Senator Montgomery Announces Start of "Smart Scholars" Early College High School Program in Brooklyn

NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery joined today at Long Island University with Brooklyn high school principals and college presidents, students, state education officials and union leaders to announce the start of four new Smart Scholars Early College High School (ECHS) programs in Brooklyn, New York.

The ECHS program is an innovative collaboration between colleges and public school districts offering high school students the opportunity to graduate with up to two years of college credits. This free-of-charge program, supported by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, is administered by the NYS Education Department.

The program is aimed at helping young people underserved by the education system and, particularly young people of color who are under siege, living in a climate of police brutality, mass incarceration and failing schools,” Montgomery said, noting that of the more than 20,000 students attending early college high schools in 24 states, two-thirds are African-American or Latino and eight (8) of the schools target and serve Native American students.

There are currently 27 high school/college partnerships in New York State serving over 5,000 students. In 2009, eleven (11) were formed with the aid of a $6 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2011 Executive Budget included an additional match of $6 million to create twelve (12) partnerships and enhance or grow four continuing ones.  The grant program is administered by the State Education Department.

“The new round of funding has made it possible to establish three (3) new Smart Scholars programs in Brooklyn and add students to a fourth Smart Scholars program in the borough,” said Senator Montgomery. “I couldn’t be more excited for the students (up to 1,000) who will now be able to engage in a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum and receive the support services needed to prepare for and complete college courses.”

The new Brooklyn partnerships include:  

Boys & Girls High School

In partnership with

Long Island University

($405,864 awarded in FY 2011-12 to serve up to 100 students.)

City Polytechnic High School

In partnership with

NYC College of Technology

($447,471 awarded in FY 2009-10 to serve up to 300 students and $450,000 awarded in FY 2011-12 to serve an additional 100 students and expand services.)

Medgar Evers College Preparatory School

In partnership with

Medgar Evers College

($450,000 awarded in FY 2011-12 to serve up to 300 students.)

Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH)

In partnership with

NYC College of Technology

($450,000 awarded in FY 2011-12 to serve up to 300 students.)


"We commend Senator Montgomery for her longstanding and exemplary leadership and integrity in promoting college readiness, quality, and opportunity.  Early college high schools can provide an excellent vehicle for students to gain the skills and experience they need to complete a college degree while they are still in high school.  We are most pleased that the Smart Scholars grants for the schools partnered with New York City College of Technology and Medgar Evers College in order to assure that more students will participate in this important program,” said Jay Hershenson, Senior vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board of Trustees, The City University of New York.

Martha Olson, Bard College Dean of Education Initiatives, said,  “As we celebrate 10 years of the Bard High School Early College school, it is time that this model be expanded and that more students all over our city have the opportunity to prepare for and complete college.  These early college schools are not only effective and efficient programs that open new doors to our students, but they treat young people as thinking adults and prepare them to succeed in and lead our world.  We are pleased that Long Island University, NYC College of Technology, Medgar Evers College and NYC College of Technology are joining the growing early college movement.”

Brooklyn’s Founding Principal of P-TECH, Rashid Davis, said of the ECHS program, “I believe in this model because it allows students to have a pathway from high schools to careers. P-TECH will positively impact generations to come by allowing students to earn their high school diploma and AAS Degree.

Other ECHS supporters who were in attendance to talk about the program, include: Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents Dr. Lester W. Young, Jr., Member of the New York State Board of Regents; Dr. Kathleen M. Cashin, Member of the New York State Board of Regents;  Dr. John B. King, Jr., New York State Education Commissioner; Gale Stevens Haynes, Provost of Brooklyn Campus, Long Island University; Dr. Russell K. Hotzler, President of NYC College of Technology; Dr. William L. Pollard, President of Medgar Evers College; Michael Mulgrew, President, of the United Federation of Teacher; Hazel Dukes, President, New York State NAACP and Ernest Logan, President, Council of School Supervisors & Administrators; Bernard Gassaway, Principal, Boys & Girls High School; Chris Aguirre, Principal, City Polytechnic High School; Michael R. Wiltshire, Principal, Medgar Evers College Preparatory School; and Aishah Scott, Bard High School Early College Graduate.