Building toward the future: Ali's journey through early college success

Jan 4, 2024Melissa Trevizo
Imaad Ali
Imaad Ali

As Imaad Ali enters his senior year, he expects to graduate with his high school diploma, a college degree, and an ambitious outlook on life.

The 17-year-old is enrolled in San Jacinto College’s Early College High School program on the South Campus through Dobie High School.

The Early College High School initiative is an open-enrollment four-year program that blends college and high school coursework, enabling students to earn up to two years of college credit tuition-free while enrolled in high school. This program serves Clear Creek, Galena Park, Pasadena, and Sheldon independent school districts, with eight high school campuses represented.

“When I first heard about early college, I thought it wouldn’t be for me,” said Ali. “But as my parents and I learned more about it, it seemed like a great deal. My tuition and books are paid, and I’m getting a head start before I enroll at a university.”

“I feel like early college has given me a training ground for what life will be like at a university,” said Ali. “I’ll be two years ahead of everyone else once I transfer.”

During Ali’s upbringing, his parents held education in high regard.

“My parents immigrated from Pakistan in the early 2000s,” said Ali. “They were always worried about my future and college. My mom was a tutor in Pakistan, and she pushed me to be the best that I can. I enjoy school and learning. I get that from her.”

Ali has taken his role as college student seriously, joining Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and the student government association. In fall 2023, Ali took on the responsibility of Student Government Association president for the South Campus.

“After joining PTK, I learned about all the community service they do,” said Ali. “It encouraged me to do more. I started as the Student Government Association secretary, then ran for president uncontested. As the president, I will represent the student body and their needs.”

As a business major, Ali has taken accounting and economics classes along with his basic courses and hopes to transfer to Texas Tech University to pursue a dual degree in business and architecture.

“I’m looking forward to what the future holds for me after San Jac,” said Ali. “I know I’ve got a good foundation to build on.”

More about the Early College High School program at San Jacinto College:

Students enrolled in the Early College High School and academy programs receive highly personalized attention and follow personalized graduation plans. Dedicated staff mentor and guide these students, helping them develop critical soft skills needed for college and career success.

According to research done by the American Institute for Research, early college high school and academy students are nearly three times as likely to earn an associate degree or bachelor's degree than their traditional high school peers.

Learn more about the Early College High School program.

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