Expansion & Growth
Fastest-growing charter school in the nation sends its graduates to college, achieves 100% college acceptance for nine years in a row
RIO GRANDE VALLEY (October 5, 2015) – IDEA Public Schools announced today that all but two students who graduated in its Class of 2015 have matriculated to college. Two students were granted Military exemptions and are expected to matriculate in the Spring. Since its first graduating class nine years ago, IDEA has achieved a 99.9% matriculation rate as the district continues to fulfill its unwavering commitment to College For All Children. The school has maintained its near-perfect matriculation rate despite experiencing unprecedented growth; it has added 44 schools and nearly 24,000 students since 2000—more than any other charter school in the nation during that time period.
The IDEA Class of 2015 was accepted to more Ivy League, Tier One, and Tier Two colleges than ever before. Among the 544 students who matriculated to college, 338 of those students are the first person in their families to attend college.
“IDEA’s nine-year run of outstanding college matriculation is a testament to the collective focus, hard work, and dogged persistence of our students and their families as well as our dedicated faculty and staff,” said JoAnn Gama, IDEA Public Schools co-founder, president, and superintendent. “But our commitment to these outstanding young men and women does not end after they graduate from IDEA. We continue to support them throughout their college careers to ensure they get on the path to accomplishing their professional goals and becoming productive members of their communities.”
A 2015 graduate of IDEA Quest College Prep, Dylan H. Zuniga is attending the University of Pennsylvania this fall. By the time he graduated from high school, Zuniga had taken and passed 11 Advanced Placement exams, served as president of the AVID Club, was a member of the Spanish National Honor Society, founded a Model United Nations Club, and represented IDEA Quest twice in the UIL state competition for Literary Criticism.
“I can attest to the fact that IDEA opens students’ eyes to the limitless possibilities,” he said. “I owe much of where I am today to IDEA, which has prepared for the academic rigor of the next four years. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine attending one of the best universities in the country.”
College for All Children is made possible by the talented staff, innovative programs, and a college-going culture. IDEA’s College Support Model provides students with a wide range of services and support even after they get accepted to college. As a result, IDEA alumni have achieved a college graduation rate five times the national average for low-income students.
“In the past few weeks, the level of support for our college freshman has intensified,” said Phillip Garza, IDEA’s Vice President of College Success. “A number of our staff members have flown across the country with students to help them get situated at their universities. In addition, many of our college counselors have been on campuses to facilitate our students’ arrivals. Ultimately, the college success our students achieve is the result of the hard work of every teacher, bus driver, principal, counselor, parent, registrar, headquarters team member, and AVID tutor.”
IDEA’s support for this year’s college-bound graduates will intensify in the months after graduation.