Early College High School Program to Provide Students Access to Opportunity and Excellence
Today, Nashville State Community College (NSCC) hosted the official kickoff of Metro Nashville Public Schools' Early College High School Program, a groundbreaking magnet program for high schoolers that will be offered at the NSCC campus starting in the 2018-2019 school year. Early College students will have the opportunity to graduate with an Associate of Science in Information Technology – helping prepare them for an in-demand industry in Nashville. Early College event attendees included NSCC and MNPS leadership, community partners, representatives from IT companies across Nashville and students currently enrolled in Middle College High School.
“What a day for Nashville State and Metro Schools,” said Dr. Shanna Jackson, NSCC’s incoming president. “It is all about partnerships and continuing this great work together -- this is simply the right thing to do for our students.”
Background on the Early College Program
The Early College High School Program will gradually replace the current Middle College High School, which provides students the opportunity to earn college credits but does not guarantee students earn the college associate degree. The Early College High School curriculum is designed to ensure students earn a high school diploma and associate degree within four years and at no cost to families. The new program provides the opportunity to fast track their college plans and build a career.
“I am beyond excited to introduce this Early College model to our district,” said Dr. Shawn Joseph, director of schools. “This program will open doors for our students and their families by giving them the advantage of alleviating some of the financial challenges tied to getting a college education.”
Those enrolling as Early College students are presented with the unique opportunity to be a part of a first of its kind program in Nashville that will not only benefit Metro Schools, but the thriving IT industry. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment within computer and IT occupations is expected to grow 13 percent from now through the year 2026, adding nearly 600,000 jobs. Because the program is free and allows students to fast track their college credits, it saves both time and money. Students leaving high school with two years of college credits means they can either graduate from college sooner or take more advanced classes toward a bachelor’s degree.
There is still time to enroll. Applications for the 2018-19 school year are still being accepted from current eighth grade students with qualifying test scores and a GPA of 85 or greater.
“We pride ourselves on graduating energetic learners and workers who are ready to make meaningful contributions in our society,” Middle College High School Principal Roderick Manuel said. “We are excited about the Early College High School Program and the impact it will have in furthering student achievement and career readiness.”