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School History


Middle College High School (MCHS) is modeled after La Guardia Middle College HS in Queens, NY, was started in 1989 with a grant from the California Community College Foundation.  For most of its 34 years, the school occupied between seven and ten temporary bungalows that were the original classrooms of the Los Angeles Southwest Community College (LASC).  LASC was built in 1967 as part of the city’s efforts to provide an infrastructure to largely alienated and disenfranchised communities of South L.A. and Watts.


MCHS was designed to serve at risk students who were intellectually capable but not sufficiently challenged or nurtured in traditional schools.  During those initial years, MCHS was one of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s continuation schools.  MCHS, however, experienced a transformation over the years.  The school began to attract increasingly more capable and fewer at-risk students (though the risk factors for academic failure, early pregnancy, drug abuse, and incarceration remain acutely high for all young people).


After 24 years and countless temporary buildings, in May 2012, MCHS moved into its permanent building on the campus of LASC.  Today, MCHS serves as a beckon for the South L.A. community.  Our combination of high expectations, ability to build on student strengths, and active, engaged teaching and learning program promotes intellectual curiosity and lifelong love of learning.  Our students have become trailblazers, positively contributing to all aspects of society.  MCHS graduates have excelled as members in public service, education, visual and performing arts, executives, and skilled craftsmen across the state and nation.