WEST COVINA, CA – Mt. SAC Early College Academy will welcome its third freshman class on Aug. 17, inviting a new group of students to tackle the rigors of West Covina Unified’s flagship dual-enrollment high school.

The Academy will expand to serve grades 9-11 in 2020-21, providing students the opportunity to earn up to two years of college credit and work toward an Associate of Arts degree as they pursue their high school diploma. Students may still apply for 2020-21 enrollment at the Academy, where college courses, books and materials are provided at no cost.

“Mt. SAC Early College Academy teachers and staff are ready and excited to welcome our new and returning students to their virtual classrooms in 2020-21,” Mt. SAC Early College Academy Principal Candace Leuthold said. “While the beginning of this year will look different than years past, our commitment remains the same: to foster a culture that empowers students and to provide an engaging yet challenging academic experience.”

The Academy, and all West Covina Unified schools, will begin 2020-21 with state-mandated distance learning. Academy students will have the opportunity to continue their pursuit of an associate degree, taking college courses taught by Mt. SAC professors online.

In 2020-21, Mt. SAC Early College Academy educators will build upon their successes with online instruction, credited in part to their sophisticated use of digital learning tools such as Google Classroom prior to distance learning. To date, every Mt. SAC Early College Academy student who is working toward an associate degree has remained on track amid the shift to distance learning.

In addition to providing high-quality instruction, the Academy will focus on supporting students’ social and emotional wellness in 2020-21 and continuing to foster the close-knit community spirit for which it is known.

Students will be assigned in small groups to individual teachers for guidance and make social-emotional check-ins on Fridays. Students will also continue to have access to Mt. SAC resources that support academic success in 2020-21.

Mt. SAC Early College Academy was named the top high school in the San Gabriel Valley, according to the 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards from San Gabriel Valley News.

The Academy is still accepting freshman and sophomore applicants for 2020-21; high school students from Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties are eligible to apply.

“Mt. SAC Early College Academy provides our students with unique academic and financial advantages, and we are excited to introduce a new class of students to this experience,” West Covina Unified Superintendent Dr. Charles D. Hinman said. “We look forward to a successful start to the 2020-21 school year, supported by outstanding educators who are committed to helping our students thrive in any circumstance.”