Temple College has received a $620,107 grant from Greater Texas Foundation to replicate its award-winning Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College program in East Williamson County.

The TBI Middle College program gives high school students the opportunity to earn a STEM-focused ...The TBI Middle College program gives high school students the opportunity to earn a STEM-focused associate degree during their junior and senior years of high school.The Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College program offers highly motivated high school students the opportunity to earn up to 60 college credit hours in a STEM–focused (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum while they are still in high school. Students spend a half day at a Temple College campus and spend the remainder of the day at their high school.

The two-year grant will enable Temple College to expand the TBI Middle College program to Taylor, where it already has an education center.

“This will give all students an opportunity to earn an associate degree in STEM before their high school graduation,” said Temple College President Dr. Christy Ponce. “This will be especially important for rural students who may not have been able to access programs like this in the past because of distance or transportation.”

President Ponce noted that locating the new program in Taylor will put it in close proximity to many districts. The program will be open to all high school students in Williamson and Milam counties, including homeschool, public, private and charter school students.

The grant from Greater Texas Foundation will cover the cost of hiring full-time instructors in chemistry and physics ̶ two of the most difficult fields for small schools to find fully qualified teachers. The positions will be sustained by Temple College after the grant period. The grant also includes funding to help students with expenses.

Temple College also recently received $150,000 from the W.D. Kelley Foundation of Georgetown to furnish a new physics lab in Taylor and provide student scholarships.

Greater Texas Foundation funded the proposal as part of its strategic plan to help more students in rural communities complete postsecondary credentials.

Temple College plans to host an open house for prospective TBI-Taylor students in spring 2021, and the first students will start in fall 2021. The first cohort will have 10-12 students in the morning and the same number in the afternoon.

The original Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College program in Temple enrolled its first students in 2006. The program is offered at the Scott & White west campus in Temple and has given more than 800 students a head start on careers in science and medicine. TBI graduates have been accepted into some of the most prestigious colleges in the country.

In 2007, the Texas Bioscience Institute received the prestigious Bellwether Award in the category of Workforce Development. The Bellwether Award is widely regarded as one of the country’s most competitive and prestigious recognition awards for community colleges. In 2013, the program received a Texas Star Award recognizing exemplary progress in meeting the state’s goals for Closing the Gaps by 2015.

For more information on the Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College program, visit www.templejc.edu/tbi.