LARGO, Md.—State, local school officials and students will celebrate the opening of Maryland's first middle college high school, the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George's Community College (PGCC). Partners from the college and Prince George's County Public Schools, elected representatives and Academy students will participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony to honor the school’s historic place in Maryland’s educational system, August 2, 1:30 p.m. at Lanham Hall on the Largo campus.
Middle college high schools are secondary schools, authorized to grant diplomas and located on college campuses. PGCC’s program is focused on providing students an education in the field of health sciences and its first class of 100 ninth grade students was admitted in June. Each subsequent year, a class will be added until full enrollment, approximately 400 students in grades 9-12, is achieved. The high school will provide a required high school curriculum, including high school assessment courses which are end-of-course-examinations required for a Maryland High School Diploma.
“The goal of the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College is to prepare tomorrow's leaders for careers in the health sciences field," said Charlene M. Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College. “This historic partnership with the Prince George's County Public Schools will give each student an opportunity to become a significant member of our community. They will spend four years on the college campus, and earn something not yet available to any other high school student in Maryland - a high school diploma and an associate degree simultaneously,” she added.
Benefits of middle college programs include increasing the number of college credits students can earn while still in high school as well as making higher education more accessible and affordable.
“One of the primary predictors of student success in college is their exposure to college-level work during their high school years,” said William R. Hite, Jr., superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools. “Students in our Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College will not only have access to college level academic work, they will also be exposed to an enriching and supporting college environment, while earning a high school diploma and an associate degree,” he said.
For more information about the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community visit www.pgcc.edu.
Prince George’s Community College is a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Two-year Education designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security (2010-2015). Established in 1958, Prince George’s Community College provides transfer and career programs that help students transfer to four-year colleges and universities and prepare them for the workforce. Each year, 40,000 students take part in more than 200 academic programs and workforce development and continuing education courses. Located in Largo, Maryland, Prince George’s Community College has additional sites at Joint Base Andrews, University Town Center in Hyattsville, Laurel College Center, Westphalia Training Center in Upper Marlboro and the Skilled Trades Center in Camp Springs. For more information, visit the college website at www.pgcc.edu.