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ACU partners with IDEA Public Schools

Abilene Christian University is partnering with IDEA Public Schools in a program designed to help K-12 students in their selection of and transition to college.

“ACU and IDEA Public Schools are natural partners because of our mutual commitment to student success,” said Dr. Susan Lewis, ACU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

IDEA is a national network of nearly 150 tuition-free public charter schools, serving more than 80,000 college-bound students across Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Ohio. For the last 16 years, IDEA has sent nearly 100% of its graduates to college.  

Through the college partnership program, students have access to information on partner universities and colleges as they make their selection on where to attend. Partner teams work together to create a collaborative and supportive environment for IDEA students as they continue their educational journey on a college campus. 

“Such partnerships are a testament to IDEA’s commitment of ensuring every student succeeds in college and in life,” said Phillip Garza, chief college officer of IDEA Public Schools. “We are excited to work with ACU, as partnerships like these allow IDEA graduates to join the college with a built-in network of support in the short term that facilitate their success in the long term.” 

At ACU, that network will include a full-time faculty or staff mentor for each entering cohort of IDEA alumni; programming aimed at enhancing participation in co-curricular and extracurricular activities; mentoring meetings and activities between junior- and senior-level university students and freshmen and sophomore level university IDEA alumni; and workshops and programs to improve students’ persistence. In addition, IDEA alumni will automatically be accepted as a member of Lynay, ACU’s multicultural community leadership initiative, and will receive the Lynay-associated scholarships.

ACU will have the opportunity to reach out to IDEA students and alumni through visits to IDEA campuses, invitations to regional events, targeted mailings, promotion of pre-university programs, and hosting IDEA students and alumni on ACU’s campus. The partnership also provides opportunities for IDEA and Abilene Christian to collaborate and develop strategies to address the challenges of university attendance for IDEA students, many of whom are first-generation college students from low-income families.

“I’m looking forward to more IDEA alumni choosing ACU,” Lewis said. “IDEA alumni are well-prepared, and ACU’s excellent academic programs and wrap-around services provide an environment where they can thrive.”

About IDEA Public Schools
IDEA Public Schools believes that each child can go to college. Since 2000, IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school with 150 students to a network of tuition-free, K-12 public charter schools in the United States. Currently, the network serves over 80,000 college-bound students in 143 schools across Texas and its affiliates. IDEA has been recognized as a “Great Place to Work” and received national rankings in The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report’s Top High Schools lists. In the last 16 years, IDEA has sent nearly 100% of its graduates to college and remains on track to uphold that legacy.

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