EMCC’s Golden Triangle Early College High School has been a resounding success, graduating all sixty of their freshmen to 10th grade this past year. Enrollment is expected to double this fall for the still-relatively-new school, which opened its doors last year, with a fresh batch of sixty frosh on the way. the plan is to continue adding sixty freshmen each year. This “early college” school is the first of its kind in the state, allowing students to learn more, sooner, and earn college credit while they’re in high school. The Junior and Senior years will be comprised almost exclusively of college-level courses for these ambitious youngsters.
Courtesy of the Dispatch
Rising sophomores enrolled in East Mississippi Community College’s Golden Triangle Early High School pose along with school staff for a photo that accompanied acceptance letters to incoming freshmen who will start at the school in August. Photo by: Courtesy photo
GTECHS, the first early college high school in Mississippi, opened in the fall of 2015. The pilot program is the result of a partnership between EMCC, the Mississippi Department of Education and Mississippi State University.
“This innovative program is for students who may be first-generation college students, but they don’t have the confidence to think they will do well,” MDE Associate Superintendent Jean Massey said in a press release on the agency’s website. “The school is also for students who need an alternative to the traditional high school setting.”
Savely said for the first two years the GTECHS students attend classes together as they would at a traditional high school. In their junior and senior years, the bulk of their time is spent taking regular college courses. The majority of those courses are dual credit and count towards the students’ high school diplomas and college degrees.
“I think from an administrative standpoint, a principal in a really big school is disconnected from the students because the student body is so large and there are so many other things that demand attention,” Savely said. “Here, I have an opportunity to connect with the students. They know my door is always open and that they can reach me by email or by phone.”
Savely said application to GTECHS is open to any eighth grade student — whether they attend public or private school, or are homeschooled — in Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee or Oktibbeha County. She said applications are usually available in January. Last year GTECHS students chose the Wildcat as their school mascot and blue and gold as their school colors.
“When someone walks down the hall in that area we want them to know this is the Golden Triangle Early College High School,” Miller said.
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