News Column

HCC, HISD Celebrate First Graduating Class of Futures Academy

July 28, 2014



HOUSTON, July 28 -- Houston Community College issued the following news release:

Sixty Houston area high school students will receive their Associate's degrees from Houston Community College (HCC) this month, just weeks after receiving their high school diplomas. They are the first graduating class of the Futures Academy, a dual-credit partnership between HCC and the Houston Independent School District (HISD) that allows high school students to take HCC classes and earn college credits while attending high school.

"HCC is very proud of all of the Futures Academy students, especially those completing their college certificates or associate degree," said Madeline Burillo, Ed.D., Associate Vice Chancellor of Workforce Instruction at HCC. "Our goal when we began this partnership with HISD was to provide access for college-ready high school students to career pathways leading to in-demand employment opportunities with good wages. Many of our students represent first generation college students."

The academy launched in 2012 and is designed to give students the opportunity to complete an Associate in Applied Science degree in a high-growth, high-demand workforce field. The first cohort of Futures Academy students hail from from five different HISD high schools - Booker T. Washington, Furr, Kashmere, Scarborough, and Sterling - and will be receiving degrees in Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Engineering Technology-Renewable & Sustainable Energy, Process Technology, Network & Computer Systems Administration, and Logistics & Global Supply Chain Management.

"This program not only provides a unique opportunity to the students, but positively impacts their families and their future generations." said Burillo. " I am very happy to say that through the hard work of faculty members at HCC and HISD, joint administrative efforts from both organizations and the commitment of the students, we've achieved the goal of training highly qualified candidates ready to meet the needs of today's workforce. Houston employers will have access to skilled and career-focused graduates ready to support their organizations."

The graduation will take place from 7-8 p.m., Thursday, August 7 at the HCC Southwest West Loop Campus Auditorium. The ceremony will feature speaker presentations from HISD and HCC administrators in addition to graduates. Future Academy students who complete a Level I Certificate in their respective workforce program will also be honored.

Most Futures Academy students in the first graduating class entered the program with deficiencies in reading, writing and math skills. In addition to completing their high school and HCC requirements, students were provided tutoring support by both institutions to qualify and to be better prepared for the higher level coursework connected to their degree plan.

"Throughout this program I've learned that I'm able to accomplish things that I didn't think I would be able to do," said Jose Moreno, graduate of the Futures Academy program at Sterling High School. "I never gave up. I always pushed myself through to finish the task."

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