Monday, June 3, 2024
  Rankings and Achievements, Accolades

By Victoria Brito Morales

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – JUNE 3, 2024 – UTRGV partner school, Brownsville Early College High School (BECHS) continues to maintain its position as one of the top-ranking institutions in Texas, according to U.S. News and World Report.

The school is ranked ninth in Texas, showcasing its commitment to academic excellence. Additionally, the school ranked 71st in the country, placing it in the top 1% in the nation.

Since 2008, UTRGV, BECHS (the first early college high school in the Brownsville school district), and Texas Southmost College (TSC) have provided coursework for grades 11 and 12. BECHS students take their final two years of high school on the UTRGV Brownsville Campus, earning dual credit. 

UTRGV’s Office of Secondary Partnerships oversees BECHS, with more than 700 students graduating from BECHS since UTRGV opened in 2015.

During their high school years, BECHS students have access to take courses from both UTRGV and TSC. Graduates from BECHS are eligible to earn an associate’s degree from TSC if completion of coursework is met. 

Dr. Michael Aldape, UTRGV associate vice provost of Secondary Educational Partnerships, plays a crucial role in building student schedules and works closely with UTRGV deans and academic department chairs on behalf of BECHS.

“It’s gratifying to see the school recognized for the hard work of the principal, counselor, administrative team, teachers and students,” Aldape said. “This recognition highlights the dedication and effort put forth by everyone involved in preparing students for success.” 

BECHS Principal Rachel Ayala said she is proud of all the school and the students have achieved.

“As principal of Brownsville Early College High School, my biggest achievement is contributing to the growth of our students’ holistic well-being,” she said. “Our faculty and staff care deeply about the whole student – not just academic performance. We work collaboratively with parents and higher education partners UTRGV and TSC, to empower our students to explore their interests, build lifelong learning skills, and find meaning in high school, college, and their future personal and professional achievements.”

Student Mia Georgina Almaraz shared her enthusiasm that the school was named a top performer.

“We are so thankful for this nationwide recognition of excellence,” Almaraz said. “We, along with our faculty and staff, work extremely hard. Seeing our efforts finally recognized means the world to us. It affirms our commitment to our studies. And as seniors, we look forward to representing the best that BECHS has offered us as we transition to other school communities.”

Almaraz was one of more than 70 students this semester to receive an Associate of Arts degree from TSC on May 10 during the Spring 2024 Commencement.  

According to Aldape, almost 80 percent of students who graduate from BECHS continue on to UTRGV to expand their education.

For more information on how the Best High Schools are ranked, visit here.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.