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Advise TX Adviser Helps DeSoto High School Students Fulfill ‘Dallas County Promise’

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Iesha Jackson (center) with a group of DeSoto High School students

With help from Advise TX adviser Iesha Jackson, 683 DeSoto High School seniors have made a Dallas County Promise Pledge this spring to receive free college tuition through the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Foundation. The only adviser at the school’s College and Career Center, Jackson was instrumental in getting students to complete the process of submitting applications to DCCCD and for Federal Student Aid or Texas Application for State Financial Aid. Thanks to Jackson’s good work, DeSoto High School was one of only ten high schools that achieved a 100 percent completion rate.

In the very first year of the new Dallas County Promise initiative instituted at 31 high schools in the Dallas area, Advise TX Adviser Iesha Jackson serving at DeSoto High School was one of only 10 high schools who achieved a 100% completion rate (683 seniors).

Once enrolled in one of the Dallas County Community Colleges, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA, complete at least 18 credit hours per year and re-file their student aid applications to continue to receive tuition benefits at DCCCD colleges.  Upon successful completion of the program, qualified students are eligible to transfer to partner institutions including the University of North Texas at Dallas, Prairie View A&M University or Southern Methodist University.

The scholarship covers the cost of tuition at any Dallas County Community College campus for up to three years or the completion of an associate degree (whichever comes first). The program also offers participating students a Success Coach mentor and, for those students wanting to complete a bachelor’s degree, access to additional transfer scholarships to attend partner four-year universities upon successful completion of the program.

Jackson is one of 21 recent college graduates in the Advise TX program (UT Austin chapter) who are providing the guidance and encouragement that students need to navigate college admissions. Advisers work full time to help students plan their college searches, complete admissions and financial aid applications and enroll at schools that will serve them well. The goal is to increase the number of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students of color in higher education.

Housed within the Longhorn Center for School Partnerships, Advise TX is part of the national College Advising Corps, a growing consortium of more than 20 partner institutions, including The University of Texas at Austin, around the country who have committed to recruit and train talented, enthusiastic recent college graduates to serve as college advisers within designated high schools in 14 states. For a maximum of two years, Advise TX advisers serve students in low-performing high schools within 12 school districts in Central Texas, Houston, Dallas, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley.

Visit the Advise TX website for more information or contact Cheryl Sawyer, Advise TX program director, at 512-471-6173, cheryls@austin.utexas.edu.