Brazos Valley high school students explore opportunity at the RELLIS Campus

More than 300 high school students toured the campus as a part of last week's RELLIS Days event

More than 300 high school students toured the campus as a part of last week's RELLIS Days event

October 9, 2019

From emergency medical services to robotics, Brazos Valley high school students marveled at the programs and resources available as they explored the RELLIS Campus on Friday, Oct. 4.

As part of the RELLIS Days highlighting the schools and programs available at the RELLIS Campus, students from Bryan, Caldwell, Calvert, and Rudder High Schools toured the Blinn College District’s Walter C. Schwartz Building and The Texas A&M University System’s newly opened RELLIS Academic Complex.

“This outreach effort is about introducing students in the Brazos Valley Region to the RELLIS Campus and making sure they are exposed to the boundless opportunities available to them locally though our programs,” said Isaiah Vance, Associate Director of the RELLIS Academic Alliance. “One of our objectives is to foster community engagement and make sure students know that there are multiple tracts, from workforce education to traditional academic degree programs, they can pursue to develop a career path that works for them.”

RELLIS students led the groups of between 20-30 high school students through the innovative classrooms, collaborative study spaces, and state-of-the art labs that shape the dynamic learning environment of Blinn’s Schwartz Building and the RELLIS Academic Complex. Representatives from the RELLIS Academic Alliance also were on hand to speak with students and answer questions. The RELLIS Academic Alliance reflects an intimate educational environment where students are invited to collaborate inside and outside of class through interactive classrooms, team study pods, and spacious lounge seating.

“Our students were eager and excited to come to the RELLIS Campus,” said Calvert High School Counselor Otencia Robinson. “The staff presentations combined with the hands-on experiences in the robotics class, physical therapy and biology labs, and simulated hospital rooms gave them a great introduction to the campus’s amazing resources. This was a great opportunity for them to explore their educational and career options and start thinking about the future.”

The high school tours were part of a multiday celebration that culminated in the RELLIS Festival and Open House on Saturday, Oct. 5, featuring music, food, fireworks, and the exciting institutions that call the RELLIS Campus home.

The RELLIS Academic Alliance is a unique partnership between Blinn College and nine Texas A&M System regional universities. Students can complete their foundational coursework at the 83,000-square-foot Schwartz Building and seamlessly transition to one of the Texas A&M System regional universities also located at RELLIS. Currently, the RELLIS Campus offers 17 bachelor’s degree programs in subjects ranging from criminal justice to computer science.

Upper-division RELLIS students utilize the 68,000-square-foot RELLIS Academic Complex, which opened its doors in August. Featuring 10 classrooms, modern allied health teaching laboratories, upper-division science laboratories, and more than 40 faculty offices, the RELLIS Academic Complex is home to Blinn’s Health Sciences programs, which utilize more than 16,000 square feet.

These sites are just the beginning of the exciting projects taking shape at the RELLIS Campus as programs continue to expand. Construction is planned for phase two of the RELLIS Academic Complex, located directly adjacent to the current site. This structure will provide space for engineering labs and classrooms for anticipated engineering programs at RELLIS. This past May, The Texas A&M System and Blinn broke ground on the Agriculture and Workforce Education Complex that will create a state-of-the-art facility to train students for high-demand careers in secondary education and the construction industry.

“The excitement and creativity this campus represents is apparent the moment visitors walk through our doors,” Blinn’s Executive Dean of the RELLIS Campus Chris Marrs said. “The RELLIS Academic Alliance fulfills such an important purpose and we’re passionate about sharing the limitless opportunities available with the Brazos Valley community and beyond. We want students, like those from area high schools, to know we’re dedicated to training, mentoring, advising, and teaching the leaders of our future workforce.”

For more information about the RELLIS Academic Alliance, visit https://rellis.tamus.edu/academicalliance or www.blinn.edu/RELLIS.

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