Supporting 60x30TX and our greater community

Published 5:25 pm Sunday, March 3, 2019

By Dr. Rickie Harris


In today’s editorial, I would like to share information regarding the 60x30TX Higher Education Plan. This document, developed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, will impact Texas. It provides a plan that defines four broad goals to strategically move our state forward to meet standing and emerging needs, as well as enrich our communities.

60x30TX specifically speaks to building an educated population that holds a certificate or degree, marketable skills, and manageable student debt.

The primary objective advocates that 60 percent of Texans age 25 – 35 receive a certificate or degree by the year 2030. The 60x30TX task is directed to institutions of higher education; however, all Texas residents play a role in supporting this effort. The 25 – 34-year-old population of 2030 is attending our K-12 school system(s) today.  

At West Orange-Cove CISD, we prepare students to meet this goal through advanced courses in advanced placement, dual enrollment, and career and technical programs that yield certification opportunities. Additionally, our Early College High School allows students to earn 60 hours of college credit while attending high school.

Our Early College High School (ECHS) is in partnership with Lamar State College-Orange (LSCO) and allows students to earn an associate’s degree and their high school diploma concurrently. WOCCISD pays all tuition and fees associated with the program. WOCCISD also provides transportation, as well as additional academic support, a laptop and internet access to each ECHS participant. ECHS students have access to LSCO resources and facilities, as well as all activities available to West Orange-Stark (WOS) High School students. The program is currently in its second year of existence and is the only ECHS in Orange County.

WOS students are also provided the opportunity to take a variety of dual enrollment courses. Some dual credit courses are taught at our High School, and others are taught at LSCO. In the 2019-2020 school year, our students will have the opportunity to take dual enrollment courses through The University of Texas at Austin’s OnRamps program.

Students at WOS who are enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) classes receive instruction which prepares them to take the College Board Advanced Placement test. AP courses include Language and Composition, Literature and Composition, U.S. History, Microeconomics, U.S. Government, and Biology. Upon completion of each AP course, students may take a test allowing them to earn college credit with a passing grade.

Finally, WOS students are also able to earn certification through Career and Technology Education. In partnership with LSCO, WOS students have the opportunity to earn certificates such as Emergency Medical Technicians, Certified Nurse Assistants, and Certified Pharmacy Technicians. Through a partnership with the Orange Academy of Beauty, students can test for a license in Cosmetology. Additional high school offerings provide Adobe and Microsoft Office certification.

West Orange-Cove CISD is dedicated to supporting our students through the 60x30TX initiative. We believe in John Maxwell’s philosophy that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”

It is our responsibility to empower and transform lives through excellence every day.

Go Mustangs!


Dr. Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange-Cove CISD.