WCPS, HCC Expand Partnership with Career and Technical Education Early College Program

WCPS and HCC officials sign CATE Early College Program agreement

(August 15, 2019) – Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) and Hagerstown Community College (HCC) are expanding opportunities for WCPS high school students to pursue an associate degree or a certificate in their field of study, particularly for students in Career and Technology Education (CTE). The partners renewed their annual agreement to provide early college opportunities to high school students by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at HCC on Thursday, August 15.

In the 2019-2020 school year, WCPS juniors and seniors attending Washington County Technical High School (WCTHS) will be able to participate in the Career and Technical Education (CATE) Early College Program at HCC. This provides additional pathways for high school students to earn early college credit by completing the CATE program in high school, then seamlessly transitioning to HCC for an associate degree or specialized certification in a Career and Technology Education area. The degree programs include:

  • Certificate Emergency Medical Technician
  • A.A.S. Network Administration
  • A.A.S. Cybersecurity
  • A.A.S. Medical Assisting
  • A.A.S. Advanced Manufacturing

“This additional early college program is another proactive way to put students on a clear path to higher education or a fast track to achieve industry credentials in their career field of interest,” says Dr. Boyd Michael, Superintendent of Schools for WCPS. “I’m grateful for our partnership with HCC and their shared commitment to support Washington County children with enriched educational experiences and a competitive edge for the workforce.”

“This is a great partnership with WCPS to expand the pipeline of offerings that enable students to prepare to enter the workforce with relevant careers that have lasting value,” said Dr. Jim Klauber, President of HCC.

WCTHS students who participate in the CATE Early College Program must meet Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) graduation requirements, earn required service learning hours, earn 18 required credits and four elective credits, have earned a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or a GPA of 2.5, and achieve a silver level on the WorkKeys Readiness Assessment.

Additional long-standing early college programs between WCPS and HCC that were renewed through the MOU include the STEMM Technical Middle College Program and the ESSENCE Early College Program, which also offer dual credit opportunities. During the 2018-2019 school year, 779 WCPS high school students participated in HCC courses, earning 5,848 college credits.

Photo caption: Seated, from left: Boyd Michael, WCPS superintendent; and Jim Klauber, HCC president. Back row, from left: Theresa Shank, HCC dean of Workforce Solutions and Continuing Education; Peggy Pugh, WCPS associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction; David Warner, HCC vice president of academic affairs and student services; April Bishop, WCPS deputy superintendent; and Carol Rothstein, HCC dean of instruction.