By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
For the first time, sophomores enrolled at Commerce Hig h School are eligible to enroll in dual credit college courses.
According to Charles Alderman, curriculum director for Commerce ISD, since the dual credit courses are of a higher rigor than other classes, the selection process for sophomores will be more strict than for their junior and senior counterparts.
“They are going to have to show an aptitude for the classes,” he said. “The counselors will look at them a little bit closer.”
Blake Cooper, superintendent of CISD, said this shows a strong partnership with Texas A&M University-Commerce.
“Alderman really spent some time with Dr. Jones at the university to make sure what we teach can carry over to A&M-Commerce,” he said. “We’re about the student. If they have the ability, they can make it.”
Along those lines, Cooper said the district has also taken strides in helping equip students who will not attend college with skills to be productive members of the workforce.
Commerce ISD was recently the recipient of a $124,000 Parallel Pathways to Success grant, which will help students purchase the tools and equipment required when taking welding, engineering and computer information certificate classes at the high school.
Some equipment for the classes can cost up to $600-$800.
Mary Park, with Boles ISD and who co-wrote the grant, said the grant helps the smaller districts that would otherwise not be able to offer financial assistance to students who needed it.
“This allows small high schools to expand programs,” she said.
Cooper said this will ensure that anyone at the high school who has the drive to take these classes can do so, regardless of their socio-economical backgrounds.
“I love the fact that we have a program that everyone can take part in,” he said.