FCPS, FCC To Start Early College Program Next Year

It allows high school students to earn as associate college degree while working on their diplomas.


Frederick, Md (KM) It’s being called a unique opportunity for high school students. The Frederick County Public School System and Frederick Community College are partnering on the Early College program, scheduled to start  in the fall of 2020. That will allow juniors and seniors in high school to earn an associates degree  while they’re working toward their high school diplomas.

“By partnering with FCPS to offer the Early College Program, we are breaking new ground when it comes to educational opportunities for students in Frederick County,” says FCC President Libby Burmaster, in a statement. “Not only can students complete their associate degree by the time they finish high school, they can do at a discounted rate, according the opportunity to enter the workforce and with less college debt.”

Beth Duffy, FCC’s Executive Director of Dual Enrollment, says students can often take courses which provide both high school and college credit. “So we have identified courses that they would be taking on campus that would count for high school graduation credit as well as college credit. So they can do both simultaneously,” she says.

Students who successfully complete this program can enroll in a four-year college after they graduate from high school. “It’s our hope that they do that,” she says. “Some students might opt to have a non-transfer degree so they can enter the workforce, and have an associate ready to go upon high school graduation.”

In addition, Duffy says students who sign up for the program can save money on college expenses. “They also receive a discount as high school students, about a 32% tuition discount. Students who participate in the federal free and reduced-price meals program pay no tuition. They will pay for fees and books,” she says.

Interested students and their families are invited to attend one of three Early College Information Nights  this fall. One will be held next Tuesday, September 17th. The others will take place on October 17th, and November 13th. All three sessions will held  from 7:00 PM until 8:00 PM in room H111 located on the first floor of the FCC Student Center.

The enrollment deadline for the Early College program is April 1st, 2020.


By Kevin McManus