FALL RIVER — Bishop Connolly High School recently announced its partnership with Bristol Community College to offer BCHS students early access to college through Bristol’s College Access program. Beginning in January 2023, Bishop Connolly students will have the opportunity to earn college credits while attending high school, giving them a successful head start on their college careers and educational goals. Funded by a grant from BayCoast Bank, the program will offer a targeted sequence of courses towards a major in business, engineering/STEM or health sciences/nursing.   

“We are excited to partner with Bristol Community College on this educational initiative,” said Kathleen St. Laurent, Bishop Connolly High School President/Principal. “The program will give our students a wonderful opportunity to access college early and explore their options for majors in specific fields of study.” 

Credits earned for successful completion of courses taken at Bristol Community College will also be accepted at numerous higher education institutions, including the University of Massachusetts five-campus system, Northeastern University, Providence College, Bryant University and Lesley University. Under the direction of BCHS Vice Principal of Academic Affairs Megan dos Santos and Kimberly Griffith, Academic Coordinator for Bristol’s College Access program, the dual enrollment program offers students a unique college experience, providing a strong foundation for careers in diverse industries.  

“I look forward to working with our neighboring Bishop Connolly High School and connecting them with college-level courses of interest in the in-demand fields of business, healthcare and STEM,” said Griffith. 

The College Access program at Bishop Connolly is currently being offered free of charge to BCHS sophomores, juniors and seniors. Students may choose courses in specific tracks, which will include in-person and online instruction by BCC professors. 

Bishop Connolly High School is a coed college preparatory Catholic high school focused on helping students build the knowledge, skills and confidence that will lead to college and career success. With a 100 percent college acceptance rate, Bishop Connolly graduates pursue undergraduate studies at the nation’s top-tier colleges and universities, including Ivy League universities, Catholic colleges, public universities and service academies.  

It serves students from over 30 cities and towns throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Bishop Connolly High School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is an AP Capstone Diploma school. 

Bristol Community College has core values rooted in student success and lifelong learning. For more than 50 years, Bristol has served as a leading resource for education and workforce development in the region including locations in Attleboro, Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton and Online. 

The college offers more than 130 career and transfer programs, along with flexible online offerings that lead to an associate degree, a career-ready certificate, or the ability to transfer to baccalaureate colleges throughout the state and country. Bristol’s Business Solutions & Partnerships provides customized training for businesses and the community. The college says it also strives to put the needs of learners first with support services and career advancement opportunities that lead to student success by reducing barriers to educational access.