Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information and Resources

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information and Resources

Nature


Strategic Initiatives

Massachusetts Early College Initiative

Overview

The purpose of the Early College Initiative is create and maintain partnerships connecting our state’s districts and high schools with our state’s colleges. in order to give thousands of Massachusetts students, especially first-generation college-goers, access to college completion and career success.

Contact

Christine Williams
Director of Strategic Initiatives,
Academic Affairs and Student Success
(617) 994-6911
cwilliams@dhe.mass.edu

Duration

2017 – Present

Funding

 

Related Data

 

 

Target Populations
  • First-Generation
  • POC
  • Low-Income
DHE Responsibilities
  • Readiness
  • Participation
  • Access
  • Completion
  • Early College
Partnerships

Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

Background

The vision of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) and Board of Elementary & Secondary Education (BESE) is for growth and sustainability of high-quality early college partnerships connecting our state’s districts and high schools with our state’s colleges. These partnerships will all be aimed at giving thousands of Massachusetts students, especially first-generation college-goers, access to college completion and career success.

Featured

  • Massassoit students

    Early College Students Show Strong Gains in College Enrollment

    August 2020 – Black, Latinx Students in Early College Attend College at Higher Rates than State and School Peers

    Massachusetts high school students who graduate from Early College programs are applying for federal financial aid and enrolling in college at significantly higher rates than their school or state peers, according to the first preliminary data analysis completed since the program began, the Baker-Polito Administration announced today.

    The Departments of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education also announced today that they are awarding designations to six new early college programs scheduled to begin offering courses in fall 2020. With the new designations, there are 37 different high schools and 19 colleges and universities that have partnered to offer Early College programs to thousands of students across the Commonwealth.

  • Bunker Hill CC Students

    Baker-Polito Administration Designates New Early College Programs

    June 2019 – Programs at thirteen high schools and eight public colleges across the Commonwealth received designation

    Governor Charlie Baker awarded designation to early college programs at 13 high schools and eight public colleges across the Commonwealth that will enroll thousands of students next fall, giving them opportunities to study in college-level courses and earn credits before they graduate high school.

    Governor Baker and Education Secretary James Peyser made the announcement during an event at Bunker Hill Community College, organized to recognize the high schools and colleges that have launched programs designated by the state this school year.

    With the new awards, there are 35 high schools and 18 colleges in Massachusetts with designated early college programs. Early college programs combine traditional high school classes with college courses through a local college or university to give students knowledge and exposure to an area of study, while earning up to 12 college credits – equivalent to one semester-- for free. By creating designated early college programs, the Baker-Polito Administration aims to break down barriers between high school and higher education to create a more seamless path for students to move to college and careers.

  • Massachusetts Early College Initiative

    Baker-Polito Administration designates four more early college programs to give students a head start

    July 2018 – In May, the Administration granted official designation status, for the first time, to five programs. Four more programs were designated in July 2018.

    BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today gave official designation to four additional early college programs that will help high school students prepare for college academics, while earning college credits at no cost to them. The four new programs – at public high schools in Lawrence, Holyoke, Westfield, Springfield, and Worcester – will bring the statewide total to nine and enroll thousands of students this fall to study in a particular field that interests them.

    Early college programs combine traditional high school classes with college courses through a local public college or university to give students knowledge and exposure to an area of study, while earning up to 12 college credits – equivalent to one semester ­- for free. Early college boosts college completion rates for low-income students, minority students, and first-generation college-goers by exposing students to college-level work and different career pathways before they graduate high school. The college courses are designed to fulfill high school graduation requirements and award college credit.

    By creating designated early college programs, the Baker-Polito Administration aims to break down barriers between high school and higher education in order to create a more seamless path for students to move to college and careers.  In May, the Administration granted official designation status, for the first time, to five programs.

    "Boosting the number of early college programs in the Commonwealth is a priority for our administration that will provide more students with an opportunity to attend and complete college,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “Exposing high school students to college courses in a field that interests them, and offering college credits at no cost, willmake the transition to college easier and better prepare many students for successful careers following their education.”

Early College Designation Application Process and Timeline

AY2021-2022 Accelerated Designation – For Enrollment Fall 2021

  • June 2021 – Accelerated Designation recommendations reviewed by the Early College Joint Committee

FY22 Early College Program Designation – For Program Implementation and Enrollment Fall 2022

The Commonwealth is pleased to again offer its local secondary education agencies and institutions of higher education the opportunity to obtain formal designation for Early College Programs. Designed collaboratively by the EOE, DESE, and DHE, program designation will entail a two-step process ("Part A" and "Part B").

Early College Program Designation Application Companion Document 2021 >

This companion document is designed to provide important information on the Designation process and requirements, as well as context for the criteria to be met under each of the five Guiding Principles.

Designation Timeline
  • April 14, 2021 – Early College Spring Convening, including information session on applying for AY2022 Designation.
  • May 3, 2021 – Letter of Intent and Part A Posted. Designation applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent by June 30. Access the Part A application here.
  • May 11, 2021Presentation on Early College Designation Part A

  • June 30, 2021 – Letters of Intent Due
  • Summer 2021 – Office hours and individualized technical assistance available, as well as an applicant professional learning series on the Guiding Principles. To register for these summer professional learning community sessions, please contact Rebekah Barr at Rebekah.Barr@mass.gov.
    Please note the following dates for the PLC series (All series to be held at 9am) –
    • May 18, 2021 – Guiding Principle 1: Equitable Access
    • June 1, 2021 – Guiding Principle 2: Guided Academic Pathways
    • June 15, 2021 – Guiding Principle 3: Enhanced Student Support
    • June 29, 2021 – Guiding Principle 4: Connection to Career
    • July 13, 2021 – Guiding Principle 5: Effective Partnerships
  • August 27, 2021 - Part A Applications Due
  • October 2021 – Announcement of Applicants advancing to Part B
  • Late Fall 2021 – Early College Designation Part B Application Webinar
  • December 15, 2021 – Part B Applications due
  • March 16, 2022 Designation recommendations reviewed by the Early College Joint Committee

Additional Resource: NS4Ed, in partnership with the MA Early College staff, has created a resource site to support the Early College community of practice. If interested in learning more about the community of practice, please contact the Early College Program Specialist at Rebekah.Barr@mass.gov.

If you are seeking additional information on Early College, please contact the Early College Program Director at Kristin.Hunt@doe.mass.edu

Please check this page regularly for updates.

Early College Joint Committee

The Early College Joint Committee is charged with designing, developing and coordinating the administration of a Massachusetts early college program based on the process and key design principles set forth in the joint resolution PDF of the Boards of Elementary & Secondary Education and Higher Education, approved at their joint meeting on January 24, 2017.

  • Chris Gabrieli, Chair, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
  • Matt Hills, Member, Massachusetts Board of Elementary & Secondary Education
  • James Peyser, Secretary of Education
  • Katherine Craven, Chair, Massachusetts Board of Elementary & Secondary Education
  • Paul Toner, Member, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
  • Jeff Riley, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (non-voting)
  • Carlos Santiago, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (non-voting)

Design Principles

Under the Early College Designation put forth by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) and Board of Elementary & Secondary Education (BESE), approved designated early college programs in Massachusetts will align with the following design principles:

Icon showing balanced scale

1. Equitable Access

targeting underrepresented students in higher education

Icon of briefcase

4. Connections to Career

through workplace and experiential learning experiences

Icon showing organized, hierarchical chart

2. Academic Pathways

that are well integrated and aligned with college and career

Icon showing four hands reaching into center

5. High-Quality & Deep Partnerships

between high schools and colleges

Icon of conversation bubbles

3. Robust Student Support

in both academics and advising

Designated Early College Programs

Following a rigorous two phased application process based on the Massachusetts Early College Criteria, the Early College Joint Committee granted the first designations to five programs in May 2018. Four more programs were designated in July 2018. During the 2018-2019 school year, nearly 1,500 students enrolled in designated early college programs around the state, increasing to nearly 2,280 in the subsequent year.

In the 2021-2022 year, enrollment in designated early college programs are projected to jump to 4,000 students. As of June 2021, there are 22 IHEs and 42 high schools designated across 31 programs.

Partnerships with Official Designation
Institutions of Higher Education Partner(s) District (High School)/Charter School Partner(s) Designation Date
1 Bunker Hill Community College Boston Public Schools (Charlestown High School) April 2018
2 Bunker Hill Community College Chelsea Public Schools (Chelsea High School) April 2018
3 Holyoke Community College Holyoke Public Schools (Holyoke High School) April 2018
4 Massasoit Community College New Heights Charter School of Brockton April 2018
5 Salem State University Salem Public Schools
(Salem High School, New Liberty Innovation School, and Salem Preparatory School)
April 2018
6 Merrimack College Lawrence Public Schools (Lawrence High School) August 2018
7 Northern Essex Community College Lawrence Public Schools (Lawrence High School) August 2018
8 Westfield State University
  • Holyoke Public Schools (Holyoke High School)
  • Springfield Public Schools (High School of Commerce)
  • Westfield Public Schools (Westfield High School and Westfield Technical Academy)

    *Roger L Putnam Vocational Technical Academy: Originally part of this Designation but no longer participating
August 2018
9 Worcester State University and Quinsigamond Community College Worcester Public Schools
(Burncoat Senior High, Claremont Academy, Doherty Memorial High, North High, South High Community, University Park Campus, and Worcester Technical High)
August 2018
10 Middlesex Community College Lowell Public Schools (Lowell High School) January 2019
11 Middlesex Community College Nashoba Valley Technical High School January 2019
12 Fitchburg State University and Mt. Wachusett Community College
  • Fitchburg Public Schools (Fitchburg High School)
  • Gardner Public Schools (Gardner High School)
  • Leominster Public Schools (Leominster High School)
    *Program also draws students from Leominster Center for Excellence and Center for Technical Education Innovation
  • Sizer School
April 2019
13 Framingham State University and MassBay Community College Framingham Public Schools (Framingham High School)
Milford Public Schools (Milford High School)
April 2019
14 Northern Essex Community College Haverhill Public Schools (Haverhill High School) April 2019
15 North Shore Community College Lynn Public Schools
(Lynn Classical High School, Lynn English High School, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, and Fecteau Leary Alternative High School)
April 2019
16 Quinsigamond Community College Marlborough Public Schools (Marlborough High School) April 2019
17 Bunker Hill Community College Boston (Madison Park Technical Vocational High School) April 2019
18 Cambridge College Somerville High School (Somerville Public Schools) June 2020
19 Salem State University Lynn English High School (Lynn Public Schools) June 2020
20 Salem State University Lynn Classical High School (Lynn Public Schools) June 2020
21 Greenfield Community College Hopkins Academy (Hadley Public Schools) June 2020
22 Bristol Community College Durfee High School (Fall River Public Schools) June 2020
23 Bridgewater State University Durfee High School (Fall River Public Schools) June 2020
24 North Shore Community College Danvers High School (Danvers Public Schools) February 2021
25 Wentworth Institute of Technology Dearborn STEM Academy (Boston Public Schools) February 2021
26 Northern Essex Community College Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School February 2021
27 Mt. Wachusett Community College Gardner Academy for Learning and Technology (Gardner Public Schools) June 2021
28 Springfield Technical Community College High School of Commerce (Springfield Public Schools) June 2021
29 Quincy College North Quincy High (Quincy Public Schools) June 2021
30 Quincy College Quincy High (Quincy Public Schools) June 2021
31 Framingham State College and Massachusetts Bay Community College Waltham High School (Waltham Public Schools) June 2021