HOUSTON – Oct. 27, 2020 – GreatSchools.org this week announced the winners of the 2020 College Success Award, naming Spring Early College Academy in Spring ISD among just 314 winning schools in Texas this year.
GreatSchools.org – a national nonprofit supporting parents and families with information to improve educational opportunities for their children – first launched the College Success Award in 2018. The award honors schools that excel in ensuring students prepare for college, enroll in college, and succeed once they get there. This year, Spring Early College Academy is among 2,158 award-winning schools from 29 states that have demonstrated a successful track record of graduating students who go on to enroll in two- or four-year college, are ready for college-level coursework, and persist on to their second year, according to available data from each state.
“It was exciting to learn about the award, especially because it wasn’t something that we applied for or sought out – it was just the recognition of the achievements that our students have had over the last few years,” said Principal Kristine Guidry. “If there ever was a time for our teachers and staff to get a little extra validation and recognition for the difference they make in students’ lives, this is it.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the physical and financial health of the nation, the College Success Award recognizes secondary schools that continue to ensure their students graduate with the skills and resources to succeed as postsecondary scholars and productive citizens. This year’s winning schools in Texas boast an average graduation rate of 98%, with 70% or more of graduates going on to enroll in two- or four-year colleges and universities within 12 months of graduation.
According to Spring Early College Academy’s listing on GreatSchools.org, the school’s graduates come in well under the nationwide averages of students requiring remedial coursework upon entering college, and the site lists the campus as being “far above the state average in key measures of college and career readiness.”
According to a press release from GreatSchools.org announcing this year’s winners, the College Success Award is possible because states like Texas are leading the nation in both collecting and transparently sharing information on how students perform after high school, which can be extremely valuable data for families, educators and policymakers to have.
“We applaud Spring Early College Academy for prioritizing high-quality public education, putting students on the path to bright futures,” said Jon Deane, CEO of GreatSchools.org. “Over the past year, students, parents, teachers, and communities have relied on one another like never before. We congratulate and thank all of these individuals at Spring Early College Academy for their unwavering pursuit of college success for all students.”
Located on the campus of Lone Star College-North Harris, Spring Early College Academy students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree while receiving rigorous instruction that prepares them to be critical thinkers, responsible citizens and confident leaders. The school has consistently ranked among the top 10 high schools in the greater Houston area as measured by the nonprofit group Children at Risk and was also named a 2020 Best High School by U.S. News and World Report.
“One of the big reasons our program was established was to reach students who might think college is out of reach for them, then give them the skills and the confidence they need to be successful,” Guidry said. “I think it always helps lift our spirits, as educators, to know that what we’re doing is working for our students.”