Which Program is Right for You?
Early College Programs Let You Earn College Credits for Free While You’re Still in High School
In May, I completed my Associates of Arts degree in Liberal Arts at Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC). A few weeks later, I graduated with my friends at Madison Park Technical Vocation High School (MPTVHS) with a vocational certificate in Cosmetology. I have jumped two years ahead, and will be starting as a junior in the fall at Northeastern University on a full scholarship to study mechanical engineering.
Perhaps it sounds like those achievements are in reverse order. Through my school’s Early College program, I began taking college-level courses my sophomore year. A couple nights a week, I attended courses taught by BHCC professors at my high school. Starting in my junior year, I transitioned to taking afternoon classes on the BHCC campus.
High School Students, College Mindsets
At MPTVHS, our Early College program director, Ms. Taneka DeGrace would say to us, “When you set foot on that campus you are not in high school anymore, you are a college student.” Once we were enrolled in our college courses, it didn’t take long for us to realize what she meant.
Transitioning from a high school environment to that of a higher education institution involves much more than simply leaving school each day to attend classes on a college campus. Your mentality has to shift as well. When you attend college courses you aren’t surrounded by people who have to be there, but by people who have the choice to be there. Honoring that atmosphere and making the most of this opportunity meant adopting a mindset that prioritized my success as both a high school and a college student.
Pursuing your degree or completing college courses while staying on top of your other school work is definitely something you have to commit to wholeheartedly. Being first-generation, the oldest child in my family, and a role model for my younger siblings, I had responsibilities beyond my studies. Managing all of these responsibilities at once has definitely led me to adopt a more mature mindset over the past few years.
From balancing my high school and college course work to managing my time between school and family obligations, earning my degree before graduating from high school was one of the most challenging, and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. But, through my Early College program, I’ve satisfied over half of the requirements for my Bachelor’s degree at absolutely no cost. It’s an opportunity I would encourage all high school students to seek out, and one that I believe all school systems should offer access to.
“Through my Early College program, I’ve satisfied over half of the requirements for my Bachelor’s degree at absolutely no cost.”
About the Early College Opportunity
Early College is a partnership between a high school and a college which allows high school students to earn college credits along a career-oriented pathway. As students accumulate credits tuition-free, the cost of college is reduced. These programs aid in reducing inequities in college access and help build the diverse workforce needed. BHCC has formed Early College partnerships with Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, Charlestown High School and Chelsea High School.
Learn more about Early College programs at Bunker Hill Community College, or explore Dual Enrollment opportunities at Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College helping high school students achieve their future goals today. Learn more about how both Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College provide Madison Park High School students with opportunities to earn college credits.