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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.

California Education Code (EC), Section EC 46146.5 exempts an Early College High School (ECHS) and a 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. EC, Section 46146.5 also 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 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 (DOC). 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 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 establishing a charter school, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page. For assistance with applying for a Charter School Number, please contact the Charter Schools Division by e-mail at 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 | | 916-323-5765
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 12, 2018