- Executive Office of Education
Media Contact for Lt. Governor Polito Visits Early College Program at Charlestown High School
Colleen Quinn, Communications Director, Executive Office of Education
CHARLESTOWN — Lt. Governor Karyn Polito met with students at Charlestown High School today who are taking early college courses in order to be better prepared for college, while earning credits at no cost before they graduate high school. The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to expanding the number of early college programs at school districts across the Commonwealth and has given grants and official designation status to 26 programs at 17 high schools, providing students’ opportunities to get a head start on a college degree.
“Early college builds connections between high school, college and careers, and gives students the knowledge and confidence to succeed,”Governor Charlie Baker said. “The advanced coursework, combined with the credits they earn can successfully change the lives of many students.”
“The Commonwealth’s early college program is an important tool for exposing students to college-level work while they are still in high school,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “We appreciate the critical partnerships between places like Bunker Hill and Charlestown High School and what they do to make this program a success.”
At Charlestown High School, the Lt. Governor was joined by Education Secretary James Peyser, Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago, Board of Higher Education Chair Chris Gabrieli, Interim Boston School Superintendent Laura Perille, Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger, and Charlestown High Principal Will Thomas.
Early College programs make college more accessible to low-income students, and give them the opportunity to learn in college-level courses while at the same time earning college credits, at no cost, which helps ease the financial burden for them later. Early College also aims to boost college completion rates for low-income students, minorities, and first-generation college-goers.
Charlestown High School and Bunker Hill Community College have partnered to offer two early college programs – one for information technology and another for business. Both programs combine rigorous coursework and career exploration through internships, so students are prepared for college and potential careers. Students can earn up to 30 college credits by high school graduation.
“Our goal with creating certain criteria for early college programs, and awarding designations, was to ensure more students have access to high-quality programs with guided academic pathways, career experiences, strong partnerships between high schools and colleges, and additional student supports to ensure they are successful,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “We hope to significantly increase the number of students enrolled in designated early college programs.”
“Early College is a great example of cooperation between K-12 and higher education and students who might not otherwise get a shot at a college degree are the true beneficiaries,” Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago said.
Originally launched in 2015, Charlestown High and Bunker Hill Community College received official designation status from the state this past spring.