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Changes ahead for LISD dual credit courses

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Livingston ISD LogoFrom Enterprise Staff

In the 10 years that Dr. Brent E. Hawkins has served as superintendent of the Livingston Independent School District, he has seen many changes, one of the most recent regarding dual credit courses. Dual credit courses are those in which – if successfully completed – the student receives both high school credit and college credit.

“My first year here, the dual credit program was 48 kids in grades 11 and 12. Those 48 kids’ parents were paying their own way for them to get dual credit classes. Our vision that first year (2014) was college for all. Some folks kind of scoffed at that, said college isn’t for everyone. College truly is cosmetology, welding, health careers, culinary arts, criminal justice, HVAC. Those classes are college,” Hawkins said.

“Last year there were 225 kids in grades 9-12 taking dual credit classes. I am elated at what this school year’s going to bring. I think we’re going to see over 50% of our students enrolled in a dual credit program and that is a very conservative number,” Hawkins said.

The dual credit courses offered by Livingston ISD were previously provided by Angelina College and Stephen F. Austin State University. Beginning this fall, however, LISD’s dual credit courses are being provided by Stephen F. Austin State University, Lamar State College-Orange, Lamar State College-Port Arthur and Lamar Institute of Technology.

Through LISD’s agreement with Lamar, there is no charge for any enrolled student who is socioeconomically disadvantaged, which is approximately 75% of the high school population. Further, LISD will only pay $45 per credit hour for every non-socioeconomically disadvantaged student, a significant decrease from the $370 per course for dual credit courses that the district was previously paying.

“Because we were uncertain if we would be able to use the commerce center this fall, we moved all dual credit classes to the Livingston High School campus for the fall semester,” Hawkins said.

Many of the dual credit courses were previously held at what was called the Angelina College/Polk County Commerce Center located on the Highway 59 Bypass that opened in the fall of 2013. However, with Angelina College no longer providing dual credit courses for Livingston ISD, that building will most likely undergo a name change.

The facility is owned by Polk County and leased to the Polk County Higher Education & Technology Foundation which operates it. Built at a cost of about $10 million, the bulk of the funding came from Hurricane Ike recovery grants awarded to Polk County. In addition to the grants, local fundraising drives generated $1.8 million for the project.

Foundation President Andy Evans said negotiations are underway, with plans to have multiple providers in the building for the Spring 2024 semester.

“The board is in the process of negotiating with multiple providers to bring quality educational opportunities to the building,” Evans said.


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