OP-ED: From WOCCISD superintendent: A hidden jewel

Published 12:13 am Saturday, December 5, 2020

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Dr. Rickie R. Harris

In my last editorial column, I shared information regarding West Orange – Cove CISD’s bond projects and the updates we’ve accomplished on our outstanding student facilities. While the buildings are being renovated, so too are the educational opportunities within the buildings. WOCCISD offers various avenues, above and beyond the norm, to prepare our students for college and the workforce.

Our Early College High School (ECHS) program allows mustang students to earn high school and college credits simultaneously. This process allows our high school graduates to earn both their high school diploma and their associate’s degree on their high school graduation day. This incredible opportunity enables mustang students to transition to four-year universities or the workforce immediately after graduation. All ECHS students receive these college credits at no cost! WOCCISD provides tuition, books, and transportation for students in the ECHS program. Each year ECHS enrolls 25 students via a weighted lottery process. Incoming 9th-grade students interested in enrolling in our ECHS program in the fall of 2021 can apply now. Learn more at https://echs.woccisd.net/.

Students not selected for ECHS and looking to get a head start on college credits may also benefit from our free dual credit courses. In partnership with Lamar State College-Orange, WOSHS offers dual credit courses on and off-campus to earn college credits. Again, WOSHS students earn these dual credit college courses at no cost. Just as ECHS students, WOSHS provides tuition, books, and transportation to and from LSCO for all eligible dual credit students.

Additionally, West Orange-Stark High School offers college and career-ready courses in the Career and Technology Education (CTE) Programs. We offer classes in education practices, architecture and design, construction technology, audio/visual technology, business management, health sciences, cosmetology, precision metal manufacturing, welding, engineering, automotive mechanics, career preparation, and process technology. CTE content is aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare our students for future education and careers in current or emerging professions. Many courses offer a certification, which is beneficial to training and resumes for students entering the workforce after graduation.

Furthermore, WOSHS is a Texas Success Initiative (TSI) site allowing frequent testing and access to raw data that is used to identify student weaknesses and create tailored interventions and individualized instructional plans to improve student readiness for college. Being a testing site allows mustang students access to college entry testing at no charge to the student. Students can test on the WOSHS campus during several scheduled times throughout the year.

As always, we want to thank ALL of our community partners in assisting and supporting our efforts of transforming the lives of students every day.

We believe in John Maxwell’s philosophy that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”

Go Mustangs!


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