Irving ISD has partnered with North Lake College to allow high school students the chance to earn an associate degree upon graduation.

The district opened the application period for its Singley Collegiate Academy on Nov. 11. The application will close Jan. 17 ahead of its opening in August.

The collegiate academy will begin by enrolling only 125 freshman-level students for the 2020-21 year, according to the district. By 2024, the academy will have students in grades 9-12.

The tuition-free program will offer to freshmen some of the basic college courses, such physical education and English, according to the district. By their junior year, students will be taking classes at the nearby North Lake College campus.

Harleigh Jones, associate principal of Singley Collegiate Academy, said while testing out of classes through Advanced Placement courses has been the common route to earn college credit for many, those courses do not always transfer to credit.

“With dual credit, its transferability within the state of Texas is very, very high,” Jones said.

Current eighth-grade students can apply online and will be selected through a lottery process, according to the district.