Lynn becomes the first city in Massachusetts to host a state-designatedEarly College High School located on a college campus

Students at the state’s first on-campus Early College High School can earn an associate degree
or up to two years’ worth of college credit by the time they graduate high school.

On Thursday, Frederick Douglass Collegiate Academy, located on North Shore Community College’s Lynn campus, became Massachusetts’ first state-designated Early College High School located on a college campus. The partnership between the Lynn Public Schools, North Shore Community College, and the City of Lynn on the groundbreaking Early College High School reflects the urgency of low and declining college-going rates for Lynn students. “82% of the freshmen at Frederick Douglass Collegiate Academy who were with us all of last year earned 12 college credits. We are incredibly proud to be able to put students as young as 14 or 15 years old on track to earn an associate degree by the time they graduate high school,” said Bill Heineman, President of North Shore Community College.

According to recent data on the class of 2022, while 62% of Massachusetts students enrolled in college, only 39% of students from Lynn pursued a higher education. More importantly, if historical trends continue to hold, far fewer than 39% of Lynn students will persist in college and complete their degree. “We know from surveys of seniors in our high schools that around 60% of Lynn students intend to go to college when they graduate, but far less than that end up actually enrolling. Early College, with the partnerships, structure, and support it provides, reduces barriers, increases future earning potential, and offers opportunities that can be transformative for students,” said Mayor Jared Nicholson from the City of Lynn. These gaps in college access and success have a tremendous impact on career outcomes, and ultimately, lifetime earnings. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 56% of jobs in Massachusetts by 2031 will require at least an associate degree.

First launched in the fall of 2022, and made possible by an innovation grant from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Frederick Douglass Collegiate Academy is designed to increase college success for first-generation, low-income, and students of color from Lynn. 160 freshmen and sophomores are currently enrolled in the school, with a goal of scaling to 240 students across all grade levels by the fall of 2025. “We know that our students in Lynn are capable of attending college, and succeeding when they get there. Frederick Douglass Collegiate Academy is putting students in position to reach their full potential,” said Evonne Alvarez, Superintendent of the Lynn Public Schools.

The young but growing Early College initiative is changing the opportunity landscape for traditionally underserved students across the Commonwealth. From a standing start in 2018, 53 partnerships across 61 high schools and 28 colleges and universities are now serving more than 8,000 students in Early College programs, and the early returns are promising. Early College students in Massachusetts are 26% more likely than peers from similar backgrounds to enroll in college and persist there for at least two years. These increases are consistent across racial backgrounds and income levels, and students with scores below proficient on their 8th-grade MCAS are seeing the largest gains in college matriculation rates. “Early College is creating real impact for students who otherwise may not have gone to college, and Frederick Douglass Collegiate Academy is supercharging that effort by bringing students to campus and providing opportunities to earn significantly more credits by high school graduation. We are proud to partner with the Lynn Public Schools and North Shore Community College in their efforts to bring Early College opportunities to more Lynn students,” said Erika Giampietro, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Alliance for Early College.

The Frederick Douglass Collegiate Academy is a first-of-its-kind Early College High School in Massachusetts. It is a product of the longtime partnership between Lynn Public Schools and North Shore Community College.

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