Participation in the TBI program requires a year-round commitment for the final two years of a student’s high school career.
Temple High School counselor Jamie Durham says sophomores interested in the program must meet several prerequisites to qualify for the program.
“They have to have three high school credits in math, as well as one in chemistry, with an B average or higher” Durham explained. “They must then pass both portions of the (Texas Success Initiative) assessment, get a teacher recommendation and write an essay.”
Emily DeGraff, who will study in the honors engineering program at Texas A&M University this fall, says she saw TBI as the advanced academics program that would best prepare her for the future.
“The reason I picked TBI is because I knew it was a more similar to a university experience than taking AP or IB courses.” DeGraff said. “I wanted to prepare for college while participating in rigorous coursework.”
On top of the coursework DeGraff is also a varsity cheerleader, a band member, president of the Texas Association of Future Educators chapter at THS and a member of National Honor Society.
“I’m glad I did it because, although it was difficult hard to manage my time, I learned to manage my time,” DeGraff said.
As a result, she and her peers will earn their associates degree before they even graduate high school — a feat that proves the commitment of two years’ worth of work.
“The students that pass the TSI and get in (to TBI) are very serious students,” Durham said. “They are the ones who are very invested in school and often participate in extracurriculars.”
Next year’s senior class has 19 students who will undertake the second leg of the TBI curriculum.