Q: Who can apply to MCHS?
A: Prospective students must be residents of the West Contra Costa Unified School District. We generally accept incoming freshmen only. If space is available, we may accept incoming sophomores. Due to the nature and rigor of our program, we are generally not able to accept students as incoming juniors and seniors, as many college prerequisites are fulfilled during freshman and sophomore years. Students who apply to MCHS must exhibit a high level of maturity and motivation, and be eager for a rigorous academic experience. Applicants to MCHS must also have a history of exemplary attendance and behavior to qualify for the program.
Q: How can I apply to MCHS?
A: To apply to MCHS you must submit a completed application by the deadline indicated. Applications are usually available around January for the next school year.
Q: Where can I get an application?
A: Applications are available online from January to March.
Q: What is the application procedure?
A: Once the application is submitted, it will be reviewed for completeness and accuracy, as well as residency verification. Failure to follow the instructions on the application completely and accurately will disqualify the application from further consideration. If the application qualifies, it will be reviewed by a panel of CCC Professors and MCHS Instructors. Each application is thoroughly reviewed and selections are made on a case-by-case basis. Through careful consideration, the panel will determine which students will best benefit from the program.
Q: What kinds of things do you look for in a prospective student?
A: There is no set "type" of student at Middle College High School. Students at MCHS tend to be highly self-motivated, mature, independent, responsible, hard-working students, with a desire to be active participants in their education. Our students are generally looking for a more challenging high school experience than they would get at a traditional high school.
Q: Is it true that only straight-A students get selected for admission?
A: No. Our panel looks for students who they think would benefit most from our program. This varies from student-to-student/situation-to-situation.
Q: I missed the application deadline. Can I still apply?
A: No. Unfortunately, we are unable to process an application after the deadline. There are no exceptions.
Q: Can my child participate in sports at Middle College High School?
A: MCHS does not have an athletics program. However, students may participate in a school sport at their resident high school within the district if they receive prior written approval from the MCHS principal. We require our students to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 to play a sport. Any student whose GPA falls below 2.8 will be put on academic probation and will no longer be eligible to play.
Q: Are there any dances or social events?
A: Yes. MCHS has rallies, dances, club events, proms as well as various college events for our students. Students may also attend events at other high schools in the district with prior written approval from the MCHS principal.
Q: How much does it cost to attend?
A: Contra Costa College charges MCHS students a fee of $2 per semester as well as a $5 student activity fee. The total cost for each student is $7 per semester. All required high school and college textbooks are provided by MCHS.
Q: How much homework will I have?
A: Student homework will vary from class to class. You can expect between 1-2 hours of homework for each class.
Q: If my student gets in, what is required for them to maintain enrollment at MCHS?
A: All MCHS students are required to:
- Maintain a 2.8 GPA or higher
- Attend all classes every day
- Be on time for all college and high school classes
- Demonstrate the ability to make mature, independent, responsible, productive choices at all times
- Take notes and ask questions
- Follow all CCC and MCHS rules at all times
- Be enrolled in a full schedule each semester (a minimum of 2 college courses, up to 11.0 college credits)
- Receive no marks lower than a "C" in any college course
Students who do not continue to meet the MCHS requirements, or who add or are dropped from any college course, either by the instructor or the student, without approval from the MCHS counselor, may be referred back to their school of residence. This includes single infractions.
Q: What are the start and end times for a typical MCHS day?
A: There is no such thing as a "typical day" at MCHS. Students will have personalized schedules that meet the needs of the individual and their course requirements. However, classes can begin as early as 8:00 am and end as late as 5:30 pm. Some classes may require additional hours outside of regular school times. For example, students who are in Drama may be required to meet after hours for rehearsals and productions and may be required to be in attendance from 6:00 pm until 10 pm or later. On occasion, students may be required to be in attendance on a Saturday if productions fall on a weekend.
Q: Are the college classes for high school students only?
A: No. All MCHS students will be taking adult college courses with adult college students. Please keep in mind that this means your student will be exposed to adult content and adult discussions and will be expected to participate respectfully and with maturity.
Q: Is it true that Middle College students will graduate with an AA degree?
A: No. Students will graduate with a high school diploma and college transferrable credits. However, students who follow and complete all courses listed on the EdPlan (with a grade of "C" or higher) will have completed the requirements for the AA degree in Liberal Arts, Math, and Science. Many of our students do successfully earn an AA degree, but it is not guaranteed.
Q: Can students take night, weekend, or online classes*?
A: No. All classes approved for Middle College students are weekdays-only (the exception being Drama which has altered hours during theatrical productions only). Students must adhere to the EdPlan, and must have all courses approved by MCHS prior to registering for classes. *Please note that all classes are currently online during the pandemic. Once full, in-person instruction resumes, students will be required to attend in-person classes.
Q: Can we take a tour of the campus, or shadow a student?
A: MCHS does not offer shadowing, however tours of the college campus are provided (weather permitting) during Preview Night in February. Please visit the Contra Costa College website to inquire about CCC campus tours.
Q: I have submitted my application. Now what?
A: Students who have submitted applications will hear from MCHS about their admission status in early June. Those who have been accepted will be required to formally accept their offer and complete additional paperwork for both the high school and college. Failure to respond to an acceptance offer by the deadline will forfeit your acceptance and result in your space being offered to another student. Students who are not accepted will be given a letter outlining other options for taking college-level courses.
Q: My student was NOT accepted. Can I appeal this decision?
A: No. All decisions are FINAL and THERE IS NO APPEALS PROCESS. Keep in mind when applying that many students who are not accepted are very qualified candidates, and as much as we would love to be able to accept everyone who applies, we cannot. We receive hundreds of well-qualified applications for a very limited number of spaces. However, we will retain all qualified applications in the event spaces open up. If a student who has been accepted chooses not to attend, fails to accept their offer of admittance, or fails to show at the start of school, their space will be offered to another qualified candidate who may have originally received a non-acceptance letter.
Q: What happens if I get selected to attend Middle College?
A: Congratulations! You will receive an email saying you have been selected to attend. You will be required to accept or decline the offer. When you accept the offer, you will be given further instructions through email, so it is especially important to provide us with a working, frequently checked email address when you apply. Once you have completed all the additional tasks emailed to you, you will be all set, and officially an MCHS student. Please note, if you get accepted to MCHS you will be expected to attend school when we return, which is during the FIRST week of August. Your summer will be cut shorter than anticipated. Please be aware of this when you apply and before you accept your space.