APPLAUSE FOR THIS INITIATIVE
"This opens a whole new opportunity for students to get prepared for post-secondary success. Irondale High School is absolutely leading the way for the state."
- Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner Minnesota Department of Education
"This program is one of the state’s most comprehensive partnerships between a high school and our state colleges. I applaud Irondale’s Early College program and hope to see it used as a model across Minnesota."
- Dr. Steven Rosenstone, Chancellor Minnesota State.
"We’re not saying a traditional four-year college is for everyone. Our goal is to have our students ready for the options they will face after graduation. If they choose college, we will prepare them for precisely what they can expect."
- Dan Hoverman, Superintendent Mounds View Public Schools
Launched in the 2014-2015 academic year, Irondale High School of Mounds View Public Schools became the first school in the Minnesota to offer a comprehensive early college high school program that allows students the opportunity to earn a two-year associate degree for free while still enrolled in high school. Mounds View High School adopted the same program the following year.
Although many high schools around the nation offer concurrent college enrollment programs, including Irondale High School and Mounds View High School, those programs traditionally serve most effectively the highest-achieving students in the top third of their class
For students in the academic middle, the Early College program will provide the necessary foundation and support to benefit from college credit-earning opportunities. Students who do not meet college-readiness indicators from standardized assessments may be identified for additional foundation classes and college seminar courses to help prepare them for the rigor of college courses. This will provide them with the skills they need for success beyond high school in whatever post-high school career path they choose, including two-year colleges, four-year colleges, and/or certificate programs, internships or military.
Students who currently benefit from Honors, Advanced, College in the Schools, Advanced Placement (AP) and Concurrent Enrollment classes typically rank in the top third of their class. These students will continue to have those rigorous opportunities and will have the additional option of choosing to take specific college credit-earning courses that would meet requirements of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) and/or an associate degree.