High School Unite
CChoices students make early on can have a significant
impact on their academic journey—especially if they’re
in 8th grade and live within the boundaries of the West
Contra Costa Unified School District.
Middle College High School (MCHS) in San Pablo is
a viable option for any West County student. There’s no
GPA requirement to get in, but they do consider things
like attendance, writing proficiency, and confidence in
STEM subjects when determining admissions. What makes
MCHS different from the rest?
“By the time they graduate from our program here in four
years, about 68% of our students earn an AA degree,” said
MCHS Principal Finy Prak. MCHS is part of the greater
Middle College National Consortium, a network of
likeminded schools spanning across the country.
28 MARKETPLACECONTRACOSTA.COM DECEMBER 2019
“We have a unique guideline with the State of California
Department of Education,” Prak continued. “Our students
have to take 180 high school instructional minutes per day,
and each student is allowed to take 2-3 college classes per
Here in San Pablo, MCHS experiences a 100% graduation
rate; 60% of their students go on to attend a UC or CSU,
and the other 40% remain either at Contra Costa College
(where MCHS classes are held) or continue on to another
community college before transferring. Regardless, it’s also
a 100% post-education rate for MCHS students.
The real question now is, why doesn’t every student in
West County take advantage of this opportunity?
GET A HIGH SCHOOL
DIPLOMA AND AN AA WHILE
YOU’RE AT IT
By Matt Larson
MCHS Helping CCC with counselor
MCHS Faculty MCHS Seniors Decision Day Event