All Middle College-Early College (MC-EC) schools are community collaborations between school districts and colleges, parent and business representatives. These institutional collaborations make college attainable, reduce repetition in the curriculum, yield coordinated student services and eliminate the need for remediation. All MC-EC’s have the following unique features:

  • College Locations — All MC-EC’s are located on or close to college campuses.
  • Small Enrollments — All MC-EC’s have small student enrollments of no more than 100 students per grade, beginning at grade 9.
  • A Five Year Academic Plan — All MC-EC’s have a five year academic plan that offers a combination of high school and college classes that culminates in an Associate’s Degree or up to 60 transferable college credits.


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The Difference Between Middle College and Early College

Middle College High Schools are secondary schools, authorized to grant diplomas in their own name, located on college campuses across the nation. The Middle Colleges are small, with usually 100 or fewer students per grade level and they provide a rigorous academic curriculum within a supportive and nurturing environment to a student population that has been historically under-served and underrepresented in colleges. While at the Middle College, students have the opportunity to take some college classes at no cost to themselves.

Early College High Schools are schools with all the characteristics of Middle Colleges – location on a college campus, strong academic program, supportive environment – and are designed to serve the same target population. Early Colleges also have a defined and structured program that enables the high school students to earn both their high school diplomas and their Associates Degree in 4 to 5 years with no cost to the student.

Becoming a Middle College-Early College

With financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Consortium has been committed to opening new schools and redesigning its member schools as Middle College-Early Colleges, as well as providing the professional development necessary to sustain their achievements. While all of our member schools are dedicated to providing historically underserved students with the opportunity to earn a high school diploma in a college environment, our Middle College-Early College members go one step further. Based on the Consortium’s Design Principles, these schools of excellence provide opportunities for students to earn an associates degree or 60 transferable college credits at no cost, within five years of starting high school.