Monroe County high school students will have new opportunities this fall with the launch of the Monroe County Career and Technical Early College.
MCTC Early College is a new dual-enrollment option for high school students to earn college credits at MCCC through a five-year program.
Students register with their home district, then complete their first two years of high school at their home location.
When students reach their third year, they will begin to take college classes on the MCCC campus.
The percentage of college courses will increase over the next two years until the fifth year, when all the courses will be at the college and none at their high school.
Students will have the ability to earn an approved technical certificate, an associate’s degree, and/or up to 60 credits through MCCC.
Stephen McNew, superintendent at the Monroe ISD, said area employers need more of the kind of skilled workers that will be produced by the MCTC Early College.
“We know that we have an aging workforce in skilled trades,” said McNew. “We have a tremendous need in this area to fill those positions.”
Students in the program have the opportunity to study accounting, agriculture, welding, marketing, and many other fields.
Tim Lake is the president and CEO of the Monroe County Business Development Corporation.
He envisions the MCTC Early College bringing economic development, growth and prosperity, and new businesses.
“I’m hoping in a lot of cases, students will earn credits in areas that are desperate for workers,” Lake said.
The new program is separate from the Monroe County Middle College, which is already on MCCC’s campus. The Middle College also is a five-year program that gives students the opportunity to earn college credits during high school, but it is primarily health and math-science based.
“One of the primary differences is location,” McNew said.
Middle College students spend all five years on the MCCC campus, while MCTC Early College students will only spend a portion of the last three years on campus.
Students and parents interested in the MCTC Early College can learn about it at a CTE Expo at the Monroe ISD PD Center at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2. It is open to all 8th-11th graders in Monroe County.