Early College Program in Worcester Expanding Across MA

 by TWIW StaffJune 19, 2021

WORCESTER - Governor Charlie Baker was in Worcester on Friday, June 18, to attended the Bob Cousy statue dedication ceremony and meet with education officials on the success of the early college program in Worcester High Schools. The Early College program enables high school students to take free college-level courses and earn college credits for completing them.

Worcester was one of the first districts in Massachusetts to apply for the early college program when it launched in 2018. It is one of few districts with programs accessible to students in every high school. During the 2020-2021 school year, around 400 Worcester High School students took college courses, earning around 1900 college credits.

Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito took part in a roundtable discussion with local education leaders and legislators that focused on early college courses for high school students. Baker also announced five new early college programs to launch in September.

Baker announced five new schools approved or early college programs starting in September:

  • Gardner Academy for Learning and Technology in partnership with Mt. Wachusett Community College
  • High School of Commerce in Springfield in partnership with Springfield Technical Community College
  • North Quincy High in partnership with Quincy College
  • Quincy High School in partnership with Quincy College
  • Waltham High School in partnership with Framingham State and Massachusetts Bay Community College

When the program expands, around 4,500 students will have access to early college courses in 45 Massachusetts high schools. Some students have received their associates degree at the same time as high school graduation.

Including Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito, the roundtable included:

  • Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Maureen Binienda
  • Worcester State University President Barry Maloney
  • Quinsigamond Community College President Luis Pedraja
  • Education Secretary James Peyser
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley
  • Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), co-chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education Committee
  • Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin), co-chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education Committee
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