100 Years, 100 Stories
900 plus students will graduate during Metropolitan Community College’s Centennial Commencement ceremony on Thursday night. Of those students, 39 students will graduate with both two-year college degrees from MCC- Penn Valley and high school diplomas thanks to the Kansas City Public Schools Early College Academy.
This program is a partnership between MCC-Penn Valley and Kansas City Public Schools. This is the largest ECA class to date with 39 students who have earned both a two year college degree and a high school diploma. Last year 18 students graduated and 16 the year before that.
- The Early College Academy (ECA) started in 2011 and is a partnership between the Kansas City Public Schools and MCC – Penn Valley. It has been designed for highly motivated high school students who are ready to leave the high school environment and participate in the rigor of being full-time college students. Through the ECA qualified high school students will earn high school credits while also earning college credits as they attend classes, full-time, on a college campus. The first ECA class graduated in 2013.
- Students are recruited in the fall semester of their freshman year. The ECA Coordinator and counselors at each high school determine which students meet the selection criteria and recommend students for selection. Students enroll in the ECA program and are then scheduled into the necessary prerequisite classes for their freshman and sophomore years. The students attend regular high school classes with the opportunity to take dual credit classes in their high school. Students who have successfully completed their freshman and sophomore years, maintained a 3.5 or better GPA, successfully passed the COMPASS (MCC entrance exam) and have completed an application to Penn Valley and the ECA will be eligible to attend the ECA full-time at Penn Valley. Students are enrolled in required college classes their fall semester (ENG 101, AM HIST 120, CSIS 115, and PSY 140 for a total of 12 credit hours). Students are allowed to develop their own Associate’s Plan for the remainder of their time in the program. Classes are based on the student’s future post-secondary plans, placing them in classes that meet the requirements for their interests as well as their high school graduation. Students who participate in the ECA have an on-site Program Coordinator (PC) who assists them with making the transition from high school into college. The PC assists students in ACT test prep, resume writing, interviewing skills, and applying for scholarships and colleges after graduation. The PC also helps students adjust to college life by assisting them in becoming familiar with college success resources (tutoring, research, etc.), how to approach instructors, use and manage time wisely and study, and how to involve themselves in college life (clubs, honor society, student life and leadership, etc.).
- For more information on the program, you can click on the link below.
- Website: kcpublicschools.org/ECA
41 Action News Reporter Amy Hawley spoke to a student who will graduate from the program. Click on the link below to read more about her story.