Harlingen picked for rare college readiness program

HARLINGEN — It’s a one of a kind, in more ways than one.

The Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy is the only school in the Valley to offer a new pilot program of pre-Advanced Placement classes this fall.

“We’re one of just a few here in this state,” said Myliss Parker, director of advanced academic services.

“The significance of the program is that the pre-AP program is going to follow the model of the AP program,” Parker said. “Our advanced placement program is a huge international program that we have through the College Board, which has designated certain classes for advanced placement.”

Cano Freshman Academy was selected from more than 1,000 schools worldwide that will participate in the new Pre-AP Program next school year, said a press release.

“Pre-AP is designed to give all students the opportunity to learn the foundational knowledge and skills they need to be successful in Advanced Placement and other college-level coursework,” it said. “The College Board selected Cano Freshman Academy as a partner who is committed to college readiness for all students.”

Cano Freshman Academy, said the release, will receive an official Pre-AP designation for each of the courses taught and the chance to bring engaging coursework to all students.

“This designation signals consistent, high standards in focused courses that help build, strengthen, and reinforce student’s content knowledge and skills,” the release said. “The three new 9th grade courses provide teachers and students with instructional resources, classroom-based assessments, high-quality professional learning, and focused practice.”

Principal Vivian Bauer was delighted by the news.

“It is exciting to be the only school in the Rio Grande Valley and one of 21 schools in Texas to have been chosen to blaze the trail in Pre-AP programming for students,” she said. “This opportunity is a perfect fit for the Harlingen CISD as it strives to provide educational excellence for all students.”

Parker said that while eight courses are available in this pilot program, only three will be offered this year for several reasons.

“Four of them are actually fine arts, and our fine arts advance program doesn’t actually start until the sophomore level,” she said. “Because it has to be at the Cano campus we’re only going to be able to offer three of the eight that pre-AP is offering.”

She said the district will pilot the program over the next two years.

“I think Cano was selected because we have a large number of students who take pre-AP courses, and they’re looking for schools that have a large concentration of that,” she said.

More Information

Pre-AP courses are open to all students. The program objectives are to:

• Significantly increase the number of students who are able to access and complete collegelevel work — like AP — before leaving high school.

• Improve the college readiness of all students.