Press Release

Press Release  Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces Three New Early College Programs

New programs in East Boston, Southbridge, and Taunton increase partnerships to 53
For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Education

Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces Three New Early College Programs

Casey Cunningham

REVERE — The Healey-Driscoll administration today announced three additional Early College partnerships following a unanimous vote by the Early College Joint Committee yesterday afternoon. The new partnerships mean that nearly 9,000 Massachusetts high school students are expected to be enrolled in Early College programs during the next school year. 

Following the Joint Committee’s vote, there are now 53 designated Early College program partnerships across 61 high schools and 28 higher education institutions across the state. 

The Three New Early College Designations Include:  

  • East Boston High School and Fisher College
  • Southbridge High School and Quinsigamond Community College
  • Taunton High School and Bristol Community College 

The Healey-Driscoll administration is committed to expanding the Early College program and other workforce and higher education pathways, including Innovation Career Pathways. These programs ensure Massachusetts students are prepared for college or careers when they graduate high school. Governor Maura Healey’s and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll’s FY25 budget proposal includes over $47 million for Early College and Innovation Career Pathways. 

“I am thrilled to see our Early College program expand to now reach 61 high schools across Massachusetts. Early College gives students the option to enroll in college courses at no cost to them, helping them earn the skills that are most in demand by employers while still in high school,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Our FY25 budget proposal continues our investment in pathways like Early College that are designed to build our skilled workforce.” 

“As the Mayor of Salem, I saw firsthand through Salem State’s partnerships the positive impact that Early College has for students, schools, and our economy. These three new Early College programs are a win for the high schools and their students and families, the higher education institutions, and our future workforce,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “Through our FY25 budget, Governor Healey and I are continuing our commitment to opportunities like Early College, Innovation Career Pathways, and apprenticeships, because every student, no matter their ZIP code, deserves a path to a successful future.” 

“In my previous role as Superintendent in Lynn, I oversaw the creation of the Commonwealth’s second largest Early College program at the time, because Early College programs can make all the difference in the futures of our students,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Patrick Tutwiler. “Through these three new Early College Programs, we are building on our commitment to reimagine and transform high school — empowering students with opportunities for success.” 

The Massachusetts Early College program gives students currently enrolled in high school the opportunity to take college courses and earn credits at no cost to them. Early College allows students to get a head start on their higher education and contributes to significantly higher college enrollment and completion rates, particularly for low-income, minority and first-generation college students. In 2019, approximately 76 percent of Early College students enrolled in college after graduating from high school, compared to 55 percent of their peers. Data shows that the benefits from Early College make the biggest difference for students who are English learners, but those benefits are still significant for students of color and students from lower economic backgrounds. 

“Early College demystifies the college experience, assures young people that they belong in higher education, builds college-readiness, and reduces time to completion and the cost of a college degree. It’s another example of the Healey-Driscoll Administration's commitment to increasing higher education access, affordability, and completion,” said Department of Higher Education Commissioner Noe Ortega.  

“We welcome this expansion and look forward to seeing students take advantage of these opportunities,” said Acting Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Russell Johnston. “It’s a pleasure to see districts and higher education institutions work together to introduce students to college courses and show students that they are capable of learning at that level.” 

The Early College Joint Committee is charged with designing, developing and coordinating the administration of Massachusetts’ statewide Early College program. The members of the Joint Committee include Secretary Tutwiler, Acting Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Russell Johnston, Commissioner of Higher Education Noe Ortega, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) Chair Katherine Craven, Board of Higher Education (BHE) Chair Chris Gabrieli, BESE member Matt Hills, and BHE member Paul Toner.


Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces Three New Early College Programs

  • Executive Office of Education 

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