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College Advising In Houston Schools Gets Multi-Million Dollar Boost

HISD also plans to support students more as they transition from high school to higher education.

MERGE staff and college admissions experts coach HISD Students on how to have a successful interview with an Ivy League and Tier I colleges.
EMERGE staff and college admissions experts coach HISD Students on how to have a successful interview with an Ivy League and Tier I colleges.

Houston’s high school students will get a boost in college advising, thanks to $13 million in grant money to the Houston Independent School District.

Part of that money from the Houston Endowment will expand efforts to match high-achieving, low-income students with top-tier colleges, like Yale and MIT.

Trisha Cornwell directs EMERGE Fellowship, a nonprofit that partners with HISD to do just that. She expects to coach one hundred more students a year, bringing the new class of incoming EMERGE students each year to 350 students.

“In every high school in the district, there are students who we cannot wait to serve, and now that we have the spots available, we can add more students at those high schools to our program,” Cornwell said.

She said in time, that college advising, access and successful graduation translates into a greater leadership pipeline for the city of Houston.

College advising in HISD will also expand in other ways. Assistant Superintendent Rick Cruz said that they’ll also hire more staff to advise students at all academic levels, especially in under-served communities.

They also plan to start working with kids earlier, in middle school.

“So that by the time they’re in high school, we have a great pipeline of kids that programs like EMERGE can work with,” Cruz said, who started EMERGE as a grass-roots community group while teaching in HISD in 2010.

Cruz said that they also will support students more as they transition to higher education, to make sure they attend the first day of college classes.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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