New partnership focuses on STEM
- Twenty-three students from across Irving ISD were honored at North Lake College’s South Campus Thursday evening. While the ceremony recognized students participating in the rigorous TexPrep program, it also celebrated the new partnership between North Lake and Irving ISD.
An academically intense, mathematics-based summer enrichment program, TexPrep provides middle and high school students with the opportunity to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects in a college setting. The program at North Lake is in its first year after a new partnership with Irving ISD and a grant from United Way.
“The program's goals are to prepare students for the future,” says Dean of Educational Partnerships & Student Recruitment Lynda Edwards. “The emphasis on STEM is consistent with our emphasis to promote the sciences as a strong component of NLC.”
Acceptance into the competitive TexPrep program requires a grade of 85 percent or higher in the areas of Science, Math and English. Students are required to submit an application essay and commit to the seven weeks of summer learning.
At Thursday’s commencement, each student shared what those seven weeks look like. Their accomplishments were diverse and many--ranging from bottle rockets and robotics to alternative energy sources and xeriscapes. Irving ISD Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden spoke, outlining TexPrep course work, team projects, class presentations, career awareness seminars, and field trips. Irving ISD provided transportation, while NLC contributed staff assistance, classroom materials and space to learn.
Participating students received certificates of achievement and one unit of high school elective credit. However, parents were also honored at Thursday’s gathering, each receiving a certificate of support. “North Lake makes every effort to make sure parents are involved,” explains Vice President Mary Ciminelli. “Parental support is vital to a student’s success.”
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North Lake College is a member of the Dallas County Community College District. Educational opportunities are offered by the Dallas County Community College District without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or gender expression.