New Mexico Public Education Department: Early College High Schools
The New Mexico’s Public Education Department (PED) is seeking to establish new Early College High Schools (ECHSs) statewide that serve students who attend New Mexico Public Schools. ECHSs allow students to simultaneously complete requirements toward earning a regular high school diploma and to earn not less than 12 credits toward a college-level certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree at the partner institution of higher education. ECHSs are tuition free and are poised to better serve low-income youth, first-generation college-goers, English Learners, ethnically diverse students, and other young people underrepresented in higher education. Students in an ECHS undertake rigorous academics and career technical education coursework in order to work in current fields with the highest growth, demand, skills, and wages.
ECHSs provide access to dual credit courses to help high school students make a seamless transition through graduation and into college success. ECHS structures are innovative, interactive, research-based and support positive outcomes for high school aged students. Integrated academic and Career Technical Education (CTE) opportunities support academic growth in meeting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The ECHS model builds on a sequence of courses within a master schedule which meets local and state graduation requirements while providing a structured four-course sequence of sufficient size, scope, and quality in CTE while addressing Common Career Technical Core Standards (CCTCS) for its career cluster focus.
The ECHS’ programming and curriculum selected for the career cluster should lead to related work readiness credentials recognized by business and industry. ECHS partnerships include community members, representatives from local business and industry, as well as accredited, credit-granting postsecondary institutions. ECHS programs include meaningful work-based learning experiences that align to the most dynamic sectors of New Mexico’s economy. ECHS students should choose electives within the school’s CTE program of study focus or a pathway that best meets the career goals and objectives in their specific Next Step Plan, a written plan developed and updated annually by a student at the end of grades 8–12 which targets the student’s postsecondary interests and builds the studies and activities he or she will complete during high school to be on track for graduation, college, and career.
Amount: Previous awards have ranged from $75,000-$300,000. Applicants should request an amount that would provide a successful design and implementation of the ECHS in its community. Grant awards may vary and funding is subject to negotiation with the PED.
Eligibility: Public Local Education Agencies (LEAs) including districts, state-supported charter schools, Regional Education Cooperatives (RECs), or a consortium of two or more eligible entities. PED is especially seeking eligible entities who serve students attending struggling (D or F) schools in low-income areas, rural areas, and non or limited Carl D. Perkins funded LEAs.
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