A five-year $750,000 grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity will help fund the Copperas Cove Independent School District’s Early College Program at Central Texas College providing a jump-start for military students’ college education.

The goal of Project College Now is to improve college and career ready outcomes of military dependent high school students in academics.

CCISD Director of Career and College Readiness Russell Porterfield orchestrated the district’s program which drew 34 students in its first year.

“College Now is important because getting students college and career ready is a goal of CCISD. College and career readiness is important because students need post-secondary training. Certifications, associate and bachelor’s degrees are important for students to be able to earn a living,” Porterfield said. “This grant will help support CCISD’s efforts to help all students become college and career ready.”

Copperas Cove High School already offered certifications in more than 30 career fields in addition to advanced placement courses that allowed students to earn college credit while simultaneously earning college credit.

The early college program allows the students to continue earning credits both at the high school and college level but now on a college campus.

“Project College Now” specifically improves the percentage of military students achieving college readiness through direct-service, in-class supports of instructional strategies and individual planning based on college readiness assessment results.

Students’ performance on college readiness assessments will be used to identify targets for instruction and programming. The long-term outcomes are an increased percentage of military students who meet or exceed the “College Ready” benchmark standard and an increase in the number of participants in both academic and career and technical-education dual enrollment programs.

impact aid

CCISD receives the grant at a time when the district is facing a cut in heavy impact aid.

CCISD Chief Financial Officer June Crawford said the funds are a definite financial boost to the college and career readiness program at CCISD.

“Copperas Cove ISD is committed to finding additional financial resources to offset the future loss of federal impact aid funds,” Crawford said. “Impact aid funds are vital to CCISD’s daily operations. Our district relies on this additional funding to support various programs for our students and continuing to provide only the very academic enrichment opportunities available.”

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