Recovering Dropouts and Re-engaging Students in Pharr, Texas

I recently learned more about a school in Parr, Texas that is doing extraordinary work with dropout recovery and providing young people with a second chance at a high school diploma. The College, Career, and Technology Academy, or CC&T Academy, is part of a comprehensive approach by the Pharr-San Juan Alamo Independent School District to addressing the dropout problem. What’s unique about this school is their focus on re-engaging students who may have failed to graduate high school on time, or dropped out of high school altogether: they specifically serve young adults between the ages of 18-26.  Since the school’s opening in 2007, the school has graduated 657 students, a third of whom move on to post-secondary education! As its results demonstrate, the school is really taking the mission of preparing every student for college and career to heart and giving new hope – and a second chance – to students.

I’m highlighting the work of CC&T Academy and a few other schools and districts in an upcoming magazine article as successful examples of secondary school reform. As I’ve mentioned in this blog, secondary school reform is a key priority for OESE in the upcoming year, and I want to make sure we are sharing success stories and promising strategies with the wider community of educators and practitioners through a variety of avenues. If you have stories to share, please email me at I’d love to share your success!