TSU/CHS

Tarleton State University has consistently been the top choice of four-year colleges among Cleburne High School seniors. More Cleburne graduates may be headed to TSU with the district’s involvement in the university’s Distinguished High School Partnership initiative.

Tarleton State University has been the four-year college of choice for Cleburne High School students in recent years.

Tarleton may continue to lead the list following a memorandum of understanding with the university approved by CISD trustees. Through TSU’s Distinguished High School Partnership, effective with the 2020-21 school year, annual scholarships and guaranteed admission will be offered to Cleburne High School seniors graduating in the top 25 percent of their class. Tarleton will also waive ACT/SAT entrance requirements along with application fees for students who qualify.

Through the TSU Guaranteed Award Program, high school academic leaders will receive $1,000 to $4,000 in scholarships. 

Students graduating from a Distinguished High School partnering district will receive an additional $500 or $1,000. Admitted freshmen must submit a general scholarship application to determine eligibility.

“Cleburne ISD has been presented with a unique opportunity in entering into this partnership with Tarleton State University,” Dr. Chris Jackson, assistant superintendent of research, data and school improvement said. “This will be a great financial help to our college-bound students — and their parents — while giving them the ability to receive a top flight education at a university close to home.”

Being close to home was a determining factor in the college selection process for Class of 2020 graduate Alexis Wallen — and her twin sister Amy. Alexis will be studying nursing at Tarleton, specializing in labor and delivery.

“I wanted something close to home,” Alexis said. “My parents have dedicated these past 18 years to raising me and I wanted to be able to see them, and for them to come see me, without a lot of time traveling. I also love Stephenville.

“Tarleton has a great nursing program. It’s been very inspiring to see students from Cleburne go on to successful nursing careers following graduation from Tarleton. I want that for me.”

Amy Wallen also believes TSU is the best choice for her college education.

“I want to be an ag teacher,” Amy said. “Through my experiences in Cleburne FFA as an officer and competitor I have had the opportunity to meet several members of the Tarleton faculty. They have a heart for students and their program is one of the best — and the campus is beautiful.

“For me, and my family, it’s win-win with Stephenville being so close to Cleburne. At the end of the day, TSU is where I need to be. It will provide a good opportunity for me in getting the education I need for the career I have chosen.”

Cleburne ISD Technology Systems Administrator Heath Meland is a Tarleton graduate, as is his wife, Kim, who is a math specialist at Irving Elementary School. 

“There’s a whole group of us in the Technology Department that went to Tarleton,” Meland said. “Their online program really appealed to me and they gave me a number of credit hours based on my certifications, including the CISCO Networking Certification I received at CHS, along with my career experiences.

“As a parent of an incoming freshman, this is an awesome opportunity. College is getting expensive and anything that can help defray those costs is a help. Our daughter spent a week at Tarleton during middle school band camp. It would be cool for her to go back there as a college student.”

Alexis is happy to hear about the opportunities that will now be available to the CHS students graduating behind her — who may eventually join her at Tarleton.

“This is great to know you have automatic admission and a scholarship waiting for you if you finish in the top 25 percent,” she said. “I want to encourage students to apply for as many scholarships as they can. It’s well worth it.”

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