HAVERHILL — Twenty Haverhill High students will have quite a workload this fall. While earning credits toward their high school diplomas, they will also earn college credits.
The students will participate in the Early College Program, a project run by Haverhill High School and Northern Essex Community College. The goal is for high school students to be better prepared for college, as well as get a head start on their college careers.
“We wanted to expand opportunities with the area colleges,” Haverhill School Superintendent James Scully said. “This is an opportunity for kids to experience life in a college classroom.”
Northern Essex isn’t necessarily looking to attract top-of-the-class honor students to the program, Scully said.
“We’re targeting students in the middle-of-the-pack academically,” said Sue Grolnic, dean of humanities and social sciences at Northern Essex. “We looked for students who had the aptitude to succeed, but hadn’t yet proven themselves academically. We want to raise the bar and help them realize that college is in their future.”
Students will have the opportunity to take three college level courses — U.S. History 1, American Literature 1, and the College Success Seminar. Each class will be taught at the high school by a member of the Northern Essex faculty.
These classes also give students the chance to already be familiar with the difficulty of college classes before they ever step foot in a college lecture hall, Scully said.
“A significant amount of college admission counselors tell me that the percentage of people who have to take remedial courses is significant,” he said. “This program is designed to alleviate some of the challenges that young people face their first year in college and the adjustment to higher-level course.”
The program began last year and was modeled after a program developed by Amesbury High School in 2009.