OnRamps is an innovative dual enrollment and professional development initiative committed to improving college-readiness and completion outcomes across Texas.
Coordinated by The University of Texas at Austin and replicated by Texas Tech University, OnRamps’ mission is to increase the number and diversity of students who engage in learning experiences aligned with the expectations of leading research universities.
OnRamps provides transformative learning experiences for both students and teachers. It is designed around four key pillars:
- College Content: University faculty develop and oversee all course content and assessments. Courses include computer science, geoscience, physics, pre-calculus, statistics, English language arts and history, college algebra, arts and entertainment technologies, and chemistry. They can be applied to the Texas Common Core and are guaranteed to transfer to any public institution in Texas.
- Innovative Pedagogy and Learning: Courses feature innovative pedagogies, such as inquiry-based learning and peer instruction, to help students become independent learners. Students develop critical life skills such as creative-problem solving, effective collaboration and how to monitor and self-regulate their own learning.
- Technology-Enhanced Education: Teachers and students learn the tools and technologies required to be successful in higher education and, in part, the workforce. These first-rate tools help them to develop computation thinking skills and to communicate effectively in a digital world.
- Teacher Excellence: University faculty and staff, high school teachers, and school district administrators come together to exchange ideas and resources. Together, they infuse innovation and excellence in classrooms and schools in various regions of the state.
Since its inception in 2011, OnRamps has seen rapid growth and demand across Texas. Annual student enrollment numbers have more than doubled each year. To date, OnRamps serves a diverse community of more than 20,000 students, 370 teachers, 170 high schools and 93 districts in the state of Texas.
In service to its mission, OnRamps has established a series of strategic initiatives to deepen its support for secondary and higher education communities across the state of Texas. The newest example of this, the Dual Credit Innovation Collaborative, brings together thought leaders from Austin Community College, El Paso Community College, Houston Community College, San Jacinto College, Tarrant County College, Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin to develop voluntary standards that ensure rigor, quality and state-of-the-art teaching in dual credit courses throughout the state.