Early Access Programs Help Students Begin College During High School

Jacqueline S. Bullard

The Community College of Baltimore County is making strides towards preparing high school students for becoming college graduates. Through CCBC’s Early Access Program, high school students have the opportunity to get a head start on their college degree.

Today’s job market indicates that obtaining a high school degree is not enough to become gainfully employed. Employers want applicants who have taken the extra step toward preparing themselves to be viable candidates. Statistics confirm that at least “77% of projected job openings in Maryland require some type of college training or education.”

CCBC is on the cutting edge of being one of the colleges committed to preparing high school students by affording them the chance to get their feet wet and immerse themselves in college academia.

CCBC has collaborated with Baltimore County Public School’s (BCPS) to put the students first. CCBC has removed as many barriers to early access as possible. College classes have been arranged at high school sites, like Kenwood High School, as well as welcoming them (high school students) to CCBC campuses.

Probably the most significant benefit to high school turned college students is that the financial barrier has been leveled so that admission is actually possible. CCBC has made early access affordable. CCBC and BCPS have joined forces to do all that is possible to remove every foreseeable obstacle.

As a parent of a high school senior who is now attending classes at CCBC, I can attest that the experience has been enlightening both for me and for my child. Other parents have remarked that this kind of opportunity was nonexistent when they went to high school.

The opportunity to get a head start on college and essentially remove the drop-out option did not exist fifteen to twenty years ago. Not only is early access financially feasible but it has given high school students a considerable amount of confidence.

One student, “Sarah,” who is a Kenwood senior, is excited as well as amazed that she is able to attend college while completing her senior year in high school. She remarked, “I was nervous about taking classes at CCBC and being in the classroom with students so much older.”

Sarah wanted to take the “safe route” and enroll in a CCBC class that was being held at Kenwood High School. However, after she discovered a few of her friends were taking classes at a CCBC campus she decided to change the location to see what one of the main campuses had to offer.

CCBC is not just trying to get bodies in the seats, but has developed classes that will enable young, impressionable high school students entering college to be successful.

ACDV 101 is one such class.

ACDV 101 is a class that has been developed with early access students in mind. The class provides a bridge from high school to college.

Assistant professor Mark Williams, an ACDV 101 Instructor, states that, “the course is designed to give students an idea of what it’s like to be in college.”

ACDV 101 is just one more way CCBC shows its commitment to ensuring high school students have a real chance at being successful college students and ultimately college graduates.

For more information on The Early Access Program contact The CCBC Office of Admissions.


  1. Shaneka Dunnigan 5 November, 2017 at 19:56 Reply

    EARLY ACCESS PROGRAMS HELP STUDENTS BEGIN COLLEGE DURING HIGH SCHOOL is a great idea for students that are in high school to get a jump start for college. Ken wood High is one to offer the program to students. This program helps with some of the financial burdens from college. I wish Parkville High offered this program over twenty years ago when I attended. With these types of programs, the drop out rate would drop tremendously. The job market now requires a college degree for most employee. In a competitive world in which we live in, a high school diploma just isn’t enough.

  2. Antionette Wilkins 5 November, 2017 at 20:31 Reply

    I think that this is really great. What CCBC is doing is giving high school students the ability to start getting acquainted with college course early. It really prepares you for what’s ahead in college, but its not just about being prepared. Its about being able to adapt and transition from a high school work flow to a college work flow.

  3. Eazyee101 5 November, 2017 at 23:06 Reply

    This is great! High school students having the opportunity to take college courses before graduating high school really good way to get started on a college degree. Most magnet schools like Western Tech, do offer opportunities like dual enrollment, and since CCBC making courses more affordable, I am it definitely helps parents and students. I believe that it gives high school students a real chance at being successful college students and future college graduates.

  4. Darian 2 August, 2020 at 08:14 Reply

    This is outstanding, this shows CCBC not only cares about their current students but their future ones also. This provides students a head start on life after high school, it allows students to get familiar with the college experience at a slower pace. I believe this is huge for younger students because it can help the transition a lot easier and understand how college works.

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