\u2026.In an effort to help high schools students prepare for success in college, the Boards of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education gave \u201cpreliminary\u201d designation status to 21 early college programs, and awarded more than $80,000 in grants to public colleges, universities and high schools in the midst of developing early college programs, the Baker-Polito Administration announced today. \n\nThe $10,000 competitive planning grants will help schools become \u201cdesignated\u201d early college programs by the Boards of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education. Schools granted preliminary designation are expected to apply for final designation in February, with the goal of launching programs this fall. \n\n\u201cEarly college programs are crucial for exposing students to the opportunities higher-education can create and with these designations, more students will be able to earn college credits at no cost,\u201d Governor Charlie Baker said. \u201cWe are pleased to work with these school districts to expand or launch early college programs so their students are better prepared for successful academic and professional careers after high school.\u201d \n\n\u201cSuccessful early college programs boost college completion rates for students by preparing them with challenging college-level courses,\u201d said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. \u201cWe are happy to be able to offer these grants that will help create high-quality early college programs for more students across the Commonwealth.\u201d \n\nEarly college programs combine traditional high school courses with an opportunity to earn college credit at a public college or university, typically in a particular career pathway.\n\nSuccessful early college programs make college more accessible to low-income students by giving them an opportunity to learn in college-level courses while at the same time earning college credits, at no cost, which helps ease their financial burdens later. Early college has also been shown to boost college completion rates for low-income students, minorities and first-generation college-goers. \n\nIn June, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Board of Higher Education agreed on criteria that will enable programs to become designated early college programs. Through the designation process, the Departments of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education asked K-12 schools, community colleges and state universities to jointly design models. \n\n\u201cBy creating designated early college programs, we are breaking down barriers between high school and higher education and creating a more seamless path for students to move to college and careers,\u201d Education Secretary James Peyser said. \u201cSuccessful early college programs do more than just prepare a student theoretically; they make students realize college is an achievable goal for them by exposing them to college-level work and college credits before they graduate high school.\u201d \n\n\u201cI\u2019m delighted to see the Commonwealth making this commitment to early college programs,\u201d said Carlos E. Santiago, Commissioner of Higher Education. \u201cWe know that 70% of Massachusetts jobs will require today\u2019s high school students to have some kind of post-secondary degree or certification. Early college will help us create a new pipeline to college for students who may have felt it was beyond their reach.\u201d\n\n\u0022We know that early college programs help motivate students,\u0022 Elementary and Secondary Education Acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson said. \u0022We want to lead the nation in making these programs available in our high schools.\u0022\n\nLast March, Governor Charlie Baker announced efforts to significantly increase the number of early college seats available to high school students. Currently there are approximately 2,400 students enrolled in early college programs around the state. \n\nThere are five design principles for a designated early college program: \n\n\n\tEquitable access for all students\n\t\n\t\n\tGuided academic pathway \n\t\n\t\n\tEnhanced student supports\n\t\n\t\n\tRelevant connection to career\n\t\n\t\n\tDeep partnerships between high schools, community colleges and state universities \n\t\nIn 2016, the Boards of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education looked at whether the state could devise an early college strategy. They commissioned a study, done by Parthenon-EY Education Practice, to look at what exists in Massachusetts and the possibility of expanding successful models. The report found early college is a promising model that narrows educational opportunity gaps, and existing programs were a powerful base from which to build a broader statewide early college initiative. \n\nThe following organizations received preliminary approval, with some receiving planning grant awards: \n\nBristol Community College and Fall River Public Schools \u2013 Bristol Community College is launching a new early college program with B.M.C. Durfee High School in STEM fields, health and life sciences, and legal and social studies. The program is designed to address barriers students face to college success by creating a flexible, supportive college environment with academic, socio-emotional and career supports, while instilling high expectations for achievement. \n\tBunker Hill Community College and Charlestown High School \u2013 Awarded $10,000 \u2013 BCC and Charlestown High School have existing career pathway programs in information technology and business, which combine early college experiences and career exploration. The schools plan to expand opportunities to high school students and eventually add more fields to the program, with health and liberal arts courses. \n\tBunker Hill Community College and Chelsea High School \u2013 Chelsea High School and Bunker Hill Community College will expand their existing early college program by developing pathways in three fields: health and life sciences, law and public policy, and education. The goal is to have students graduate from high school, with an associates\u2019 degree or a professional certificate from Bunker Hill Community College. \n\tCollaborative for Educational Services and Quincy College, Bunker Hill Community College, Holyoke Community College, and Urban College \u2013 The Collaborative for Educational Services works with students living in residential care through the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services. It is launching a new early college program in partnership with Quincy College, Bunker Hill Community College, Holyoke Community College and Urban College aimed at increasing high school graduation rates and easing the transition from residential care to college for these students. \n\tFitchburg State University and Mount Wachusett Community College \u2013 Students at Fitchburg High School, Gardner High School, Leominster High School and Sizer School will begin career exploration in 9th grade, and delve more deeply into career options in 10th grade. As seniors they will select one of four career pathways, graduating with college credits, as well as courses that lead to credentialing. \n\tFramingham State University and Massachusetts Bay Community College \u2013 Awarded $10,000 \u2013 Administrators and faculty from MassBay, FSU and Framingham High School and Milford High School will encourage participation in early college courses among underrepresented students, starting with outreach in middle school. Freshman will take classes in four career pathways: business management, education, sociology and criminal justice and STEM Life Sciences. \n\tHolyoke Community College and Holyoke Public Schools \u2013 Awarded $10,000 \u2013 The college is establishing a new early college program with Holyoke Public Schools that will enable students to earn up to 12 college credits before high school graduation. Students enrolled in the program will complete a minimum of two core courses taught by HCC at the Holyoke campus, and complete a minimum of two technical courses, giving students experience and a pathway to college. \n\tMassasoit Community College \u2013 Massasoit is partnering with the following school districts to serve more students in its existing early college program: Easton, Hanover, Middleborough, Norton, Randolph, and Whitman-Hanson. The college aims for students to have a seamless pathway to higher education. \n\tMassasoit Community College and New Heights Charter School of Brockton - Starting in 6th grade, students will be introduced to career options and college connections. Students will create individualized learning plans to begin thinking about future career goals. In later grades students will participate in work and learn opportunities, identify college majors and explore college options. \n\tMiddlesex Community College and Lowell Public Schools \u2013 Through its existing early college program with Lowell Public Schools, the college will work with students to link high school and college courses to MCC credit programs. Students will take courses that can be applied to a degree identified to suit their career aspirations. Courses taught onsite at Lowell High School will fulfill core curriculum requirements and launch students on a career trajectory. \n\tMiddlesex Community College and Nashoba Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School\u2013 MCC and Nashoba Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School hope to expand the number of students who can participate in the existing early college program by developing concurrent enrollment courses. These courses would be taught at Nashoba Valley Tech, by Nashoba teachers who would be become adjunct faculty at MCC. Students could earn college credits without the barrier of transportation or expense of college books. The schools are developing senior level English courses, engineering and robotics. \n\tMount Wachusett Community College and Murdock High School \u2013 By partnering with Murdock High School in Winchedon, Mount Wachusett Community College will provide opportunities for more high school students in North Central Massachusetts to earn 12 or more college credits. \n\tNorthern Essex Community College \u2013 Awarded $10,000 \u2013 Northern Essex is partnering with Amesbury, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen high schools, as well as Pentucket Regional High School, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, and Lawrence Technical School. The college will offer core courses in English, psychology, math and science for 11th grade students. Students in 12th grade will study computer science, health, engineering, or education. The program will also bring employers into classes so students can engage future career options. \n\tNorth Shore Community College and Lynn Public Schools \u2013 Awarded $10,000 \u2013 The college will continue its partnership with Lynn High School, in an effort to bridge the gap between high school and higher education so students have a comfort level with college before they graduate. Students can enroll in courses that link college to their career goals. Students receive academic support with tutored courses. \n\tQuincy College and\u00a0West Roxbury\u00a0Academy \u2013 Quincy College and the West Roxbury Academy will prepare students for college and career opportunities, with a focus on STEM fields. \n\tQuinsigamond Community College, Worcester State University and Worcester Public Schools, Awarded $10,000 \u2013 QCC and Worcester Public Schools aims to expand current early college enrollment numbers from 200 to between 2,000 to 3,000 students by fiscal year 2021. The program will involve multiple college-level courses mapped to in-demand career opportunities for the region. \n\tSalem State and Salem Public Schools \u2013 Awarded $10,000 \u2013 The goal of this new program is to provide underrepresented, low-income students with a seamless transition to college, after focusing on a career pathway in healthcare or business and technology. Students who successfully complete courses during the 11th grade will be conditionally admitted to Salem State University to continue their studies in the 12th grade and beyond. \n\tWestfield State with Holyoke, Springfield and Westfield Public Schools \u2013 Awarded $10,000 \u2013 Students enrolled in this program, known as the Westfield Promise, will take at least two college courses, team taught by high school and college faculty. In 12th grade, students will take at least two college courses taught at Westfield State so they can become acclimated to college life, before graduating high school. \n\tMerrimack and Lawrence Public Schools \u2013 Students will study science, politics, education and liberal arts, starting in their junior year with the opportunity to earn 16 college credits by the time they graduate high school. \n\tQuinsigamond Community College and Marlborough Public Schools \u2013 Marlborough High School launched its STEM Early College program in 2011, and has since enrolled more than 650 students in grades 6 through 12. With Quinsigamond Community College, the program expanded to six STEM-based pathways in 2014, including engineering, advanced manufacturing, information technology, computer science, healthcare and biotechnology. The school hopes to expand the program once again to include career opportunities and certificate completion. \n\tRoxbury Community College, Bunker Hill Community College and RoxMAPP \u2013 Roxbury Massachusetts Advanced Post-Secondary (RoxMAPP) is an early college program between Boston Public Schools, Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, Roxbury Community College and Bunker Hill Community College. The program partners with industry to give students workplace learning opportunities. The schools plan to expand the program to put students on an expedited path to college and career success.