CCPS and CSM Partner to Offer Early College Program for High School Students

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) and the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) have partnered to provide high school students with a tuition-free, early start in higher education by piloting a new Early College program. Under the joint program, CCPS will offer a total of 150 places to middle school students from four high schools: Henry E. Lackey, St. Charles, Thomas Stone and Westlake High Schools.

Accepted students will be enrolled in both CSM and their zone high school during their senior year. Students will take courses at the CSM La Plata campus and will receive both high school credits and CSM credits for these courses. These students will work toward a 34-credit certification program that will allow them to earn transferable college credits and their high school diploma requirements at the same time. As a CCPS and CSM student, the program provides enrolled students with one year of free college credits. The 2022-2023 pilot phase may expand to include high school juniors and seniors in all CCPS high schools starting in the 2023-2024 school year.

CCPS covers tuition for all participating students and associated course fees for students eligible for the Free and Reduced Meals Program (FARM). The cost of the pilot program for CCPS next year is estimated at $694,000, which includes tuition, course materials, meals and transportation.

Members of the Charles County Board of Education and the CSM Board of Directors met yesterday to finalize and sign the program’s Memorandum of Understanding. Superintendent of Schools Maria Navarro said she was thrilled to provide students with the opportunity to explore their academic potential after high school.

“Through this partnership program, Charles County high school students who may not have had supports in place or financial aid for college now have the opportunity to explore their potential,” said Navaro. high school diploma with the first year of a college general studies program completed. Not only is this program free for our families, CCPS will provide transportation to and from CSM for accepted students. These students will also have two paths of academic support and well-being through the resources available at their home school and at the CSM. The CCPS Board of Directors and Executive Team are thrilled to bring this program to our families. »

Early College makes college possible for young adults who otherwise have few opportunities to pursue higher education and gives students the opportunity to take college-level courses, accelerating the path to earning a college degree. a degree and manpower, and save money on tuition. Upon completion, the CSM-CCPS partnership pilot project will allow Early College students to earn their high school diploma, 34 college credits, and a General Studies Transfer Certification. It will also save students and their families $4,556 in tuition fees.

“This partnership opens doors for students who might never have thought college was an option for them and it means we’re reaching our most important communities,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to transform lives, expand college accessibility, and introduce these students to their regional community college in a meaningful way.”

Students must apply to be considered for the program and secondary schools will encourage students who meet the following criteria to apply: students who do not see college as an option; students with potential for improved academic achievement; and students from underrepresented and underserved populations.

Next month, CSM will host parent information sessions for interested families at pilot schools that may include a mix of virtual and in-person meetings. The application process and schedule for the program will be announced shortly.

Pilot high school counselors will also review student applications to ensure the class schedule meets graduation requirements.

Application criteria for the program include:

  • Senior amount of CCPS.
  • Students must have a minimum of 20 credits by the end of their first year.
  • Meets assessment requirements for Algebra I, English 10, LSN Government and Science, and Student Service Learning graduation.
  • Demonstration of a 2.75 unweighted GPA at the time of application.

Part of the application also includes making an open writing sample. The application will be posted on the school system’s website at Students and parents who have questions should contact their child’s junior class counselor.

Through Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation, CCPS must provide high school students with a free college and career readiness pathway by the 2023-24 school year.

About the SCPC

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 K-12 students with an academically stimulating education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that provide a technologically advanced, progressive, and high-quality education that builds character, prepares for leadership, and prepares students for life, careers, and life. ‘Higher Education.

The Charles County Public School System does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability in its employment programs, activities or practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (Students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (Employees/Adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, PO Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations, call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event. CCPS provides equal and non-discriminatory access to school facilities in accordance with its Facility Use Rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, Boy Scouts).

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