With more emphasis being placed on making students college and career ready due to state legislation like House Bill 5, Cy-Fair ISD and Lone Star College–CyFair have teamed up to form a local P-16 council.
This initiative is an arm of the state’s P-16 Council, which was authorized in 2005 by the Texas Legislature.
Seventy-six people serve on the council, including representatives from LSC–CyFair, CFISD, local businesses, chambers of commerce and faith-based organizations.
“The whole thought process is about getting students started thinking at a younger age about what they are interested in and starting to think about the classes that will get them to that end result,” said Nicole Ray, CFISD’s assistant superintendent for communications and community relations.
There are different models for P-16 across the state, but the Cy-Fair-area P-16 group consists of six collaborative action area teams: College Awareness and Readiness; College and Career Center; Communication/Marketing; Data Analysis/Benchmarking/Dual Credit; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
“When the two anchors—CFISD and Lone Star College–CyFair—came together and started looking at P-16, we didn’t want to re-create the wheel,” said Michel Zuch, dean of academic affairs at LSC–CyFair. “We wanted to concentrate on what we were already doing, so we came up with the six areas that we wanted to start out with.”
Members of each action area team focus on different initiatives that range from pulling baseline student performance data to getting the word out to local businesses to partnering with the school district or college and visiting with high school students about degree plans.
“The more successful our students are—whether they go on to higher education or the career world—the more successful our entire community is,” Ray said. “We have more employable young people and kids functioning at a higher level, and they tend to come back and reinvest in our community, which helps the entire tax base. Making sure every child is college- or career-ready is an investment in our entire community.”