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Bryan Collegiate High School graduates earn high school and college diplomas

Blinn College, Bryan ISD partnership prepares students for success in higher education

June 1, 2017

Zach Jones and Eduardo Pecina, Jr.

Two Bryan Collegiate High School graduates left their commencement ceremony Friday with something extra to accompany the high school diploma in their hands – an Associate of Arts degree from Blinn College.

After each earning more than 60 college credit hours from Blinn throughout their four years of high school, Zach Jones and Eduardo Pecina, Jr. will be classified as juniors when they continue their college careers at Texas A&M University this fall.

“I am appreciative of the head-start Bryan Collegiate High School and Blinn has given us during high school,” Pecina said. “Earning two years of college credits at no financial cost is a huge boost as we begin the next step in our academic career.”

Bryan Collegiate High School is a unique partnership between Blinn and Bryan ISD that places students on the fast-track to a college degree. Through a curriculum that includes dual credit through all four years of their high school experience, graduates leave with 40-60 college credit hours they can transfer to a four-year degree.

Blinn instructors travel to the Bryan Collegiate campus to teach courses to freshmen and sophomores, while juniors and seniors take their courses on the Blinn-Bryan Campus. Seniors take just one class at Bryan Collegiate while the remainder of their schedule consists of Blinn coursework.

Zach Jones and Eduardo Pecina, Jr. “Both of these young men are exceptional students,” said Tommy Roberts, Dean of Students at Bryan Collegiate. “They have a very strong work ethic and genuine determination to be successful. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for them.”

To complement Blinn’s rigorous coursework, Bryan Collegiate offers unique resources such as ACT and SAT preparation, college application and essay development classes, and one-on-one instruction from faculty members to better prepare each student for higher education.

“A typical high school student going directly into a full load of college courses after graduation may not know how to handle the new environment,” Jones said. “Bryan Collegiate has taught me the skills I need to succeed at a four-year institution and beyond.”

Jones and Pecina are active in various school and community organizations, accumulating more than 600 combined service hours during their high school careers.

Pecina, who is fluent in six languages, has been teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at the Bryan Adult Learning Center and Bryan Oak Grove United Methodist Church since his freshman year.

“I began volunteering my freshman year as a tutor for the adult courses before transitioning into teaching an entire class on my own,” Pecina said. “My students were always very grateful because they appreciate the one-on-one attention – much like what we receive at Bryan Collegiate.”

Pecina also was president of Bryan Collegiate’s National Honor Society during the 2016-17 school year, and is a past member of the Blinn French Club and Bryan Collegiate Robotics Team.

In addition to teaching math and science classes at the Bryan Adult Learning Center, Jones contributed to a research project alongside Blinn professors and students that was presented at the American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco in April. He also organized a community event called “Teens for Jeans,” in which he collected and donated 110 pairs of jeans to local shelters.

Jones will study nuclear engineering, and his goal is to become a medical professional in the field of radiation dosimetry. Pecina will study aerospace engineering and would like to pursue entrepreneurship after obtaining his master’s degree in business administration.

“I am a first-generation college student, so this whole process can be overwhelming at times,” Pecina said. “Blinn definitely has given me a peek at the college experience and prepared me for my future endeavors.”

For more information regarding Bryan Collegiate High School, visit: http://bcollegiate.bryanisd.org.