Education Neighbors Partner on Innovative Early College Initiative

Parents of Essex Technical High School students who may be interested in getting a jump start on their college careers are invited to attend an Information session about the new Early College partnership between ETHS and North Shore Community College November 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the high school’s media center.

This Early College Program will offer ETHS students opportunities to take college courses and earn up to 30 credits while in high school. ETHS is the only career technical school in Massachusetts to offer students this option.

“This program features accelerated learning, career pathways, and cost benefits to parents and their students who are ready to begin college learning,” said Dr. Patricia A. Gentile, NSCC President. “The program will also improve student college readiness and plant the seeds for post high school learning that might not otherwise have been there.”

Ultimately the program will prepare students for high demand jobs that are needed to continue to grow the North Shore and Massachusetts economy. Studies show that increasingly post-secondary degrees and certificates or licenses from accredited programs are necessary to enter the workforce.

The new program expands the collaborative efforts of two premiere North Shore educational institutions. “Students who take advantage of Early College will literally be creating a pathway from one campus to the next should they choose to walk between the facilities,” Gentile said. “By creating clear outlines of what courses, both high school and college, are needed to pursue various careers, along with the ability to complete them in tandem at reduced cost and time, we will offer students accelerated pathways to obtaining their education, career, and continued growth and success.”

The partnership allows both organizations to leverage their resources, facilities, and expertise. NSCC is involved with other early college initiatives throughout its service area, but this is its first agreement with a career-technical high school.

“Essex Tech, as the newest high school on the North Shore, is all about creating opportunities for education that were not possible without our new campus and expanded curricula,” noted Bill Lupini, Superintendent of ETHS. “The Early College Program with NSCC will continue to grow as we extend college and career readiness throughout our four academies. Partnerships such as this one are what keep career-technical high schools on the forefront of secondary education today.”

College courses to be offered have been aligned with career majors in animal science, small business, health, information technology, manufacturing and machine technology, culinary arts, and graphics and design. Some courses will be offered at NSCC, while others will take advantage of the new facilities at ETHS and will offer courses after the regular school day and on weekends.

“This early college initiative will thrive by providing distinct career pathways scaled across the district rather than students taking random courses on their own. It will also serve to create a culture within the high school that clearly encourages educational opportunities beyond high school graduation,” said NSCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Karen Hynick. “This program focuses on the multiple opportunities that students have for earning college credit while in high school – including articulated high-school-to-college credits, Advanced Placement credits and additional college courses with credits that enhance the student’s transcript.”

To participate students must be sophomores or older and must meet all NSCC pre-requisites. There will be some cost to the students. Registration will begin in November with the program to kick off in January, at the start of the NSCC Spring term.

This will represent a “soft” launch of the ETHS Early College program, with the four courses identified for the spring schedule as the start of an evolution toward a more robust array of offerings in future semesters.

For questions or more information contact Nancy Dashcund or 978-304-4700 or Susan Curry, or 978-739-5521.

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