Nashoba Tech is one of just 17 schools — and the only regional vocational school — in Massachusetts to receive the Early College Designation announced by Gov. Charlie Baker earlier this summer. A partnership between Nashoba Tech and Middlesex Community College will allow Nashoba Tech students the option of earning 12 or more college credits on campus at no charge to the student.
“Future Nashoba graduates of this program will graduate high school with not only the technical skills and credentials to thrive in their career pathway but also 12 or more college credits awarded by Middlesex Community College and no college debt,” Nashoba Tech Superintendent Denise Page said.
The purpose of the Baker Administration’s Early College Initiative is to create and maintain partnerships connecting the state’s districts and high schools with its colleges, in order to give thousands of Massachusetts students, especially first-generation college-goers, access to college and career success. The program started in May 2018.
Beginning in their junior year, students can apply to participate in the Early College at Nashoba program, allowing them to remain at Nashoba Tech, enroll in “concurrent” enrollment classes at NVTHS, and earn credit at both Nashoba and Middlesex. Students would be expected to complete a minimum of 12 or more credits during their junior and senior years. The credits are offered at no cost to the student or their families.
Students must start with English Composition 101, but then can select additional courses, including Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, Basic Anatomy & Physiology, Statistics, and English Composition 102.
Additionally, beginning with the class of 2022, students will enter the program with one credit earned for Career Exploration, a that course is taken by all freshmen when they participate in their required Freshmen Exploratory of all the technical programs Nashoba Tech offers. In future years, all students will earn one credit apiece for a First Year seminar and a Service Learning course, both of which are currently in development.
Just like student with Dual Enrollment, Early College at Nashoba students have all the resources of Middlesex Community College available to them. They become college students with access to libraries, technology centers and support services available at the college.
Nashoba Tech’s teachers work with a mentor from Middlesex to design the courses and to help students get the most benefit from the experience.
There are 33 students enrolled in the Early College program for the 2019-2020 school year who are expected to complete 261 college credits. For many of these students, these are the first college credits earned by anyone in their family. The beauty of this program is how it brings the possibility of a college education to students who may not have considered it before.
Early College differs from Dual Enrollment in that students in the latter program attend the college they have chosen instead of high school, though they are still enrolled in high school. Dual Enrollment is still available to qualified upperclassmen at Nashoba Tech.
For information on enrolling at Nashoba Tech, visit www.nashobatech.net or call 978-692-4711, ext. 11122.
(In photo) Gov. Charlie Baker with Nashoba Tech incoming seniors, from left, Mikayla Jones (Townsend), Abigail Cronin (Groton) and Rachael Thompson (Littleton) at the ceremony for Early College Designation schools.