The University of North Texas at Dallas, Dallas County Community College District and Dallas Independent School District recently signed a memorandum of understanding officially creating two new collegiate academies at Lincoln and Sunset High School. Inspired by this forward-thinking act, AT&T contributed $15,000 to UNT Dallas to further empower these collegiate academy students, and develop their entrepreneurial aspirations.  

“These agreements, combined with AT&T’s generous gift, reinforce our university’s vision to be a pathway for social mobility for area students,” said Bob Mong, UNT Dallas president. “These students are in our neighborhood, and they will now have the tremendous opportunity to graduate high school with an associate’s degree from DCCCD, finish their bachelor’s degree at UNT Dallas in two years, and then move on to rewarding careers in high-demand industries. It’s a win for our schools, for our students and for our community.”

The partnership is the first of its kind for Dallas ISD, with students completing two years of instruction on a university campus, rather than at a community college. The early exposure to university life and the resources available will make it easier for students to pursue an affordable four-year degree and graduate quickly.

AT&T’s contribution is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature education initiative focused on school success and career readiness. It will provide students with additional leadership and entrepreneurial training as well as community service opportunities that stand to strengthen the ties between students and their Southern Dallas community.

 “At AT&T, we are committed to empowering students everywhere to reach their highest potential,” said Angela Ross, Vice President, AT&T External Affairs. “Through our Aspire program, we are investing in students today – at home, in the classroom and at work – to prepare them for success tomorrow. We see tremendous value in the High School Student Entrepreneurship Program at the University of North Texas and are proud to support this innovative program that will help students in Southern Dallas.”

“At UNT Dallas, we want our students to graduate prepared for meaningful careers in high-demand fields,” said Dr. Glenda Balas, interim provost and dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “We have worked diligently alongside Dallas ISD, DCCCD and UNT Dallas faculty and staff to prepare a curriculum that will equip students to make an impact in the areas of business, healthcare, and education, as well as in their community.”

Lincoln Collegiate Academy’s business-focused curriculum will offer tracks in logistics and supply chain management and hospitality management. The business emphasis is built on Southern Dallas’ industrial and commercial growth, and the need for young leaders prepared to make an impact.

“There are more good-paying jobs available in Dallas than there are qualified individuals with the required knowledge and expertise to fill those roles,” said Dr. Karen Shumway, dean of the School of Business. “Students who graduate from Lincoln’s Collegiate Academy, and complete their business degrees through UNT Dallas will find themselves in demand within the industry.”

“It’s critical that we work together to ensure our  students from southern Dallas county  are ready for the challenges they will face after high school – either in a work environment or as a college student,” said Senator Royce West.  “The Lincoln High School magnet is an innovative and exciting program that can not only teach but inspire out students to ensure they have every chance to succeed in a dynamic and global society and economy.  I appreciate the University of North Texas at Dallas, DCCCD, the Dallas ISD and AT&T for their continued commitment to our students and our future.”

Students enrolled in the Sunset Collegiate Academy can choose between public health and teacher education. Public health students will study the growing healthcare industry, and take coursework that can lead to careers in hospital administration, health and wellness, or prepare for medical school. The teacher education track also provides a significant benefit to Dallas ISD by allowing the district to “grow its own” teachers, teachers who will be more likely to remain in the district thanks to their own roots in Dallas ISD.

“Teaching is a meaningful profession, and our partnership with Dallas ISD and DCCCD is dedicated to increasing the number of passionate and committed teachers who are exceedingly well prepared for the classroom,” said Dr. John Gasko, dean of the School of Education and the Emerging Teacher Institute. “Together, we can instill a sense of pride in the teaching profession, and enhance its appeal as a career choice that changes lives.”

Photos from the event are available online at:



Date: January 21, 2017
By: Ashley Johnson, PR/Commuication Director, or 972-338-1098

Newsletter Inclusion: 
ON THE MOVE, December 2016