AllentownSchool District

Allentown School District Expands Early College Access for Students

Allentown School District Expands Early College Access for Students
Posted on 12/17/2020

Two new partnerships will allow Allentown School District students to engage in early college access experiences in business, environmental studies and psychology.

The Allentown School District is excited to announce new partnerships with the National Education Equity Lab and LEAD Summer Business Institute (SBI) programs. Each will provide high school students with opportunities to earn college credit while gaining critical skills and knowledge that will serve them well beyond their educational journey in ASD.

ASD’s partnership with the National Education Equity Lab is the first and only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. ASD students will be able to take courses being offered for free by Howard University, Yale University and the University of Connecticut. Students in grades 10-12 may participate in these courses, which include Yale/UConn’s Psychology and the Good Life and Howard’s Introduction to Environmental Studies: Environmental Justice and Equity.

The LEAD SBI program will allow ASD students to stay on the Lehigh University campus for three weeks during the summer and take part in business and finance courses, along with field trips to area businesses. Students will explore principles of business while making connections with corporate executives and business leaders.

“We are incredibly proud to offer these opportunities to our students, adding to the number of available college-level courses and programs,” said Thomas Parker, ASD Superintendent and Howard University alumni. “We aim to provide our students with the chance to take part in opportunities that set them up for success for life after graduation. Now, our students can take select classes from some of the nation’s most prestigious universities. This is truly an exciting milestone for our school district community.”

Amid the pandemic, the School Board of Directors are dedicated to ensuring that the ASD continues to commit resources to the goals outlined in the district’s Strategic Framework. These partnerships with diverse universities is confirmation of the commitment that the district has made to ensuring that ASD students have unlimited access to a variety of higher education options, despite the socioeconomic barriers that persist within our community.

Over the past two years, approximately 267 high school students enrolled in college-level courses by expanding the district’s partnership with Lehigh Carbon Community College, an opportunity made possible through The Century Fund. Eighty-eight participants in Early College are currently fully enrolled at LCCC taking courses that fulfill their high school graduation requirements while earning an associates degree. Another 139 students are taking advantage of dual enrollment on a course-by-course basis to earn college credit, this year alone. This fall, the partnership expanded to middle school, giving 40 eighth grade students the opportunity to take a history course through LCCC. In the last two years, ASD has more than doubled the number of students who have had access to early college programs. 


ASD high school counselors are currently in the process of identifying students for these programs and guiding them through the application process. Interested students can also reach out to their guidance counselors for more information on how to participate. Selection for all programs is currently underway. The Equity Lab programs will begin in February, and LEAD will take place in the summer. 

To learn more about the National Education Equity Lab, visit More information on the LEAD SBI program is available at