Early College programs are intentionally designed to empower students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. MA Early College Designated Programs work to blend elements of high school and college to provide students with the opportunity to experience and complete college level academic coursework on a clearly articulated pathway and simultaneously gain exposure to a variety of career opportunities. Early college programs also reduce the time and expense of earning a college credential while increasing the likelihood of completion.
In 2016, the Boards of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education looked at whether the state could devise an early college strategy. They commissioned a study , done by Parthenon-EY Education Practice, to look at the potential for the development of Early College in Massachusetts The report confirmed that Early College is a promising model that narrows educational opportunity gaps, and that existing programs would provide a powerful base from which to build a broader statewide Early College initiative. Following these findings in January 2017, the boards of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education jointly launched an initiative intended to support the expansion of Early College and establish an Early College Designation. The boards also created an Early College Joint Committee (ECJC), charged with developing the Early College Designation Process for the Commonwealth.
Original Designation Criteria Document (2017)
2020 MA Early College Press Release
List of Current MA Designated Early College programs.
June 2022 MA Early College Fact Sheet
Early College Promise (ECP) 5th Year Pilot Program (limited pilot)
School Meals for Early College Learners
NS4Ed, in partnership with the MA Early College staff, has created a resource site to support the Early College community of practice. Visit MA Early College to learn more.
If you are seeking additional information on Early College, please contact the Early College Program Director at Kristin.E.Hunt@mass.gov .
Please check this page regularly for updates.
Last Updated: May 25, 2023
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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