EARLY COLLEGE, DUAL ENROLLMENT & K-12 PROGRAMS

At MWCC we offer a variety of programs to students in traditional middle and high schools, as well as homeschooled students. These programs provide opportunities for academic, college, and career awareness and participation.

Our mission is to provide high school students with transformative educational opportunities. Through innovative programs and personalized support, we aim to inspire academic excellence, foster a seamless transition to higher education, and cultivate a passion for lifelong learning.

DUAL ENROLLMENT & EARLY COLLEGE

Programs range from traditional dual enrollment, where a high school student takes college courses for credit while still attending their high school, to full immersion early college, where high school students attend MWCC full time while earning their high school diploma and college credit – sometimes even receiving their associate degree.

Explore our Dual Enrollment and Early College Opportunities!

FINDING THE RIGHT PROGRAM

Find Your Programs

Automotive Dual Enrollment

If you are a Gardner High School student who is thinking about an automotive career, this program provides an early start on degree coursework. You may take up to two courses/year, one in fall and one in spring, to gain a head start on the program, and see if the program is the right fit for you. GHS provides transportation, and releases students from regular schedules for a few afternoons each week to participate.

  • Free
  • Get college credit toward the Automotive Certificate/Degree
  • Located at the MWCC Automotive Facility in Gardner
  • Eligible for juniors and seniors enrolled at Gardner High School/GALT
Learn More About Automotive Dual Enrollment

Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Program

If you are thinking about college, then the Massachusetts Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership (CDEP) makes it easier! You can take college courses while still in high school and earn credits that will transfer to most two and four year public college and universities. It’s a head start on your college journey! These classes are meaningful and challenging, giving you an awesome early college experience. If you’re not sure if college is for you or not, CDEP can be your first step into exploring higher education. Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity!

  • Free
  • Get college credit
  • Location varies by school (virtual, high school, on-campus)
  • Eligible for those in Gardner High School, Leominster High School, Fitchburg High School and Sizer School
Learn More About Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Program

Dual Enrollment Program

MWCC partners with high schools to bring you special dual enrollment courses. Picture having college classes taught by college professors right at your high school!

Classes follow a regular college schedule, either on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Some professors may even teach virtually! The best part? You earn credits for both high school and college. These credits can usually transfer to many colleges and universities.

Classes offered may change each semester, so talk to your guidance department for details. They can help you choose the classes you’ll love. Learn more by clicking the link below or chat with your guidance department today!

  • Free
  • Get college credit
  • Location varies by school (virtual, at your high school)
Learn More About Dual Enrollment Program

Early College Academy

You can join the North Central Massachusetts Early College Academy and earn both high school and college credits for free. Choose from academic pathways like Healthcare, Business, Education, or Liberal Arts & Sciences. Classes are taught by professors from MWCC or Fitchburg State University, and you will complete 12 or more college credits before graduating high school. It’s a fantastic opportunity, and you won’t have to pay anything. 

  • Free
  • Get college credit
  • Explore career fields
  • Locations are on the MWCC Gardner campus, at Fitchburg High School, Leominster High School, Gardner High School, Athol High School and Narragansett Regional High School
Learn More About Early College Academy

Fire Science Dual Enrollment

Join our exciting Fire Science Technology Dual Enrollment program! It’s a mix of online and in-person classes, and it’s totally free. Most of the time, you’ll have virtual classes during the week, and one Saturday a month, you’ll go in person to an area fire station to learn hands on with equipment at the fire house. These classes can be taken for both high school and college credit, toward the MWCC Fire Science degree.

  • Free, including books
  • Get college credit
  • Location is hybrid (virtual and on-site)
Learn More About Fire Science Dual Enrollment

Gateway to College

Gateway is a full-time early college program offered to students ages 16-21 who have struggled in a traditional high school environment. This program is perfect for you if you have already left high school or are thinking of leaving, or if you’re being homeschooled. Gateway students can get a high school diploma, engage in deep personal and career exploration, and also get free college credits for an associate degree or certificate in different career areas.

  • Free, including books and supplies
  • Get college credit
  • Dedicated advisor to support you
  • Location is on MWCC Gardner campus
Learn More About Gateway to College

Gear Up

You can thrive with GEAR UP! This program is here to help you succeed in school and beyond. Get ready for academic support and preparation at Longsjo, McKay, and Memorial middle schools. GEAR UP offers you academic counseling, tutoring, homework help, after-school activities, college workshops, financial aid tips, and even educational trips! It’s all part of Mount Wachusett Community College’s K-12 Programming. Join GEAR UP for a brighter future!

  • Free
  • Available for Fitchburg residents
  • Location is at your school

 

Learn More About Gear Up

Pathways Early College

Pathways is a chance to gain an Associate’s Degree at the same time you graduate high school. The Pathways program is a full-time early college program for motivated students who are looking for a challenge by taking classes at MWCC during both junior and senior years. Students are assigned to a dedicated advisor, who provides intensive support and guidance on everything from how to be a successful college student to getting ready to transfer to a four-year college.

  • Free, including books and supplies
  • Complete and Associate Degree by high school graduation
  • Location is on MWCC Gardner campus
  • Ready for college level work in both English and Math

 

Learn More About Pathways Early College

Talent Search

Get ready for success with North Central Massachusetts Talent Search (NCMTS) or Educational Talent Search (ETS)! Our goal is to help prep you for college with the support of our MWCC staff, who work directly in your school. Whether you need academic counseling, career exploration, workshops on study tips, college prep, or financial aid guidance, we’ll help guide you through the process and get ready for what happens after high school. Regular field trips and a summer program make this impact real! Let’s make your journey to success incredible together! 

  • Free for eligible students
  • Are in grades 6-12
  • Priority acceptance for students who are low-income and first-generation college (parents did not complete college)
  • ETS is available for students in the Gardner, Leominster and Fitchburg school districts
  • NCMTS is available for students in Sizer School, Athol Royalston Middle School, Athol High School, Murdock Middle/High School, Clinton Middle School and Clinton High School.
Learn More About Talent Search

Traditional Dual

Joining the Traditional Dual Enrollment program at MWCC means you can earn college credits while also working on your high school or homeschool diploma. It’s a special chance to save time and money by working on both degrees at once. You get to take classes that count for both college and high school, feeling what it’s like to be in college while finishing high school. It’s a cool way to do both at the same time!

  • Families are responsible for the cost of tuition, fees and books
  • Get college credit
  • Location is on college campus
  • Full-time or part-time
  • Must be comfortable with independent learning
  • Min GPA for full-time is 2.7 
Learn More About Traditional Dual

United Way Youth Venture (UWYV)

United Way Youth Venture (UWYV)

Join United Way Youth Venture and be part of a team that creates positive change in your community! Turn your passions and interests into action to address a challenge you see in your community, from building skate parks to starting tutoring clubs. Learn leadership, teamwork, and entrepreneurial skills. Make a plan, present it to a community panel, and if approved, launch your project for a lasting impact!

  • Free
  • Available for grades K-12
  • Your school 
Learn More About United Way Youth Venture (UWYV)

Upward Bound Math & Science

Get ready for a journey to exciting careers in math and science with the Upward Bound Math and Science program (UBMS)! If you’re in middle or high school, and interested in math, science, or engineering, this program is for you. Serving school students for free in Gardner, Athol, and Winchendon, UBMS aims to boost your academics on tests, help you stay in school, and guide you to college success. UBMS also provides an intensive summer program, exposing you to STEM fields with hands-on experiences. Whether you’re from a low-income or first-generation college family, UBMS is here to support your dreams. Join us for a fantastic learning adventure and discover the possibilities in math and science!

  • Free
  • Available for students in Gardner, Athol, and Winchendon
  • Your school 
Learn More About Upward Bound Math & Science

FOLLOW US!

19 High School Partners
479+ Early College &
Dual Enrollment Students
2,000 College Access Students
Head shot of Jose Herrera
Computer Information Systems

Jose Herrera-Ruiz, Computer Information Systems

“MWCC gave me a solid foundation that I keep building on in all of my classes at UMASS Lowell. It was a smart idea to get my associate’s degree first. It helped me with jobs in the short run so I could get my bachelor’s degree and still work full time.”
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Kaitlyn Fales 2021
Business Administration

Kaitlyn Fales, 2018, Business Administration

“Being a part of a community college is a whole body and mind experience - you can’t just come and take classes. I’ve made so many friends that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.”
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Jonathan Blouin sitting on a bench on a porch
Liberal Arts & Sciences

Jonathan Blouin, 2018, Liberal Arts & Sciences (2017, Gateway to College)

“The Gateway to College program offered me the second chance I needed and that little extra push to get my schedule in order.”
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