Launching for the 2024-2025 academic year, the RISE College Academy (RISE) brings to SBISD and Northbrook High School (Northbrook) a new model through which students are empowered to concurrently earn an Associate’s degree and their high school diploma.
An acronym for Raiders Invested in Scholarly Experiences, RISE directly aligns with SBISD’s T-2-4 Vision for Every Child to attain a technical certification, military training, or a 2-year or 4-year degree. The academy's establishment demonstrates the district's unwavering commitment to ensuring each student has a path to success and upholds Northbrook's promise to deliver high school graduates with as many opportunities as possible.
RISE leverages and further extends the district’s long-standing partnership with Houston Community College Northwest (HCC), as well as the University of Texas OnRamps program. The model provides a unique blend of highly rigorous college-level dual credit and dual enrollment courses to comprise the 60-hour RISE course model and Associate’s degree plan. All at no cost to participating students, and in a cost-neutral model for the district.
The RISE model is specifically designed to provide substantial savings on college tuition fees and put students in a strategic position to advance toward higher education degrees either in line with or ahead of their age group in terms of affordability and time.
Unlike more traditional early college models, RISE is unique in that students will spend half their day learning at HCC in courses taught by HCC professors, and half their day in classes taught by Northbrook teachers in collaboration with UT OnRamps professors. As a result, students will be deeply connected both to their cohort of RISE students, and to their larger school community. The schedule design enables students to maintain options for elective, extracurricular, athletics, fine arts, Career and Technical Education, and other high school experiences.
“We believe in opening as many doors as we can for our students,” said Northbrook principal Dr. HP Hyder III. “Through rigorous instruction, accelerated courses and vital academic support, our academy graduates will have a head start, allowing them to transition seamlessly to college or directly enter the workforce sooner.” The HCC RISE Associate’s degree is honored by all Texas public universities.
“We're thrilled about our first cohort this coming fall and can't wait to celebrate their achievements,” Dr. Jennifer Blaine, SBISD Superintendent of Schools proudly stated. “Graduates from Northbrook go on to attend some of the best colleges and universities in the state and nation, and with the introduction of RISE, our graduates will be even better prepared to make a significant impact in their chosen fields.”
Over the past several years, Northbrook has expanded the number of higher-level dual credit, dual enrollment and Advanced Placement® courses offered as the school continues to increase the rigor and expand opportunities for all.
“Northbrook’s emphasis on rigorous programming, the highest expectations for all students, and the launch of RISE is a game-changer not just for Northbrook but for the entire Northbrook feeder pattern. Beginning at our elementary schools and continuing through our middle schools, we are focused on literacy, numeracy and student supports to ensure all students are prepared to achieve at their highest levels in high school and beyond,” Dr. Blaine also stated.
Zachary Hodges, President of Houston Community College Northwest, reflected on the new program. “We are so excited about our new HCC RISE College Academy and the partnership with Spring Branch. It’s all about maximizing human potential and creating new pathways for student success. I believe early colleges are the leading innovation for student success in Texas and, as always, Spring Branch is in front on serving ‘all’ of its students in new and creative opportunities.”
RISE will launch with an initial cohort of 50 students whose academic successes in 9th and 10th grades have prepared them to succeed in the rigorous program.
For further information regarding RISE College Academy at Northbrook High School, including details on the application process and benefits of the program, please visit springbranchisd.com/RISE.
Northbrook High School is a comprehensive high school in Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD). The school offers students the Northbrook Advantage - ensuring each student's future success via rigorous academic preparation and specialized college readiness.