School Redesign: Parkway Center City Middle College

Parkway Center City Middle College

Grades: 9-12
Enrollment: 540
Location: Center City; 540 N 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Proposal Synopsis: To launch a middle college high school – in partnership with Community College of Philadelphia – that will enable students to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree within four years.

Vision: Parkway Center City’s mission is to provide a liberal arts, college preparatory education to prepare all scholars for matriculation in and graduation from college/university, career, and innovation. As the first Middle College High School, in partnership with Community College of Philadelphia and the School District of Philadelphia, all scholars will take a blend of high school and college level courses while affording them the unique opportunity to earn a high school diploma, industry-recognized credentials, and an Associate’s degree upon graduation.

The Design Year: The design team at Parkway Center City successfully developed the school’s application to join the Middle College National Consortium (MCNC).  The MCNC is a national organization that recognizes and accredits high quality middle college high school programs across the country.

Team members participated in the MCNC national conference to learn from and network with other middle college school leaders from around the country.  The team also visited numerous school sites to learn about their models and the instructional supports required to help high school students successfully navigate college life.

In addition, the team worked with Community College of Philadelphia to outline the operational details of the partnership.  This work included the development of a summer bridge program to orient incoming freshman, the alignment of curriculum across the two schools, the establishment of common expectations, and the development of operational working agreements, contracts, and MOUs.

The school hosted its first cohort of 9th graders who participated in the Summer Bridge program at CCP this summer. All students successfully completed the course and earned their first college credits before officially starting the 9th grade.