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Denver Public Schools Adds Five New Early College High Schools

Aug. 29, 2017

Students Can Simultaneously Earn a High School Diploma and Associate’s Degree for Free

Denver – To better prepare Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) students for success after graduation and to save families money, DPS is now offering five more schools designated by the state for the early college model. The district is now bringing access to free college courses to a total of seven DPS high school campuses this year.

DPS is celebrating the designations for five new schools which will join previously-designated CEC Early College and Southwest Early College – Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Early College; High Tech Early College; Manual High School and West Early College – this Wednesday, Aug. 30 at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Early College.

Through partnerships with local colleges and universities, this early college model allows students to take free college-level courses while in high school, and creates an intentional pathway that leads to a college degree for all students. Early college students have the option of completing a fifth year of college-only classes. Designed to expose students to college at a younger age, students can begin taking early college courses as early as ninth grade and graduate high school with as many as 60 credits – or an associate’s degree – tuition free. This approach also allows students the opportunity to earn an industry certificate in an area that interests them — such as accounting, graphic design and illustration, automotive service and technology, web research and more.

One of the five goals in the Denver Plan 2020, DPS’ five-year strategic plan, is to ensure students graduate from high school college- and career-ready. The model was developed with the most underrepresented students in higher education in mind — first-generation college students, low-income students, students of color and English learners. Early college is a proven strategy for postsecondary success, as early college students are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college and complete a college degree at higher rates.

Student interview opportunities in English and Spanish will be available.

WHAT: Early College Designation Celebration

WHO: Colorado Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, Denver Board of Education members, DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg, principals, students and educators

WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 30, 10:30-11 a.m.

WHERE: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College, 19535 E. 46th Ave.