Saint Joseph Academy & University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley Dual Enrollment Partnership 

Saint Joseph Academy (SJA) is excited to bring a dual enrollment program to its students in collaboration with The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). SJA and UTRGV have been working on this project for many months and we are excited for all that is to come. This unique partnership brings UTRGV faculty to SJA’s campus to deliver instruction, allowing students to begin their college journey and gain an edge, all while enjoying the privileges of the SJA experience. Along with SJA’s already existing dual enrollment relationship with TSC, our students can now earn up to 35 college credits through the school’s dual enrollment partnerships—at no additional cost to families!

There is still work to do and we know you will have questions regarding the program. Please bear with us as we work out the final details. In the meantime, here are answers to some of the questions you may have:

What is the benefit of taking the UTRGV dual enrollment courses at SJA?
SJA students will have the opportunity to experience college-level courses, taught by UTRGV faculty, all while gaining valuable skills that will help prepare them for life in college. Students will continue to be able to take advantage of the benefits of the extra-curricular/athletic activities and Catholic education that SJA provides. Students will have the benefit of now earning up to 35 hours of college credit.
When will the UTRGV dual enrollment courses be available to SJA students?
The dual enrollment partnership with UTRGV will begin in the 2020-2021 school year.

Will there be a fee/cost/tuition associated with participating in this program?
No! There are no costs associated with participating in this program. Neither the school nor the families have to pay extra to be part of this program. Like all courses at SJA, there may be required books or textbooks that need to be purchased.

Doesn't SJA already have dual enrollment partnership with TSC, how is this different?
Yes. The main difference between the two partnerships is the UTRGV courses are taught by UTRGV faculty.  The TSC courses are taught by SJA faculty that meet TSC faculty requirements. 

Which students are eligible to participate in the UTRGV / SJA dual enrollment partnership?
Students must meet the following requirements to participate in the dual enrollment partnership with UTRGV:
•    11th or 12th grade 
•    Cumulative GPA of 85% or greater
•    Successful completion of the TSI exam (Reading and Writing)

Students may still continue participating in the AP courses and TSC dual enrollment courses currently offered in the 9th and 10th grade.

How are courses chosen? What courses will be offered?
Courses were chosen in discussion with UTRGV with the SJA administration and counseling office. The courses for the 2020-2021 school year will be: 

11th Grade              
ENGL 1301     Comp I        
HIST 1301       US History I       
ENGL 1302    Comp II     
HIST 1302      US History II   

12th grade
POLS 2305    US Federal Govt & Politics
ENGL 2341     Intro to Literature
POLS 2306    Texas Govt & Politics
ECON 2301    Principles of Macroeconomics

Will students from other high schools or UTRGV be on our campus?
No, this is exclusively for SJA students and these courses will be taught on our campus.

Who will teach the UTRGV / SJA dual enrollment courses?
UTRGV Faculty.

What will happen to the dual enrollment courses currently offered?
SJA will continue its dual enrollment partnership with TSC for its dual enrollment Math courses.

What is the difference between dual enrollment and AP courses?  
AP courses are college-level courses taught to prepare student for AP tests, which are taken at the end of the school year to earn college credit and/or “advanced placement” (hence, “AP”). The AP exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Usually, a student must get a score of 3 or higher to gain college credit. SJA offers over a dozen AP courses in addition to its dual enrollment courses.

A dual enrollment course is also a college-level course taken during high school that counts for both college and high school credit. Unlike AP courses, credit isn’t determined by an exam at the end of the year, but you do need to earn a grade of C or higher in the course. 

How will the UTRGV dual enrollment courses be weighted?
Beginning in 2020-2021, dual enrollment courses will be weighted 10% for SJA GPA/transcript only.

If my child does not take AP or dual enrollment courses, how does this affect my child?
This would not affect your child, as they still would receive the quality, Catholic college-preparatory education that SJA has a tradition of providing.