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History of the Program

Mission Early College High School (MECHS) is a collaboration between Santa Clara Unified School District and Mission College aimed at offering the students of Santa Clara, CA an alternate path towards educational success.  MECHS offers high school students a serious learning environment where they take control of their own education, complete high school graduation, and begin accumulating college credits. MECHS empowers students by giving them choices and providing them an adult, scholarly environment while completing high school.


Formerly known as Mission Middle College, it was started in the spring of 2001, under the creative guidance of a leadership team from both SCUSD and Mission College, in an effort to expand the educational pathways in SCUSD so that all students had a viable option towards academic success.  


The initial program was intended to serve students who either did not like the social scene at the comprehensive high schools or just did not fit in with their peers.  While well intentioned, this group of students did not immediately flock to the opportunity provided.  Instead, students who were educationally disengaged but wanted to still have a post-secondary plan were applying in droves.  


As time moved on, the program began to further refine the community of learners that it was intended to serve. The disengaged learner became the archetype of the students that kept on showing up and wanting to be apart of the program.  What was also noticed was that students expressed their disengagement through differing behaviors and that not all disengaged learners look the same.