A new dual-track high school/community college school is being planned for north Mississippi next fall with students who graduate in four years earning not only with a high school diploma but also a junior college associate degree.

The project is a partnership among East Mississippi Community College, Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Department of Education.

The Commercial Dispatch reports the Early College High School will be located at EMMC’s Mayhew campus.

The inaugural ninth-grade class of no more than 50 students will begin classes in the fall of 2015.

Myra Pannell, a senior research assistant at MSU’s Research and Curriculum Unit, said the program is open to students in Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties entering ninth grade. The school will add a grade each year over the next four years.

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