Posted: 7/15/21

TAMIU Signs MOU with Freer ISD for Early College High School Program




Qualified students at Freer High School can now earn concurrent enrollment for academic dual credit courses at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) as part of a new Early College High School (ECHS) program between Free Independent School District and TAMIU.

University and District officials met last week to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which green-lights the program, which begins this Fall. 

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz said the program provides Freer students with a remarkable opportunity to grow and succeed.

“We’re proud to announce this renewed partnership with Freer Independent School District and honored to work with the visionary leadership of the District.  Together, we will share an amazing journey of opportunity with these bright and committed students.  We look at and treat students as part of our family and we’re happy they will be here to realize all facets of this wonderful opportunity,” Dr. Arenaz said.

Freer officials, themselves TAMIU alumni, said the MOU event was a welcome return “home.”  The District previously had a ECHS relationship with TAMIU in 2015 and representatives said they were happy to renew that relationship.

Conrad Cantú  (BA, ’99; MSED, ’08), Freer ISD superintendent, said the choice was an easy one.

“We knew TAMIU was where we wanted to be.   It seemed like TAMIU parted the sea to work with us and we look forward to a continued relationship,” Cantú said.

In his remarks, Freer ISD Board president Steve McQuagge, (M.S., ’06) concurred.

“The dedication to education here is so impressive.  The dedication to our students is unbelievable.  Thanks for having open arms to having a prodigal son back,” McQuagge said.

The Freer students will be bused to TAMIU’s campus twice a week.   They will receive academic and college readiness advising with access to student support services to bridge them successfully into college course completion. TAMIU will offer a summer bridge program to help prepare District students for the Texas Success Initiative college-readiness assessment. 

Freer students will also have access to tutorial help provided by TAMIU’s Academic Center of Excellence and its Learning and Writing Centers. Academic advising will be provided by the District’s high school counselors.  A recruitment process at the District will begin with qualified eighth graders.

A distinction of the Freer-TAMIU program is that courses are only offered by instructors under direct and exclusive supervision of the University. The University believes this is crucial to ensure that instruction meets TAMIU’s high standards.

TAMIU’s campus is also home to the Laredo Independent School District’s award-winning Hector J. García Early College High School and the Julieta and Frank Staggs Academy of International and STEM studies .

For additional information on the Freer-TAMIU Early College High School program, contact Freer ISD at 361.394.6025 or by email at help@freerisd.net

For more on TAMIU outreach programs, please contact Scheiby González Fisher, executive director of Outreach and Pre-CollegePrograms, at 956.326.2720, or email sfisher@tamiu.edu


We Agree!

Holding the signed agreements that will drive an Early College High School Program between Freer Independent School District and TAMIU are, left to right, TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz; Freer ISD Board president Steve McQuagge, (M.S., ’06)  and Freer ISD superintendent  Conrad Cantú  (BA, ’99; MSED, ’08).