Dr. Leicha Shaver
The dual-credit program allows students to take college classes and earn credit for both high school and college simultaneously. This opportunity also allows students to earn an Associate Degree while attending high school. The program is on a college campus, which provides unique opportunities for students to utilize campus resources and share space alongside college faculty and staff. This experience allowed Dr. Shaver to build partnerships and lasting relationships with community colleges and university communities. Through this shared partnership, 75% of Middle College graduates completed high school with an Associate Degree.
As a result of the success, she had at Middle College High School, Dr. Hinojosa, superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, asked Dr. Shaver to lead Roosevelt High School. Through Dr. Shaver’s visionary leadership, Roosevelt High School witnessed unparalleled transformations. The historic Oak Cliff high school established a dual-credit initiative, which allowed its juniors and seniors to enroll in college courses at El Centro Community College while attending high school. The year 2012 marked a milestone in Dallas Independent School District when the first comprehensive high school, Roosevelt, celebrated two students who graduated with their Associate Degree prior to completing High School and also received a Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Dr. Shaver worked diligently to create a positive culture where the faculty and staff on her campus not only expressed but also expected tangible, academic gains for all students. That focused leadership style helped Roosevelt garner the highest School Effectiveness Index (SEI) rating in Dallas ISD for two consecutive years. Roosevelt, which secured more than $6 million in grant funding during a three-year period, also became a member of the National Foundation Academy. This prestigious honor allowed the school to present specialized academic instruction in health-related fields for students who sought to pursue training in health-related careers.
In Dr. Shaver’s current leadership role at API, she and her staff are forging new territory. Advanced Preparatory International is quickly establishing an exemplary academic program. Students take advanced placement courses and dual-credit courses. A cohort of students was enrolled in community college courses during the spring of 2016. API students have completed close to 100+ transferrable college credit hours since the school’s inception. Students also have multiple career pathways from which to choose: the business industry, multimedia communications, and sports health sciences.
In addition to the academic component, API has an exceptional athletic program. It has garnered a reputation for having elite athletes who attract numerous Division I universities. API has received recognition through its academics and athletics. Research supports the concept that access to early college provides opportunities for students to develop college readiness and improves the likelihood that students will earn their college degree and, later, an advanced degree. API is committed to providing rigorous curricula and devoted instructors who will ensure students’ success in high school and in college.
During Dr. Shaver’s career, she has had the privilege and honor of serving as lead principal, master principal, a member of the superintendent’s principal group, and served on the Executive Leadership Team with Dallas superintendent, Dr. Michael Hinijosa and his cabinet. She obtained her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Northwestern Oklahoma State University; she holds an earned doctorate degree from Oklahoma State University, and superintendent certification. Dr. Shaver is committed and passionate about serving, and it is evident in her life’s work in education.
Her participation in dual-credit programs at schools has been a catalyst for change that transforms campuses beyond the traditional or conventional. She stresses to students and parents that early college and a
career pathway raises the bar, opens multiple doors, and increase students’ opportunities for success in a global society.