Columbia Heights High School introduces ‘early college’ program

Columbia Heights High School juniors and seniors can now earn college credit, in their high school, with the potential to graduate with an associate degree through the Early College program. A major benefit of the program is qualified students pay no tuition for approved college classes.

Early College is a new partnership with Anoka-Ramsey Community College – selected in 2017 as one of the top ten community colleges in the United States. During the program’s first year at Columbia Heights High School, four Anoka-Ramsey courses will be offered with more added in the coming years. Early College courses, when paired with Advanced Placement courses, provide CHHS students multiple opportunities to earn college credit eligible for transfer to any of the 31 public Minnesota State colleges and universities.

“I believe that partnering with ARCC gives our students the opportunity to succeed in college and careers,” said CHHS Principal Dan Wrobleski. “This is another great example of how we provide worlds of opportunity for our students.”

The program is designed for CHHS students who are driven to succeed, are in the academic middle or above, who have a solid academic record and are willing to work hard toward earning their associate degree. To help succeed in this program, freshmen, sophomores and juniors are encouraged to take college preparatory classes.

All of the Early College courses are taught by Minnesota State certified CHHS teachers.

“The Early College program allows students to experience academic success, as well as partake in all the services provided by ARCC,” said early college teacher Aimee Candella. “The icing on the cake is they can still do this while they have the safety net of a high school teacher to walk them through it.”

“Perhaps one of the best benefits of this program is students pay no tuition,” said director of teaching and learning Zena Stenvik. “Families can save thousands of dollars a year while their student earns high school and college credit at the same time, right at their high school.”

To learn more about the Early College program, visit or call CHHS Registrar Kari Martin at 763.528.4638.

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