As proposed in the governor’s budget, the idea involves upgrading the Connecticut’s 17 technical high schools, linking them with the state’s 12 community colleges and encouraging high school students to earn college credits while still in high school.
Sometimes known as early college, the middle college system is operating in several states, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation pledges to support the establishment of 175 to 200 early college high schools.
Three early college high schools are currently operating in Connecticut: at Capital Prep in Hartford, Great Path Academy in Manchester and Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, in eastern Connecticut.
President Dianne Williams of Quinebaug has been quoted as saying, “The promise of the middle college is if you raise expectations for behavior and achievement, you get better results and the students can make it to college.”
In the nationally recognized Research Triangle of North Carolina, one successful example is Middle College High School at Durham Technical Community College, or MCHS@DTCC. It is a public high school, part of the Durham Public Schools system and located on the campus of Durham Technical Community College
Only juniors and seniors can matriculate into this high school. Students at MCHS take both high school and college classes. Students are accepted from three school districts: Durham Public Schools, Orange County Schools, and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
Notably, with a forward thinking business and government community, North Carolina continues to increase in jobs, population and income, while Connecticut lags in all three of these growth categories.
Such schools, where students earn up to two years college credit, are enrolling high percentages of minority and low-income students relative to their districts. This finding comes from an April 2007 evaluation of our Early College High School initiative, prepared by the American Institutes for Research and SRI International.
The evaluation also shows that these early college high schools:
- Have a daily attendance rate of 94 percent.
- Have a higher percentage of students proficient in reading and math than their respective district schools.Whatever we can do to increase the job skills of young adults and keep them in the state to build our workforce of the future are crucial to Connecticut.
For questions on this or other state issue, please do not hesitate to contact me at 1-800-842-1423 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rep. Giuliano serves the 23rd Assembly District of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and coastal Westbrook in the state House of Representatives.