The Early College Program


In picture from left:
Kenil Patel, Alivia Lopez, Yuliza Cruz, Khleah Jeter, Devonna Douglas, and Nyles Rome.
Not pictured: Ashley Adams, Ron Fausnaught, Alexis Martin, Casey Mest, and Javontae Tinson.

The Pottstown Early College program is designed to provide high-achieving, low income students the opportunity to finish their first year of college at Montgomery County Community College during their junior and senior years at Pottstown High School (inclusive of the summer between the junior and senior year), with the Foundation for Pottstown Education paying for all coursework if the students retain the grade of B or above in all coursework at Montgomery County Community College.

The following is a list of criterion used by the Foundation for Pottstown Education to identify worthy students for this program:

  1. Grades – the student must have a 90% GPA or above in all courses to be eligible.
  2. The student must show financial need through a review of the previous year’s tax return form from his/her family.
  3. The student chosen must be serious about their education and show the proper level of maturity for social interaction at the college level.

Eligible students must apply to the program.  The Foundation will consider the following information:

  • All personal information (address, phone number, parent/guardian names and address, siblings, etc.)
  • A transcript of all classes taken and grades from Grade 9 to the present.
  • The activities in which the student has participated throughout their high school career
  • The class rank of the student.
  • Level of difficulty and rigor of the classes each student is enrolled in at the present, as well as those in the past from the freshman year onward. Honors or Advanced Placement classes or a combination of both are an indication that the student is interested in more rigorous work.
  • A one page essay based on the student’s interest in the program and why he/she would be a good candidate for the Early College Program.
  • The previous year’s tax return form from his/her family.

This information is provided to the Foundation and reviewed by a Foundation committee.  The students chosen are notified by a letter from the Foundation.

What Our Students Say

"Being a student to a five-square mile town, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, is not the same as being a student from a preparatory school, such as the Hill School, or a larger school, such as Owen J. Roberts High School. The amount of funding spent on each student is significantly less in the Pottstown student's case. However, all students are expected to compete at the same academic level when applying to colleges and universities. A preparatory student or a student from a large high school, with availability to courses such as physics and different types of mathematics, sciences, and even SAT prep courses, has more invested into their education than the students of Pottstown Education.

So what can we do? Do we just complain about unfair the system is? Do we put our heads down and give up? Do we fail to see our futures in reputable colleges and universities? Do we fail to become the politicians, doctors, and engineers we always aspired to be? Do we fail to become successful?

Or do we make a stand? Do we fight to change the unfair system? Do we keep our goals in sight and press on? Do we strive for academic excellence in competing for admission into those reputable universities? Do we become the best politicians, doctors, and engineers in the world? Do we become successful?

As a student of Pottstown High School, I have first-hand witnessed the determination of our students to make that stand to become successful. I have witnessed students staying hours behind school to get tutored. I have seen those very students being involved in countless clubs, organizations, and sports. And on those very weekends, in which most people relish the breathe of fresh air from the school week, I have seen our students build up their resumés by working jobs.

By performing well in academics, staying involved through community service and school organizations and sports, and even building up work experience through part-time jobs, Pottstown High School students are able to compete against any students in the U.S.

But what is the most important element, in order to be competitive, when applying to colleges? What sets Pottstown High School students apart from the rest of the students when applying to colleges and universities?

College experience, that ability to show colleges that we can excel at College level academics, while remaining self sufficient and independent. This is not only the most important element, it is also the hardest to achieve for a student, especially for students that have considerably less educational funding.

Before I was given the opportunity of the Early College Program, I had previously taken Montgomery County Community College Courses. The summer after my Freshman year of high school, I had taken two classes, Introduction to Psychology and English Composition I. The experience of taking my first college classes was unforgettable. The level of maturity and commitment to further education was quite evident. The only negative aspect I saw of that experience was that it took two summers worth of pay, from my summer job, for the 10 week experience. Nevertheless it was quite worth it.

The Early College Program, providing that level of college experience, is the most significant program I've been grateful to have been a part of. All of the college acceptances and financial aid I've been given, I can honestly say, I wouldn't have imagined it to have been this beneficial without the Pottstown Foundation for Education. That very ability to obtain college experience, up to 30 college credits worth of experience for free, is what sets the Early College Program students apart from other students in the U.S., when applying to colleges and universities.

The program was marvelous as it taught us to become independent, a crucial component when going away to college. We had to schedule meetings with our high school guidance counselors and the Montco (Montgomery County Community College) advisers. We had to be responsible for obtaining the necessary textbook vouchers, receiving the textbooks from the campus store, and making sure we could still be on time for our classes at the high school. Through making sure the textbooks were returned, earning academic grades at both the high school and the college were at least a B, we also learned how to be accountable.

By giving the high school students a glimpse of what college level courses are going to be like, the Foundation is setting the students up for success. Throughout the program, students are also able to explore and find out what career pathways interest them. It gives them the opportunity to develop the skills, mindset, and intelligence for the jobs, positions such as nurses, writers, engineers, scientists, and doctors, they are looking to obtain in the future.

The high school guidance counselors, the Montco advisors, the administration from the Foundation, Ms. Ellis, and Mrs. McCoy were all incredible supporters of the cohorts throughout the program. With their support, the students were able to obtain up to 30 college credits. Many of the students are able to transfer these credits to their universities and colleges, and already have a head start towards their degrees. The students attending Montgomery County Community College after high school are already halfway completed their education.

The program was an extraordinary opportunity for the Pottstown High School students and I encourage the future generations to apply for this program. On behalf of the Early College Program Cohort of the Pottstown High School Class of 2017, we would like to thank all supporters and the Foundation for Pottstown Education for their commitment towards our future success.”

Kenil Patel - Graduate of PHS Class of 2017

Dual Enrollment


Opportunities for students to take college and high school credits simultaneously.  Students enrolled in Dual Enrollment attaining a B or higher will be reimbursed by the Foundation for one-half of their tuition. 



PEAK - This Nationally recognized Early Childhood Initiative prepares students for academic success. The PEAK program, partners Pottstown School District with Pottstown Childcare Centers and Pre-Schools including Head Start.

Secondary Enrichment Courses


Online enrichment courses such as Italian, Greek, Mandarin, Chinese, accelerated mathematics, accelerated science, SAT Prep, etcetera.  These courses cost in the range of $200‑$800 per course, per student.

STEAM & Robotics


STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). This funding will go toward educating our staff and purchasing the needed supplies toward implementing this important National initiative.

Robotics. Students will learn to build robots and relate the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

PA Multi Region STEAM Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant

Through the Foundation, the Pottstown School District has been asked to participate in the PA Multi Region STEAM Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant. Dr. Myra Forrest will be the on-site administrator for the 2-year STEAM Grant.  Twenty-five (25) Pottstown teachers will participate. The total value for Pottstown School District over 2 years will be $350,000.

Stem Grant Partners

  • College and University Partners in this grant: Immaculata University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Scranton, Lycoming Collge, Albright College, Bucknell University
  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is a significant partner

Benefits to the District, educators, and students

  • Grant is focused on developing teacher competence with the PA Common Core Standards in Mathematics and Science.
  • Teachers will receive 104 hours of professional development at no cost to the District each year.
  • Teachers are able to receive 6 graduate credits for a nominal fee in STEAM education each year.
  • Four courses, or 12 hours, can be applied to a STEAM masters program that will be offered in each region, backed by Immaculata University.
  • The district will receive the benefit of materials from these partnerships and all curriculum and staff salaries are paid for by the grant.
  • The district may host a free Summer of Innovation (Sol) Student Camp for students in grades 4-9 each year.
  • The district will be allowed to use a $100,000 Geodome Planetarium with a high-end infrared camera.
  • All participants are given a new IPad for use within the grant.

Teacher Professional Development


Online enrichment courses such as Italian, Greek, Mandarin, Chinese, accelerated mathematics, accelerated science, SAT Prep, etcetera.  These courses cost in the range of $200‑$800 per course, per student.

Student Field Trips


This initiative helps to support specific trips directly related to the curriculum Pre-K - 12. The trips are chosen to engage and enrich students and their knowledge of the world.


Scholarship awards given to graduating seniors through funds held at the Foundation for Pottstown Education
Congratulations to our 2019 senior scholarship recipients!
Scholarship Recipient
William Hartranft Award for Valedictorian William Minnick
Robert P Smith Award (Valedictorian) William Minnick
Robert P Smith Award (Salutorian) Asgar Ali
Alan O. Care Memorial Art Award Sydni Leonard
Alan O. Care Memorial Art Award Alec Alberto
Arms Family Business Technology Award Carrie Stauffer
Arms Family Early Childhood Education Program Zyera Howard
Calvin J. Swavely Mem. Scholarship  William Minnick
Citizens for Fair Estate Taxes Award Asgar Ali
Class of 1944 Abigail Welder
Dee Gondal Memorial Scholarship Destiny Charriez
Detar Family Award Shane Duncan
Dr. Kennedy Sbat Award Jailyn Davis
Dr. Myra Forrest Award Aubrey Miller
Dr. Ray E. Feick Scholarship  Gerald Bingham
Earl Strange Award  CyeTaj Hall
Earl Strom Financial Aid Scholarship Asgar Ali
Earl Strom Financial Aid Scholarship Mary Gery
Edmund & Robert Hedgepeth Memorial Scholarship Faith Burrington 
Edmund & Robert Hedgepeth Memorial Scholarship Johnesha Salata
Elizabeth Wells Social Studies Scholarship Dennis Morales
Elizabeth Wells Social Studies Scholarship (History) William Minnick
Excellence in Computer Science GianKirk Kimmell
Excellence in Math Dominic Brand
Excellence in Math Maryam Belgrave
Frank D. Heifer Arts Award Terrell Taylor Williams
Frerichs Family Scholarship  Johnesha Salata
George S. Ralston Humanities Award Genesis Charriez
Guy Sperat Family Award  Karla Araujo
Henry A. Arms Award Robert Flemming
Howard Brown Athletic Scholarship Floyd Dashiell
Jack L. Maloney Award class of 1933 Abigail Welder
Jared Bentley Award Nehemiah Figueroa
Joan A. (Herpst Pomponia Scholarship Subrina Ali
Joseph G. Rinaldi Vocational Technical Scholarship Rebecca Harper
Joseph J. Derro Memorial Award Julia Morton
Lacee C. Ecker Award Asgar Ali
Leon H. Seeders Scholarship  Jahyre Graves
Marguerite and Earl G. Ewing Award GianKirk Kimmell
Nancy S. Heifer School Nurse Academic Award Keirsten Hickey
Nelson Burnett Memorial Scholarship             Mary Gery
Pottstown Alumni Wrestlers' Scholarship Destyn Snyder
Richard J. Ricketts, Jr. Scholarship  Reilly Owens
Robert C. & Virginia B. Shultz Award Dennis Morales
Robert C. & Virginia B. Shultz Award Virginia McCoy Swinehart
Ruth & Lorin Leister Prizes  Asgar Ali
Ruth & Lorin Leister Prizes  Mary Gery
Stanley Davenport Award Maryam Belgrave
Stephanie Mast Miller Memorial Award  Taylor Sundstrom
Touchdown Club Award Destyn Snyder
William F. Lamb Scholarship  Abigail Welder
William J. Schinstine Scholarship Terrell Taylor Williams

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