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State to launch nine new early college programs

Janichka Jean Nordeus, a senior at Fenway High School, participating in Wentworth’s Early College Pathways Program. Fenway High School is one of three schools the University of Massachussetts Boston will permanently be offering early college programs to.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Following a unanimous vote on Wednesday by the state’s Early College Joint Committee, Massachusetts will expand early college programs with nine new partnerships this fall.

Early college programs allow high school students to earn college credits while attaining their high school diploma, and some students earn enough to earn an associate degree.

The state Executive Office of Education also announced on Thursday that the University of Massachusetts Boston will be the first UMass campus to receive an early college designation, which means the university will now permanently offer early college programs to three schools in Boston: Boston Community Leadership Academy, Fenway High School, and New Mission High School.


The expansion also includes early college partnerships with Athol High School, Mount Wachusett Community College and Fitchburg State University; Drury High School and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts; Revere High School and North Shore Community College; and Veritas Prep Charter School, Springfield Technical Community College and Worcester State University. Additionally, Brighton High School and Malden High School will be partnering with Bunker Hill Community College.

Last year, former governor Charlie Baker’s budget dedicated $19 million to help scale up early college programs for schools throughout Massachusetts. Governor Maura Healey is looking to increase that investment by committing nearly $47 million to early college pathways in her fiscal year 2024 spending plan.

Fifty-one high schools and 24 higher education institutions participate in early college partnerships in the state, reaching more than 6,000 high school students. The state expects to have 7,800 students enrolled in early college by the fall.

Adria Watson can be reached at adria.watson@globe.com. Follow her @adriarwatson.