Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD continues to make strides in setting students up for academic and post-secondary success by allowing them to choose from various college and career opportunities. The district previously established an Early College program at all eight high school campuses, making it the only wall-to-wall Early College district in Texas.
PSJA ISD is committed to offering students even more options through the Daniel P. King PSJA College & University Center in San Juan, which houses the district’s PSJA Academies and PSJA Collegiate School of Health Professions. At this innovative facility, students from the district’s high schools are transported daily to take dual credit courses available through the district’s nationally recognized program.
PSJA ISD offers over 25 Academies to help connect students to associate degrees and college certificates through the district’s higher educational partners like South Texas College. The PSJA Academies facilitate a pipeline to help students get into a college or career of their choice.
“The vast options like the ones at the PSJA Academies are transforming students’ lives and communities due to the head start they receive while in high school,” said PSJA Executive Officer for College Readiness Dr. Linda Uribe-Treviño. “The Academies ignite their love for learning and the love for college and career and it helps shape their future trajectory.”
The PSJA Academies offer four fields of study: the School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM), the School of Business & Industry, the School of Public Service & Health Services and the School of Arts & Humanities. Within each of those fields, there are over 27 areas in which students can receive a certification or an associate degree, depending upon their interests. The PSJA Academies are open to all current high school students. Students must apply by their 10th-grade year.
Academies are specifically offered based on today’s most high-demand fields, such as Cybersecurity Technology Academy, Renewable Energy Academy, Veterinary Technician Academy, Precision Manufacturing Technology Academy, Diesel Technology Academy, Plumbing & Pipefitting Academy, Education Academy, Pharmacy Technician Academy, and many more.
Students attending the College & University Center are bused in from their home campus to participate in their selected field of study. The classrooms are set up to resemble an actual hospital setting for those studying phlebotomy or those students taking emergency medical technician classes to practice using an ambulance simulator. It is a center where students can learn and be reassured that they will be getting the best technology and resources because it is parallel to what the colleges are expecting.
The Dr. Daniel P. King PSJA College & University Center has recently added The CUBE, which aims to offer a productive learning space that empowers students to succeed through quality academic support services. The CUBE has a variety of services and resources that foster independence to help students succeed academically, socially, and emotionally.
According to Dr. Uribe-Treviño, The CUBE is a new initiative that PSJA ISD was committed to bringing to fruition. An industry that will provide students with a space where they can go to study, receive tutoring, and use technology to complete their coursework. This space has a collegiate-inspired motif and will even feature a coffee area for students to enjoy.
“We’re really excited about The CUBE because it’s a new concept that we’ve brought to PSJA where students can walk into a productive learning environment that empowers them to succeed by having different support systems in place,” said Dr. Linda Uribe-Treviño. “Our goal is really to create equitable learning for students. We got you in the seat and we are excited that you are part of the PSJA Academies, but now comes the real work, making sure that you are successful in that seat.”
The CUBE is a place where students can go for extended opportunities for tutoring, industry certifications, and checking out different manipulatives and models to study. There will be a facilitator to ensure the needs of the students are met. Students will have enrichment opportunities through CUBE Talk, bringing in guest speakers, student workshops, art galleries, and CUBE leaders (student tutors) who will share their experiences.
PSJA ISD has focused on ensuring equity through its Early College Program and Career & Technical Education opportunities. This initiative begins with exposure to college and career choices as early as elementary school through career fairs, and starting this year, you will have the opportunity to visit The CUBE for speaker features. The speaker feature room will bring experts from different areas of study and colleges.
At PSJA ISD, middle school students can engage in some CTE courses. Still, they will also benefit from the activities at The CUBE when they participate in tours and visits. Middle school students can participate in listening to industry students and academic path students from the PSJA Academies as they talk about their educational journey. The school district is committed to providing a variety of choices for our students beginning in elementary school so they can start their college career readiness journey early, according to Dr. Uribe-Treviño.
“We want all our students, not just the top, to graduate from our district with either a College Certificate, Industry Certificate, and up to an associate degree so that they have access to high demand, high wage opportunities,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Alejandro Elias. “Our district is also leading the way in sustainability and our Renewable Energy Certificate that will help students be ready to service electric vehicles, solar panels, and more high-demand fields of the future. The future is here at PSJA ISD!”
PSJA ISD is an open-enrollment school district serving over 30,000 students. The district welcomes students living anywhere in the Rio Grande Valley. Parents interested in having their children take advantage of the Early College opportunities can learn more at psjaisd.us/academies.