Skip to content
Printer-friendly version

Middle College High School

This page describes the purpose and structure of Middle College High Schools. It also describes how agencies may apply for a County-District-School code.

California Education Code (EC) Section11300 declares that Middle College High Schools (MCHS) have proven to be a highly effective collaborative effort between local school districts and community colleges. The basic elements of MCHS include:

MCHS are secondary schools located on a college campus. These schools offer challenging academic programs designed to serve high potential, high risk students. MCHS feature effective support services, small class size, and the opportunity for students to concurrently take some college classes at no cost to the student.

Current legislation, Senate Bill 1316 (Hancock) of 2012, exempts an Early College High School (ECHS) and a Middle College High School (MCHS) from the 240-minute school day requirement. The legislation provides that a day of attendance for an ECHS or MCHS student is 180 minutes if the student is a special part-time student enrolled in a community college under specified provisions, or the student is enrolled in grades 11 or 12 and is also enrolled part-time in classes at California State University or University of California campuses. Also, Senate Bill 379 (Hancock) of 2013 reduces the minimum instructional time requirements for Charter Schools that operate as ECHS or MCHS.

Middle College agencies that plan to apply for a County-District-School (CDS) code should review the Definition of a School  Web page to ensure that agency meets the definition of a school. If the agency does meet the definition of a school, the agency may apply for a CDS code. Middle College High Schools follow the same process as traditional schools for the application for a CDS code (DOC) application for a CDS code process. Applicants should indicate that their school is a Middle College High School either in the school name on the application, or in the board minutes that accompany the application. This notation is the only way the California Department of Education will know that the school is a Middle College High School. For assistance in applying for a CDS code, please contact the CDS Administrator at cdsadmin@cde.ca.gov or by phone at 916-327-4014.

Charter Schools that operate as Middle College agencies and plan to apply for a County-District-School (CDS) code should also review the Definition of a School Web page to ensure the agency meets the definition of a school. If it does meet the definition of a school, the agency may apply for a CDS code. Charter Schools that operate as Middle College High Schools follow the same process as other charter schools for the application for a CDS code (DOC).

Charter schools should indicate that their school is a Middle College High School either in the school name on the application for a charter school number, or in the board minutes that accompany their charter school numbering submission package. This notation is the only way the California Department of Education will know that the school is a Middle College High School.

For assistance with applying for a Charter School Number, please contact the Charter Schools Division at Charters@cde.ca.gov or by phone at 916-322-6029.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office External link opens in new window or tab. provides pertinent reference information regarding MCHS.

Questions:   Carolyn Hamilton | chamilton@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5765
Download Free Readers