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Research & Insights / Fenway High is All In on Early College

Fenway High is All In on Early College

This year, EdVestors held an open call for the School on the Move Prize, seeking the stories of Boston Public Schools that are creating and continuously improving learning environments where all students thrive. Eight semifinalists have been selected to advance to the next round, and three finalists will be celebrated at the School on the Move Prize Ceremony on November 8. Regardless of the outcome, each semifinalist has a story that we can learn from.

Fenway High School in Mission Hill is a short walk away from a cluster of elite private universities whose graduates go on to work at nearby hospitals and tech companies. But Boston’s abundant higher education opportunities and well-paying jobs are rarely open to the city’s own youth. As an early college high school, Fenway High hopes to change that.

Fenway High, a small pilot school with a focus on social justice, has been offering dual enrollment to its students since the 1980s. Over the past few years, Fenway has fully committed to early college by building strong partnerships with local universities. Students can enroll in early college pathways in social entrepreneurship at Wentworth Institute of Technology or in health sciences at UMass Boston. This year, half of Fenway’s juniors earned at least one college credit.

Opening up college and career access is particularly important for Fenway High’s English language learners and students with disabilities, who each make up about a quarter of the school’s population. University partners have been key to inclusive early college opportunities. Autistic students spend multiple days a week on the Wentworth campus developing job readiness skills. With UMass Boston, Fenway is developing coursework specific to multilingual learners. Fenway’s work to prepare all students for early college math has also paid dividends, with its 10th graders leading the state in MCAS growth.

Fenway High’s support doesn’t end at 12th grade. Starting this September, students can stay on for a Year 13, graduating with up to two years’ worth of college credits completely free of charge. With this expansion, Fenway High is making its vision of a school on the move dedicated to college and career preparedness a reality.

Learn more about Fenway High School here.