CYPRESS – As Lone Star College-CyFair’s Dual Credit program continues to grow, so does the opportunity for master’s degreed professionals to teach Dual Credit thanks to a collaborative effort with CFISD and the Plus-18 Partnership with multiple universities.
“This is truly a partnership in the sense that it involves such a diverse community of people coming together to create a life-changing experience for learners of all ages,” said LSC-CyFair Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Michel Rodriguez-Zuch. “We are excited and honored to be part of this collaborative effort, which embraces education at all levels and welcomes the leadership that comes with developing and implementing a new program.”
LSC-CyFair and CFISD faculty and administrators first met about the Plus-18 Partnership with Sam Houston State University and University of Houston-Downtown representatives in spring 2016. The program has since grown to 10 university partners offering 13 credentialing pathways.
“Our university partners are not just local. We work with out-of-state institutions as well, such as Tiffin University and Lindenwood University, to provide courses in high need disciplines,” said CFISD Director of Advanced Academics Katrina Nelson. “We have had 37 teachers complete their qualifications through the program since it started, and more are in the pipeline.”
The Plus-18 Partnership was designed to provide professionals who already have a master’s degree and are interested in teaching Dual Credit and/or LSC-CyFair college level courses an option to earn 18 credit hours in a discipline such as English, Government, History, Speech, Math, Economics, Art History, Psychology, Sociology, Kinesiology, Chemistry, Environmental, or Biology.
One university partner, Texas A&M University Commerce, offers the biology program for the Plus-18 Partnership in part to help address the growing need of Dual Credit teachers in specific course disciplines.
“Working with Lone Star College-CyFair is a win-win partnership. Our collaboration ensures teachers have the skills and content knowledge to deliver appropriate, rigorous college-level courses for Lone Star College-CyFair, and we are able to reach beyond the traditional master’s degree plan to meet the changing educational demands of 21 century students. Personally, I’m excited to be working with these students, and am thankful for the opportunity, ” said Dr. Haydn Fox, Associate Dean, College of Science and Engineering.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of the Plus-18 Partnership, for me, is connecting with the university partners,” said Brenda Piatiak, LSC-CyFair Plus-18 Partnership program manager. “The universities have been extremely helpful and excited to be part of the Plus-18 Partnership. Because of this, we are able to offer teachers so many different subjects from so many great institutions.”
Tuong-Trang Chang, a Cy-Woods High School calculus teacher, chose to earn her faculty credentials through the University of Houston, which she found had the most choices for graduate math classes. Preferring face-to-face learning, she said the remote classes were convenient.
Chang felt assured she would have guidance in getting her Dual Credit faculty credentials knowing that CFISD and Lone Star College were working together. There were some other unexpected benefits to enrolling in the Plus-18 Partnership for Chang, who finished her 18 hours in May 2020.
“It was a good experience to go back to school for a spell. It increased my sympathy for my own students,” she said. “I re-learned how to be a student. I re-experienced the stress of managing life, homework and adjusting to a teacher’s requirements. I also learned how to teach and learn remotely.
“I had one professor who successfully engaged us academically with online class forums and videos, and I got some ideas for learning digitally from him,” she continued. “Little did I know that learning to teach remotely would become a real thing in CFISD in a few months!”
Helping more than 21,000 students reach their academic and career goals, Lone Star College-CyFair is the fifth comprehensive college in the Lone Star College System, located at 9191 Barker Cypress Road just 3 miles south of U.S. Highway 290. Start close and go far at LSC-CyFair as well as at LSC-Cypress Center, located at 19710 Clay Road and LSC-Westway Park Technology Center, located at 5060 Westway Park Boulevard. For more information about LSC-CyFair and its programs, call 281.290.3200 or visit LoneStar.edu/cyfair.
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 93,000+ students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. Lone Star College consists of seven colleges, eight centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.