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History of the Program

Mission Early College High School is a dual enrollment program located on the Mission College campus in Santa Clara, CA, and is an innovative partnership between Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) and West Valley-Mission Community College District (WVM).  Previously known as the Mission Middle College Program, it was established in 2001 by a leadership team made up of both SCUSD and Mission College staff in an effort to expand the educational pathways in SCUSD. In early 2017, both the SCUSD and WVM Board of Trustees approved the transformation of the Middle College Program into an Early College High School known as Mission Early College High School (MECHS).

MECHS offers a college immersion experience, where students spend 100% of their instructional day in the college environment. Students take three high school classes taught by SCUSD instructors on the MIssion college campus, and up to 15 units of college classes each semester with tuition fees waived by Mission College. The blending of high school and college courses into a coherent educational program affords students an exceptional opportunity to earn a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit upon graduation. The physical transition between high school and college is eliminated, and learning takes place in a personalized environment where rigorous work is demanded and supported. The goal is to provide students with a viable alternative for matriculating through high school and continuing on through post-secondary education, to eventually graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. 

MECHS accepts incoming 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students for the fall of each school year. Students seeking admission to MECHS must go through the application and interview process, which is selective, therefore, admittance is not guaranteed. MECHS encourages the participation of students from historically underrepresented student populations and seeks to decrease the high school dropout rate while increasing students’ access to post-secondary education. 

The key to the success of MECHS lies in the collaborative relationship of students and teacher advisors as they work towards ensuring the attainment of student learner outcomes. As a result, MECHS students develop the skills of self-advocacy and independence, which transfer to life beyond the classroom, and help them thrive as responsible citizens in a global community.