McKinney ISD students will have new dual-credit course options with the opening of the Collin College Technical Campus in Allen for the 2020-21 school year.

MISD announced in June that juniors and seniors will be able to take part in a two-year, dual-credit program that will allow them to earn industry certifications and a year of credit toward an associate degree in one of 10 technical career areas by the time they graduate high school.

“We want students to have the opportunity to prepare for these fields that have good availability and good income potential right here in our region,” said Jennifer Akins, MISD senior director of guidance and counseling, in a news release.

Dual-credit program courses will include biomedical equipment technology; electronic engineering technology; industrial automations; computer-aided drafting and design; construction management; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; welding technology; computer networking; automotive technology; and collision technology.

While dual credit is not new to MISD, the district pointed out that so far these opportunities have largely been offered in academic areas.

“We’ve had dual-credit offerings in some of our career and technical education coursework—such as our health sciences program—for a number of years,” Akins said in the news release. “We have broken some ground in this area. It’s just that we haven’t had the specialized facilities and this structured program in the same way as some of our other programs.”

The program is designed for high school juniors and seniors, with students entering the program at the beginning of their junior year, according to the district’s news release. While senior students may be accepted, they will have to continue working after they graduate high school to complete the program.

“For students that enter the program their junior year, basically, it’s completing half to two-thirds of your associate degree while you are still in high school,” Akins said in the release. “And, Collin College is finding that, because they work so closely with industry leaders, the programs that have been in existence prior to this are seeing very high placement rates with companies.”

To find out more information about the program, visit this website. Applications for the dual-credit program can be found here, and students are encouraged to contact their school’s guidance and counseling department with questions.

Space is limited in this program, and there is a process to apply for the program, per the news release. The district advised students who are interested to begin their applications as soon as possible.

“It’s not something that students can wait on until the school year is underway,” Akins said in the release. “The earlier they reach out about this, the better.”