Browse by Category

Early College Off to a Great Start for Fall 2021

Nearly Twelve Percent of Enrolled Students are in Early College Programs

The Commonwealth’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Department of Higher Education voted unanimously to approve the Mount Wachusett Community College new Early College Designation with Gardner Academy for Learning and Technology and Gateway to College for the 2021-2022 academic year.

The purpose of the Massachusetts Early College initiative is the creation and maintenance of partnerships connecting districts and high schools with community colleges and state universities in order to provide opportunities for students, especially first-generation college-goers and traditionally underserved populations, access to college completion and career success.

“I applaud Fagan Forhan, Sara Vettese and the entire MWCC Early College team for their hard work,” stated MWCC President James Vander Hooven. “They are true thought leaders and practitioners in the Early College space in Massachusetts.”

“In order for any early college to provide the robust opportunity that students need, a strong partnership is essential. We have that, and more, with Leominster, Fitchburg, and Gardner Public Schools, whose teams of educators are always student-centered and engaged,” added Vander Hooven.

MWCC has designated Early College programs with Fitchburg, Leominster, and Gardner in addition to the Gateway to College and Pathways Early College programs. Dual Enrollment and Early College programs enrollment for fall 2021 account for 11.96% of total enrollment at MWCC.

“I want to express my deep gratitude to everyone across the MWCC community for their support of this initiative,” added LeaAnn Scales, Vice President of Enrollment and Public Affairs. “We have come a long way and could not have reached this milestone without the support and work of so many.”

A report from MassINC presents data on the performance of the first two cohorts of students to graduate from state-designated Early College high schools. Their analysis shows that Early College students are continuing directly to college and persisting at significantly higher rates than their peers.

The Mount is currently recruiting for spring 2022 Early College programs. Information session dates and registrations can be found at