Groundbreaking Held for New UTRGV Collegiate Academy in McAllen
Feature Photo: UTRGV and the McAllen Independent School District officials broke ground on the UTRGV-McAllen ISD Collegiate Academy last week. Image: UTRGV/Paul Chouy
McAllen (Hidalgo County) — UTRGV and the McAllen Independent School District have broken ground on the new UTRGV-McAllen ISD Collegiate Academy to serve the students in the area.
The partnership will give McAllen high school students a head start in their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, allowing them to pursue their degree at no cost. About $2.4 million in savings is expected per each class of 125 students over the course of two years.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the university’s role in the partnership allows students to gain opportunities at home in the Rio Grande Valley.
“This is a beautiful partnership and it’s the perfect alignment to give our students the same opportunity you could get in the wealthiest school districts in the United States,” Bailey said.
“These collegiate high schools are unique right now and we had them here first in the Rio Grande Valley. These opportunities make a difference for all of us. They are important for the quality of our lives. This is a game changer in so many ways.”
The facility will be located at 1400 N. Commerce Center St., a 38-acre property at the corner of Pecan Boulevard and McColl Road.
Students will be able to choose one of four study tracks – health science, computer science, engineering, or education, or focus on completing their academic core. The first cohort of students will officially begin in fall 2024, but McAllen ISD has already begun recruiting students for a ninth-grade cohort and will add an additional cohort in 2023-2024 to prepare for fall courses.
More than 300 UTRGV-McAllen ISD Collegiate Academy students and elected officials and university administrators attended the groundbreaking ceremony in support of the state-of-the-art facility. Events concluded with a live performance from the award-winning McAllen High School Mariachi Oro.
Tony Forina, McAllen ISD board president, said endeavors like the collaboration between McAllen ISD and UTRGV is where the future of education starts.
“UTRGV said they had this goal – this focus – that they wanted to bring their campus to the city of McAllen,” he said. “It all starts with our community reaching out to our students and giving them this opportunity. It’s making the whole Rio Grande Valley better and I am so proud to be a part of it.”
Edited from news release.