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October 20, 2016

Philadelphia students now have the opportunity to earn an associate's degree while in high school

Education Public Schools
Carroll - School District of Philadelphia Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The School District of Philadelphia on North Broad Street.

The School District of Philadelphia announced the launch of its first middle college high school Thursday, giving public school students the opportunity to earn an associate's degree two years ahead of schedule.

Students who enroll in Parkway Center City Middle College High School for the 2017-18 school year will take both high school and college courses during their studies. Partnered with the Community College of Philadelphia, they'll come out of their four years with not just a high school diploma, but up to 61 college credits and the district calls, "two industry-recognized credentials."

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The high school graduates will be able to snag a certificate in entrepreneurship, computer programming and software development and an associate's degree in liberal arts.

The district said that any Philadelphia student can apply, but they have to meet a few credentials first. Applicants much have no lateness or disciplinary record, As and Bs in their main classes and strong standardized test scores. Potential students will also have to go through the district's interview process as well as a summer program before the start of their first year at the school.

“Parkway Center City Middle College represents a monumental development in our School District,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia in a statement. “We are focused on making sure all students across Philadelphia have various options to ensure they excel in their educational experience and this is certainly an important part of that goal."

The new school will also have extracurriculars available for students, like dance, cooking, yearbook, poetry and chess club. Parkway Center City Middle College High School will also have an athletics program.