As the first wall-to-wall Early College school in Massachusetts, New Heights Charter School of Brockton set an ambitious goal of not only giving all of its scholars the opportunity to earn at least 12 college credits, but also the opportunity to earn an Associate’s Degree from Massasoit Community College. In 2016, NHCSB opened its doors ready to prepare its scholars for college, but it was no easy feat. Next year, over 50% of their first graduating class will have earned their high school degree and an Associate’s Degree simultaneously.
In the video to the right, Omari Walker, Executive Director of New Heights Charter School of Brockton, shares with Dr. Joseph Goins, CEO of NS4ed, what they tell students from day one, empowering them to achieve and succeed.
With 735 students enrolled for the 2020-21 school year, New Heights Charter School of Brockton (NHCSB) offers a college-going culture, an accelerated and demanding curriculum, and a community of staff, teachers, scholars and families committed to the Early College model. Partnering with Massasoit Community College, NHCSB provides a pathway for students to earn an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts that is transferable to four-year institutions. In the first three years, NHCSB scholars earned a total of 687 college credits.
Unlike most other Early College models, NHCSB prepares its middle school scholars for the community college developmental sequence and as a result, scholars are able to enroll in college-credit bearing classes as early as 8th and 9th grade. One indicator of success for the New Heights Charter School of Brockton: 30 NHCSB scholars were invited to join the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society at Massasoit Community College. Phi Theta Kappa is the highest honor society for junior colleges and membership is offered to scholars that have completed at least 12 college credits and an accumulated GPA of 3.3 or higher.
In the video to the left, Maria Fernandes, Director of College Access, shares one essential best practice of New Heights Charter School of Brockton which helps ensure students find success in college coursework.
Another critical wraparound support service at New Heights Charter School of Brockton is having teachers attend classes at Massasoit Community College with student cohorts. These scholars are also enrolled in corresponding lab courses on the high school campus with the liaison teacher where they are able to review upcoming college course assignments and due dates, work in collaborative study groups, receive group and individualized tutoring, review course concepts, and complete course assignments.
Content for this Spotlight page was provided by Omari Walker, Executive Director, and Maria Fernandes, Director of College Access, at New Heights Charter School of Brockton. Video content captured during virtual interview.