All students leave high school on a path to secure and fulfilling jobs with family- sustaining wages and the lives of dignity and civic engagement those wages enable.
The Massachusetts design team worked to deepen and expand the Early College Promise (ECP), or 13th year, pilot currently in place in seven communities in Massachusetts. The ECP’s purpose is to reduce college success equity gaps by extending the traditional Early College program by one year, allowing students underrepresented at college to attain an associate degree or 60 credits towards a four-year degree.
Organizations / Entities Represented on Design Team
Massachusetts Alliance for Early College (MA4EC)
Lynn Public Schools
Salem Public Schools
Lowell Public Schools
Lawrence Public Schools
Haverhill Public Schools
Salem State University
North Shore Community College
Northern Essex Community College
Middlesex Community College
LEAP For Education
The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education
Without a shred of a doubt, Early College Promise is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. It has allowed me to advance my educational journey in ways that I would never have been to do otherwise. College is not exactly cheap; having been able to go for one year for free—I cannot tell you what a benefit that was. Having an advisor through ECP was a tremendous help; it allowed me to get my associate’s in one year, which I still have a hard time believing myself sometimes. I am very thankful and I hope ECP continues to go nowhere but up.
- Early College Promise student
Building on its existing Early College program, the Massachusetts design team has established a bold but realistic goal of adding 500 associate degrees (or two years’ worth of college credits at a four-year institution) yearly through ECP, increasing total annual associate degree attainment by 15% for recently graduated MA high school students. With seven pilot sites currently building impactful programs, the team's hope is to ultimately scale to communities across the state.
The design team has a robust plan in place for ongoing student engagement and input, including conducting annual student surveys, facilitating student cohort meetings 2-3 times per month, tracking and analyzing data on the use of and impact of support personnel, offering weekly high school/college coordination and intervention meetings focused on responding to individual student needs, and creating family support & information sessions to ensure all views are heard.
Learnings from year one of the pilot are already paying dividends in year two. Student recruiting is up significantly due to student word of mouth, student supports are strengthened, and cross-campus collaboration is stronger based on lessons learned in year one.