Award Year: 2014

Houston Academy for International Studies

1810 Stuart Street
Houston, TX, 77004-3043

(713) 942-1430

Ms. Melissa Helene Jacobs-Thibaut, Principal at time of Nomination

Charter School, Title I School, Choice School

Houston Independent School District

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Bell Award Winner


Through international studies, a personalized environment and a college preparatory curriculum, HAIS will prepare students for active roles as global citizens.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 43%
  • White: 4%
  • Hispanic: 50%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 1%
  • ELL: 1%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
HAIS gradutes globally competent citizens with both a diploma and an Associate's Degree.

HAIS gradutes globally competent citizens with both a diploma and an Associate's Degree.

The Houston Academy for International Studies was founded in 2006 with the ambitious vision of providing first-in-family college goers an education that would make them both global citizens and college graduates with an Associate’s Degree before graduating from high school.

As an international studies high school, the curriculum includes Model United Nations, Global Business, AP Human Geography and AP World History. Students are also required to take four years of a foreign language and create a portfolio of projects with a global perspective. In their final year, students participate in full-day internships around Houston.

As an Early College High School, course offerings are integrated with college courses allowing students the opportunity to earn both their diploma and Associate's Degree while attending high school. Instead of spending all day in the school building, students attend classes at Houston Academy's college partner institution alongside college students. They not only gain college credit, but also valuable college experiences of managing their time, syllabi and working relationships with their college professors.

In addition to their high school and college experience, scholarship opportunities are actively sought in order for the students to travel the world on study trips. Students have studied all over the world including Cambodia, China, Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa and South Korea.

The school is proud to have made the U.S. News & World Report's list of Best High Schools in America and also the Washington Post's Most Challenging High Schools in the United States.