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June 6, 2018
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JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



State Education Department Awards $14 Million to 19 Smart Scholars Early College High School Programs

The New York State Education Department awarded $14 million in grants to 19 recipients (13 school districts and six colleges) to implement Smart Scholars Early College High School programs, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced today. These grants will support partnerships between public school districts and eligible higher education institutions to provide historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students with the opportunity and support to earn an average of 24 college credits by the time they graduate high school. Funding for this initiative was approved by the Governor and Legislature in the 2017-2018 State budget.

“The Smart Scholars program continues to open doors for students who have been historically underrepresented in college,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “The program gives these students a chance to complete high school while earning college credit at the same time, saving them money and greatly improving their chances of earning a college degree.”

“I applaud the Governor and the Legislature for funding this critically important program,” said Commissioner Elia. “By providing academic and social support, Smart Scholars enables participating students to complete the high school-college continuum in less time and improves their chances for success in high school, college and thereafter.”

Since its inception in 2002, New York State has participated in the early college high school (ECHS) movement. In 2009, the New York State Board of Regents launched the Smart Scholars ECHS Program as a strategy to close the high school and college achievement gaps in New York State. ECHS programs target students who are historically underrepresented in postsecondary education, academically at-risk or economically disadvantaged. Successful ECHS students graduate prepared to complete a post-secondary degree on time or early, without the need for remedial courses.

Essential components of the Smart Scholars ECHS Program include:

  • an active partnership between a school district and an institution of higher education (IHE) to provide an integrated high school and college curriculum; and
  • the academic and social supports that students need to graduate high school on time with a Regents diploma and at least 24 transferable college credits, at no cost to their families.

Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, NYSED awarded five-year grants, including planning time, to the organizations listed below. The grant amounts reflect five years of funding.

Lead Organization



Grant Amount

Unadilla Valley Central School District

SUNY Morrisville, Tompkins Cortland Community College



Bard College

NYC Dept. of Education



Buffalo City School District

Erie Community College



Medgar Evers College

NYC Dept. of Education (Brooklyn Lab School)



Medgar Evers College

NYC Dept. of Education (Brooklyn School for Social Justice)



NYC Department of Education

Long Island University - Brooklyn



Rochester City School District

Monroe Community College



Freeport Union Free school District

SUNY Farmingdale State College, Cradle of Aviation/ Long Island STEM Hub, Nassau BOCES



SUNY College at Old Westbury

Roosevelt Union Free School District



Syracuse City School District

Onondaga Community College



Solvay Union Free School District

Onondaga Community College, SUNY Oswego, LeMoyne College



East Syracuse Minoa City School District

Onondaga Community College, SUNY Oswego, LeMoyne College



Newburgh Enlarged City School District

Marist College



Fulton City School District

Cayuga Community College, Oswego County Workforce Development Board



East Ramapo Central School District

Rockland Community College, York analytical Laboratories, Inc., Wellcore, Inc.



Schenectady County Community College

Schenectady City School District



Longwood Central School District

Suffolk County Community College



Farmingdale State College

Brentwood Union Free School District



Yonkers City School District

The College of Westchester



More information about the SS-ECHS program is available on the New York State Early College High School (ECHS) Programs website.