This Berkshire County High School is Hoping to Make College More Accessible!
Drury High School recently announced they received a $150,000 grant. They’re going to use that money and work with MCLA to create an early college program. According to Drury Principal Tim Callahan, Drury students will have the opportunity to take college courses and earn college credits while still in high school. There will be three major areas of concentration: health sciences, education and computer science. Principal Callahan says that area businesses need employees with expertise in those fields.
A big reason for the grant is to get more Drury High School students to attend college after they graduate. Looking at the most recent data from the Department of Education website, just under 60% of Drury students planned to attend secondary schooling. This could entail a private or public 4-year college, a private or public 2-year college, or another post-secondary school option.
Principal Callahan also hopes this grant and these courses might help or encourage low-income students to look at college as an option, since they will already have up to 30 credits under their belt if they take part in this program, set to debut next school year. As a former low-income student, I can appreciate Drury thinking of low-income students and how daunting college can appear.
While I don’t think college is for everyone, and there are many great paths that don’t include college, I think everyone *should* have a chance at secondary education if they want it. I personally loved college, and wish I’d made even more of it. I wasted my high school years, so I felt like my “real” education started at BCC, and then continued at UMASS, Amherst where I graduated. I grew as a person both socially and academically, and can’t say enough good things about the education I was fortunate enough to receive.
Also, I thought I’d look at the other high schools in Berkshire County, and see what percentage of students planned to attend secondary education. This is the most recent data from 2020-2021, and you can find it here by searching for different schools: School and District Profiles (mass.edu)
For reference, the Massachusetts state average is around 73% for graduating seniors that plan to attend some kind of secondary education.
Mt. Greylock High School: 92%
Drury High School: 59%
Hoosac Valley: 64%
Monument Mountain: 75%
Mt. Everett: 75%