What is Middle College High School?

Middle College High School (MCHS) is an alternative high school, administered by the Seattle Public School District. It is open to all high school students who are looking for an educational option to prepare for college and complete their high school graduation requirements in a small school setting.

History and Seattle Locations

The first Middle College High School opened in New York in the 1970s. Seattle Central Community College, led by SU College of Education alumnae Dr. Julie Hungar, opened the first MCHS site in Seattle in 1991 (it was housed at Seattle’s Northgate Mall, in partnership with Simon Youth Foundation, for many years ). South Seattle Community College opened a MCHS site in 1996 (housed at High Point Center Neighborhood House), and the University of Washington followed in 1998. In 2001, the American Indian Heritage Program joined Middle College High School (located at Wilson Pacific Center). www.mchslic.com. In Fall 2012, a MCHS site at Seattle University was established.

Learn more about the Seattle Public Schools Middle College.

Who can enroll in Middle College High School at Seattle University?

Approximately 100 high school students are enrolled annually (this includes two campus programs at Seattle U and North Seattle College, and 11th and 12th grade students enrolled in Running Start classes at three Seattle Colleges). Students residing in the Seattle University Youth Initiative catchment area are recruited.

Is there a connection to the Seattle University Youth Initiative?

Yes. A special focus is placed on outreach and recruitment of youth living in the Seattle University Youth Initiative neighborhood.

Can Middle College High School students receive college credit?

Students in MCHS have the option of taking community college, college-level courses free of charge through Running Start. These courses can transfer as credit to any institution of higher learning.

How can my department become involved with Middle College High School?

Having upper-level high school students on campus provides unique learning opportunities for colleges and departments across campus. There are opportunities for research and bridging theory and practice, allowing SU students to apply learning immediately to a classroom of high school students. Please contact College of Education faculty members Ted Kalmus or Dr. Charisse Cowan-Pitre for information on how to connect the students in your college with MCHS.

Why did SPS choose SU?

Middle College High School partners with institutions of higher education to give their students the opportunity to experience a college campus so they can be inspired to think about college and careers.

The Seattle University College of Education's mission to prepare leaders and teachers to work toward equity and social justice in schools makes the partnership a perfect fit. Teacher candidates, students in the School Counseling and School Psychology programs are just a few who will be able to put into practice what they’ve learned in their classrooms in Loyola Hall into Middle College High School classrooms on the first floor.

SU's partnership objectives:


  • Meet the educational needs and invest in the youth of our SUYI neighborhood
  • See all students as potential college students
  • Prepare students to enter college
  • Provide enriching and supportive college environment on a campus focused on educating the whole person
  • Provide professional development for MCHS faculty, staff, and administrators
  • Assist with the development of innovative curriculum