The first cohort of students in the Early College Program, a partnership program between Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and Howard Community College (HCC), will graduate high school in the coming weeks with up to 40 college credits. The students are part of the HCPSS Applications and Research Laboratory (ARL) Early College Program in cybersecurity.

“The Early College Program is a terrific way for students to get a jump on college and graduate career-ready,” said Acting HCPSS Superintendent Michael Martirano. “This partnership with HCC provides tremendous benefits to students, both academically and personally.”

“Students are thriving in the Early College program,” said HCC President Kathleen Hetherington. “They are accelerating their education in a supportive environment created by college and high school faculty, advisers and counselors.”

Students begin the Early College Program in the 10th grade, and take four HCC college courses in the 11th grade at the HCPSS ARL. In their senior year, students take all HCC classes on campus. As part of the program, students have opportunities to participate in internship experiences and receive one-on-one support to write a career-ready résumé and to prepare for job interviews.
After high school graduation, the Early College students have the option to spend one more year at HCC and earn an associate degree, or they can apply to a four-year university and take their transcripted credits with them.

In addition to the Early College Program in cybersecurity, HCC and HCPSS have also partnered on Early College STEM, which is for students at Oakland Mills High School who are interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The first cohort will attend HCC full-time this coming fall semester.
To learn more about the Early College program, visit