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Milford High to Roll Out College Course Pilot Program

Milford High School will be piloting a new program to give students the opportunity to gain college credits at no cost while still in high school.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kevin McIntrye and Milford High School (MHS) Principal Carolyn Banach gave a presentation during the March 17 School Committee Meeting on the new Early College High School program that the school plans to roll out during the 2016/2017 school year.

Banach said that the program partners MHS with Framingham State University, Quinsigamond Community College and Mass Bay Community College to offer a number of general education or core courses that are 100 percent transferable to all two and four year colleges or universities in the UMass system.

"This program has many advantages for our students...having that college experience while still in high school," said Banach.

With the cost of college sky rocketing, Banach said that the other big advantage to this program is the opportunity for students to save money by taking college classes for free before they even start. "Financially it is a huge savings for the students," she said. "It could mean thousands and thousands of dollars of savings." Students could enter college with a semester, a year, or more under their belts, saving tuition money at the outset.

The administrators said that the new program differs from the Advanced Placement program, as instead of the end of course test determining college credit or not, students who take a class through the Early College High School program just need to earn a "C" or better to qualify for the college credit.

"We think this can reach a sector of our student population that we may not be reaching with our Advanced placement program," said Banach.

Preliminary plans are for the school to pilot three college-level courses next year, and approximately 50 students have already taken the Accuplacer exam to determine readiness for the college level courses according to Banach.

"Having these college credits can build momentum," said Banach. "It propels them to keep moving forward."

Banach said that they hope to expand the program in the future and currently have nine courses with curriculum maps that are being reviewed by Framingham State to ensure they align with college level courses.

After the presentation, School Committee Members gave kudos to McIntrye and Banach for bringing the new program to MHS.

"We do a lot of great things for our high achievers, a lot of great things for our special education and ELL students, but the average student can really benefit from something like this," said Member Joseph Morias.

"This is an amazing opportunity for our kids and our families," said Parson.


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