Massachusetts Early College Initiative Launch Event

Over 250 early college stakeholders from across the Commonwealth convened in Boston on March 23, 2017, to celebrate the progress and success of pioneering early college efforts in the state and lay out the path forward for the Massachusetts Early College Initiative.

Presented by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Executive Office of Education
Department of Higher Education
Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

In partnership with

Massachusetts Business Roundtable
Jobs for the Future
The Rennie Center for Education Policy & Research

Opening Remarks

Chris Gabrieli

Chair, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education


Charlie Baker

Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Video Greeting


James Peyser

Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Massachusetts Early College Initiative: Student Perspectives


Making Headlines

WGBH Morning Edition—March 27, 2017

Aliah Barker, 17, a senior at Jefferson High School in Ohio, is taking college classes while she is still in high school. (Kirk Carapezza/WGBH)

Ohio Bets Big On ‘Early College’ For Underprivileged Students

Also seeking to scale up, Massachusetts is looking to experienced states like Texas, Utah and North Carolina for a blueprint

Read more >

The Republican—March 23, 2017

Secretary Peyser speaks at launch event

Education Department plans expansion of Early College programs

“This is provide students who may not see college in their future with a pathway to get ready for college.” —Secretary Peyser

Read more >

Massachusetts’ Early College Design Principles

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1. Equitable Access

targeting students underrepresented in higher education

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2. Academic Pathways

that are well integrated and aligned with college and career

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3. Robust Student Support

in both academics and advising

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4. Connections to Career

through workplace and experiential learning experiences

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5. High-Quality & Deep Partnerships

between high schools and colleges

Research Study

To determine if there was an evidence base to support policy action and, if so, to identify the best approach to move forward, in 2016 the Barr Foundation supported a thorough research effort by an independent consulting organization, Parthenon-EY. In coordination with a steering committee of leaders of the state education system and a working group of representatives from EOE, DHE, DESE, and the field, the Parthenon study, completed in December 2016, found support for the creation of a state-funded early college designation and laid a foundation for the policy.

Download the Report & BHE/BESE Resolution:

Panel Discussions

Early College Leadership Panel

Today there are approximately 27 early college programs operating across the Commonwealth. Leaders of these programs stress the need to offer students increased support, higher engagement, and a direct link to individual college and career aspirations.


Nancy Hoffman

Senior Advisor & Co-founder of Pathways to Prosperity Network, Jobs for the Future (Moderator)


Nuri Chandler-Smith

Dean of Academic Support and College Pathway Programs, Bunker Hill Community College


Lane Glenn

President, Northern Essex Community College


Dan Riley

Director, Marlborough High School STEM Early College Program


Omari Walker

Executive Director, New Heights Charter School of Brockton

Policy Leadership Panel

The vision for growth and sustainability of high-quality early college partnerships connecting our state’s districts and high schools with our state’s colleges will require commitment and coordination among government and educational leaders.


Chad d’Entremont

Executive Director, Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy (Moderator)


The Honorable Michael O. Moore

Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Higher Education


The Honorable Alice Peisch

House Chair, Joint Committee on Education


Mitchell Chester

Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education


Carlos Santiago

Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

Additional Resources


Event Handout

Download the launch event handout PDF for more background on the initiative


DHE Newsletters

Subscribe to DHE’s newsletters to keep up in the future


DHE Website

Check out the DHE’s new website for the initiative



Follow @MassEducation, @MASchoolsK12 and @MassDHE, and use #EarlyCollege


Get Involved

Contact the initiative partners for more information, or to find out if there is a way for your organization to become involved




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