College Credit Opportunities Abound At Mexico High School

Mexico students, from left: Kalysta Kempisty, Morgan Richardson, Katherine Hill, Natasha Ratcliff, Hannah Wakeman and Brandon Dutcher show their excitement on the Onondaga Community College campus in Syracuse where they attend classes, as part of the Early College High School program.
Mexico students, from left: Kalysta Kempisty, Morgan Richardson, Katherine Hill, Natasha Ratcliff, Hannah Wakeman and Brandon Dutcher show their excitement on the Onondaga Community College campus in Syracuse where they attend classes, as part of the Early College High School program.

MEXICO – Mexico Academy and Central School District students could be nearly halfway to obtaining a bachelor’s degree by the time they graduate if they enroll in an abundance of college offerings at Mexico High School.

High School Principal Ryan Lanigan said it is important to plant those foundational seeds as soon as students arrive as freshmen so they and their families can begin to plan ahead for their post-secondary education.

Once the young adults become high school juniors they may enroll in online Cayuga Community College courses and both CCC and Onondaga Community College courses through a Distance Learning partnership with the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation.

Seniors may also take both online and distance learning courses, as well as become a dually-enrolled student at MHS and OCC through the brand new Early College High School program.

ECHS is a full-immersion, all-day experience at OCC, which allows seniors to take between 12 and 16 credits per semester.

Fall classes, Lanigan said, correspond with remaining credit requirements for high school, while in the spring semester students may take most courses they are interested in pursuing.

He said the best part about the program is it’s free.

Mexico High School purchases required books and students borrow them.

There is no out-of-pocket cost to students or their parents, which essentially saves them more than $6,000 in tuition, books and fees per year.

Transportation is provided to and from OCC, giving seniors ample time to still be involved in MHS extra-curricular activities.

“The more we tell parents we have this, the more excited they get,” Lanigan said.

Eight seniors are currently enrolled in the program and the district hopes more enroll in the program for the 2018-19 school year.

ECHS follows the OCC schedule, so fall occur from late August to late December and spring classes occur from mid-January to early May.

As MACS students work toward achieving 22 high school credits over their four-year high school career, Lanigan said the high school hopes to see them also achieve a goal of obtaining 15 college credits by the time they receive their high school diploma.

Additional college-credit opportunities at Mexico High School include Advanced Placement courses in English, social studies, science, music and math.

If students achieve a 3, 4 or a 5 on their AP exam they may qualify for credit at their selected university.

Also offered at the high school are several SUNY Oswego, OCC, CCC and RIT college courses taught by Mexico High School teachers.

“If we’re looking to broaden and diversify offerings, we should be able to catch the interest of all students,” he said.

That method has already proven successful, as about 61 percent of the Class of 2017 cohort earned college credits.

Just more than 22 percent of the cohort alone earned 15 or more college credits.

For more information, visit www.mexicocsd.org or call the high school at (315) 963-8400, ext. 5118.