LARGO, Md.—Today, Prince George's County celebrated a new chapter in its history as Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), Prince George's Community College (PGCC), state education officials, elected representatives, students, teachers, administrators and parents cut the ribbon to Maryland's first middle college, the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George's Community College. The event was held in Lanham Hall on the PGCC Largo campus.
Middle college high schools are secondary schools, authorized to grant diplomas and located on college campuses. The Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George's Community College 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.
“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.
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.
“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.
For more information about the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community visit www.pgcc.edu.