On Monday, Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty and Executive Deputy Secretary Dr. Debora Carrera joined Superintendent Tony B. Watlington, Ed.D., and District officials as he visited Parkway Center City Middle College (PCCMC) to meet with students and staff and highlight the programming that’s possible because of critical, strategic investments in education.

“The School District of Philadelphia and PCCMC are using an innovative, first-of-its-kind model to ensure that students graduate college and are career ready,” said Acting Secretary Hagarty. “This approach shows the importance of targeted funding combined with strong partnerships between K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and communities, to provide students with the opportunities and supports they need to thrive after graduation.”

Since 2015, the Wolf Administration has increased education funding by more than $3.7 billion. In his most recent budget, Governor Tom Wolf solidified his commitment to education at all levels with a historic $1.8 billion investment increase. This budget prioritizes resources for Pennsylvanians and helps provide students with the resources they need to be successful.

As a middle college high school, in partnership with Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), PCCMC’s mission is to provide all students with college-level classes leading to an associate’s degree.

During years one and two, students are engaged in rigorous course content at both sites (PCCMC and CCP) that is reflective of college-level courses with encouragement and support from the school community. In years three and four, students are immersed in college-level courses at CCP leading to multiple pathways such as obtaining an associate’s degree, earning a minimum of 48 college credits, or industry certifications along with a high school diploma. In 2021, Parkway Center City Middle College had its first group of students graduate earning both their high school diploma and associate’s degree in liberal arts.

“It was a pleasure to welcome both Acting Secretary Hagarty and Dr. Debora Carrera to our District today,” said Superintendent Dr. Tony B. Watlington Sr. “The School District of Philadelphia is proud of its work establishing the first high school completely devoted to a middle college program in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is just one of the many innovative programs that exists within our district to help improve student learning and outcomes. I appreciate the work of Governor Wolf and our partners who invest in our students to make programs like PCCMC possible.”

The School District of Philadelphia is the eighth largest school district in the nation, with 19,000 employees working to support more than 198,000 young scholars. The district is comprised of 323 schools with 33 Advanced Placement courses, 40 Career and Technical Education programs, and eight International Baccalaureate programs.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education’s website.