Tarleton State University Partners with OnRamps to Offer Dual Enrollment Courses and Professional Development to Students, Teachers Across North Central Texas

AUSTIN, TX, September 30, 2021 — Beginning fall 2022, students in some 50 school districts across North Central Texas will be able to earn Tarleton State University credit for precalculus and college algebra classes before they graduate high school, thanks to a new partnership with OnRamps, a University of Texas at Austin program that increases access to high-quality learning and instruction for students and teachers across the state.

OnRamps offers rigorous dual enrollment courses and professional development, serving more than 105,000 students to date. The program closely aligns to Tarleton's commitment to opportunity and affordability. OnRamps is known for creating dynamic learning experiences that reduce barriers to higher education; nearly half of its students are the first in their family with the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree.

As the newest member of Tarleton's Distinguished High School Partnership, OnRamps will extend its reach and support the university's vision to transform generations.

"This unique dual enrollment partnership with OnRamps deepens our commitment to educational attainment," said Tarleton President James Hurley. "Together, we're building a bridge between secondary and higher education to expand opportunity for some of the brightest minds in Texas."

"We are delighted to partner with Tarleton, serving Texas students and teachers through our OnRamps program,"

"This partnership is testament to how institutions across the state can forge educational links so that local communities can benefit from the world-class efforts of UT Austin."

-Jay Hartzell, UT Austin President

said UT Austin President Jay Hartzell. "This partnership is testament to how institutions across the state can forge educational links so that local communities can benefit from the world-class efforts of UT Austin."

OnRamps' dual enrollment courses in precalculus and college algebra match Tarleton's commitment to focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum and opportunities for teacher development.

Students will take the university-level math course over a traditional school year, receiving the high school portion of their learning and instruction from their high school teacher and the college portion from a college instructor of record. As part of the partnership and implicit in OnRamps' unique model, Tarleton will supplement this offering by also providing professional learning and development to help teachers deepen their content knowledge.

"Increasing the number of high school graduates prepared for post-secondary education, training, and careers in STEM fields is paramount to the economic vitality of our region," said Tarleton Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Karen Murray. "The number of STEM jobs in Texas significantly surpasses all other occupations, and there's no indication the trend will slow anytime soon."

Tarleton will offer the OnRamps precalculus and college algebra course in partnering school districts in Bosque, Comanche, Ellis, Erath, Hamilton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Palo Pinto, and Somervell counties, with the intent to expand the scope and reach in subsequent years.

The OnRamps partnership brings together the University of Texas System with the second largest institution in The Texas A&M University System. Dr. Hurley calls it one of the best educational opportunities in all of secondary and post-secondary education.

"Strengthening education and training, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, empowering today's students to become tomorrow's leaders—that defines our collaboration with OnRamps. This is a win-win partnership."

For more information about Tarleton's OnRamps initiative, contact Cassie Kunkel, coordinator of undergraduate access, at 254-968-9870 or onramps@tarleton.edu. For more information about OnRamps at UT Austin, contact Dr. Lynette O'Keefe, associate director of partnerships and development, at lynette.okeefe@austin.utexas.edu.

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