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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.

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 typically minor cost to the student.

MCHS operated by school districts must offer at least 180 days of instruction per year. All students in grades 9-12 must be offered at least 64,800 instructional minutes each year. In addition, students must be scheduled for at least the minimum school day in order for a day to count as a day of instruction. EC Section 46146.5 exempts a MCHS operated by school districts from the 240-minute minimum school day requirement for students that are concurrently enrolled. The legislation provides that a minimum school day for a 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.

Charter MCHS must offer students at least 175 instructional days. Similar to school districts, all 9-12 grade students in charter MCHS must be offered at least 64,800 instructional minutes per year and at least 80 percent of the instructional time offered by the charter school must be at the school site to generate classroom based attendance. For charter MCHS, EC Section 46146.5 reduces the minimum 80 percent instructional time scheduling requirement in order to generate classroom based attendance to 50 percent if the student is a special part-time student enrolled in a community college under specific provisions, or the student is in grades 11 or 12 and is also enrolled part-time in classes at the California State University or the University of California campuses. For students that are enrolled at a charter MCHS and not enrolled in courses of a California State University, a University of California, or as special part time students at a community college under specified provisions, EC Section 46146.5 reduces the minimum 80 percent instructional time scheduling requirement to 67 percent in order to generate classroom based attendance.

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 the 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. MCHS follow the same process as traditional schools for the Application for a CDS code. Applicants should indicate that their school is a MCHS 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 MCHS. For assistance in applying for a CDS code, please contact the CDS Administrator by e-mail at cdsadmin@cde.ca.gov or by phone at 916-327-4014.

Charter schools may also indicate that their school is a MCHS in the school name or in the educational program elements of the charter petition. Additionally, a letter from the petitioner may be included in the Charter School Numbering Submission Package indicating the school’s designation as a MCHS. Again, this notation is the only way the California Department of Education will know that the school is a MCHS. For assistance with the process for numbering a charter school, please visit Charter Submission Package for a Charter Number or contact the Charter Schools Division by e-mail at Charters@cde.ca.gov or by phone at 916-322-6029.

For additional information about MCHS programs in California, please visit the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office External link opens in new window or tab..

Questions:   Carolyn Hamilton | chamilton@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5765
Last Reviewed: Monday, August 26, 2019