Waco ISD's ACCELERATE Early Degree Program

  • text: Accelerate Program


    What is ACCELERATE? 

    ACCELERATE offers Waco ISD students the chance to complete both their high school diploma requirements and their Associates Degree requirements through McLennan Community College at the same time! That’s right! Students can graduate from high school with a high school diploma AND a college degree, cutting off 2 years of college time and expense.

    Where is ACCELERATE offered?

    ACCELERATE will be offered at both University High and Waco High Schools. Students in the program will attend dual credit classes on those campuses as well as complete some dual credit courses at McLennan Community College, the McLennan Community College Emergency Services Training Center, or the Greater Waco Advanced Health Care Academy. 

    Who can participate in ACCELERATE?

    ACCELERATE is open to incoming 9th graders who choose to participate in the program, as long as the student agrees to the terms of program participation.  (see College and Career Readiness counselor for details).

    Why would a student want to participate in ACCELERATE?

    Participating in ACCELERATE can save a family between $25,000 and $30,000, depending upon the number of credit hours required by the chosen pathway (based upon an average cost of $360/credit hour at a Texas 4-year college plus a cost of $500/semester for books and materials).  They can also save themselves two years in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree (in most cases) in just two additional years!

    How does a student participate in ACCELERATE?

    • Complete the ACCELERATE application. See next page...
    • After notification of program acceptance, participants MUST plan to and then attend the 2-week summer transition camp to prepare for the Texas Success Initiative assessment that allows students to become eligible for Dual Credit coursework
    • Participants should notify their counselors of acceptance into the program to enroll in the courses that are shown in the selected degree pathway of choice (four-year plans for the pathways offered – General Science, General Liberal Arts, Business, Criminal Justice, and Allied Health—are shown here)
    • Students must maintain satisfactory course progress as defined by the State of Texas. This requires Dual Credit students to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA for Dual Credit coursework. Students must also pass other core courses needed for graduation and maintain a good record of attendance.

    Other questions?

    See our Frequently Asked Questions document.

  • The Enrollment Window is OPEN!

    2020-2021 Applicants

    Although the application window closed on November 22, 2019 at 5 pm, students who pass the TSI during the second semester may still apply to be included in the 2021 cohort. The STUDENT'S email address is required to start this form. Students may use a personal email address or the district's student email address.


    Begin Application


    Note: You will receive an email after you submit the form. Please ensure you enter an accurate address. If you wish to modify your submission, use the link in the email.

  • In the application, students must indicate what pathway they are interested in pursuing, Check out this document for assistance with that task.

    "Accelerate Handbook: Pathways"

    Note: This link opens in a new tab. Switch Tabs to return here.

  • The ACCELERATE Early Degree Program selection committee will be comprised of a group of educators and administrators who will meet at the beginning of February to review the applications of students interested in participation in the program. Students will be chosen to ensure that the group of participants accurately reflect the demographics of Waco Independent School District as a whole.

    Students selected to participate in ACCELERATE agree to attend the MANDATORY orientation in June, that will be designed to provide students with information related, but not limited to, the Texas Success Initiative (TSI), associate degree plans, sequence of courses, grade point average information, counseling, and academic support services.

    In addition, ACCELERATE staff will also provide an orientation, both in English and Spanish, for the parents of the selected students with information on the ACCELERATE program, its services, its requirements, and its benefits.