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Early College Coming to Jackson Public Schools

Jackson Public Schools students can enroll in the Early College High School program and graduate from high school with an associate's degree or up to two years of credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Jackson Public Schools students can enroll in the Early College High School program and graduate from high school with an associate's degree or up to two years of credits toward a bachelor's degree. Photo by tefan ik/Unsplash

— Freshmen at Jackson Public Schools now have the opportunity to graduate from high school with an associate's degree at no cost to them. JPS partnered with Tougaloo College to offer Early College High School to 49 freshmen. Students will attend a high school on Tougaloo's campus, north of Jackson. There is no cost to attend the early college program because JPS is a public institution.

Students must complete an application and participate in an interview process. An external agency selects the 49 students. Applications for the fall are closed and interviews begin July 9.

If students meet the graduation requirements, they can graduate with an associate's degree or up to two years of credits toward a bachelor's degree. While earning college credit, students will also complete Mississippi high-school requirements. Program graduates must meet the minimum SAT and ACT college readiness scores.

Each year the program will add new students to ninth grade. There are four other early-college programs in the state: Mayhew at East Mississippi Community College, Vicksburg at Hinds Community College, Clarksdale at Coahoma Community College and Natchez at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

Early-college programs have a graduation rate of about 90 percent, a study by Jobs for the Future found. In Mississippi, 83 percent of students graduate from high school, while JPS graduates 70 percent of students, the Mississippi Department of Education reports.

Email Marie Weidmayer at marie@jacksonfreepress.com.


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