issues, I have been able to see how important it is to be an active citizen and participate in government.
“The most interesting and unique part of the program would have to be being able to connect with students across the District while learning at the UNT at Frisco campus.”
The course program is a set pathway that focuses on the 42 semester credit hour Texas Core Curriculum. The full list of courses can be found here. Dual credit courses appear on both high school and university transcripts.
The four-semester program is project-based, allowing high school students to apply what they’re learning to solve real-world problems. The design is intended to engage the students in discovering unique solutions and developing skills valued by today’s employers.
“Frisco ISD is thrilled to partner with a Tier One research institution to give students the opportunity to complete core credits through project-based learning,” said Dr. Mike Waldrip, Superintendent of Schools for Frisco ISD. “This partnership puts students on a fast track to complete a bachelor’s or even master’s degree while also helping them develop critical future-ready skills such as collaboration, communication and creativity.
“We are excited about this partnership and what the future will bring for Frisco ISD students as UNT expands its presence in Frisco.”
UNT and FISD will host two more informational webinars for interested tenth grade students and their families:
A list of Frequently Asked Questions is also available on the Frisco ISD website.
Current sophomores may apply to participate in the program starting in the 2021-22 school year now through January 29, 2021. Click here to learn more about North Texas NOW!