The Richardson ISD board of trustees is considering a partnership with Dallas College that would expand the Richland Collegiate High School and provide more opportunities for district students to earn college credits.

In addition to its high school curriculum, RCHS students earn college credits in mathematics, science and engineering, or visual, performing and digital arts. During the RISD board’s Sept. 20 meeting, Deputy Superintendent Tabitha Branum said RCHS had 160 graduates in the 2020-21 school year, with 100% of those students earning 60 hours of transferable college credits. She said 70% of the school’s graduates also earned an associate degree along with their high school diploma.

RCHS, which is located on the Richland campus, serves grades 11-12 and has a little more than 300 students, according to Branum. Half of those students live within RISD boundaries, she said.

The potential partnership would be completed under Senate Bill 1882, which was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2017. It provides incentives for districts to partner with institutions of higher education.

“We would have the opportunity to earn $1,200 per student enrolled in Richland Collegiate High School if it is a joint partnership under [SB] 1882,” Branum said during the meeting.

If a partnership is approved, Branum said RISD would look to develop ninth and 10th grade programs for the school to potentially expand its enrollment to 800-900 students. She said RISD could also look at providing transportation for students to and from the school as well as meal services, as RCHS does not offer those services.

Branum said Dallas College is also interested in expanding its teacher certification program.

“That is something that they would like to join with us [on], knowing that we have that need [for teachers],” she said. “We would love to target special education and bilingual teachers as a part of that pipeline.”

The board is expected to consider a plan to begin developing the potential partnership in October.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to strengthen our [existing] partnership [with Dallas College] and to receive some great benefits,” Superintendent Jeannie Stone said. “But mostly, this is about doing more for our kids.”