Middle College High School, a fully integrated part of LaGuardia Community College, was started in the mid-1970s as an alternative to the traditional high school curriculum. The unique program combines the last two years of high school with the first two years of college and provides students with intensive counseling, small classes, an interdisciplinary curriculum and career guidance. Jointly administered by LaGuardia Community College and the New York City Board of Education, the Middle College is designed for students who might not reach their full academic potential in a traditional high school setting.

 Founded in 1974 as one of the city's first alternative high schools, Middle College is designed for students who would flounder in a traditional high school setting. It is recognized for its success in turning around at-risk students and is one of 209 schools that the chancellor exempted from the citywide uniform curriculum mandated in 2003. It is also one of 29 schools that the city Department of Education selected for a pilot program that grants schools more freedom in curriculum and budget matters if they adhere to higher standards.

Middle College High School students are a part of the college community and can avail themselves of the resources offered by LaGuardia Community College. They have access to computer labs, campus clubs, college courses and the library. Middle College students are required to complete either a full, or part-time cooperative education internship during each of the three years spent at the school. The purpose of the internships is to enhance the students' career choices and instill in them an understanding of the work environment. Upon graduation from Middle College, students transfer to LaGuardia where they continue their education. As an alternative high school, Middle College is a nationally recognized leader for its work with at risk students. In 1992, the United States Department of Education recognized Middle College as an A+ Break the Mold School. 

In 1996, the New York State Education Department designated Middle College as a 21st Century School. Both of these designations attest to the high academic standards of Middle College High School and to the dedication of its faculty and staff. Middle College is a five-year, early college model where students take classes not only for high school but also for college credit at LaGuardia.  After completing four years at Middle College, students can earn a diploma and at least 12 or more college credits. If they stay at the school for a fifth year, they can receive an associate's college degree as well.

The school also has a program for hearing-impaired students and offers classes taught in American Sign Language, Special education: The school has "collaborative team teaching" (CTT) classes, where two teachers work with a group of special- and general-education students. The school also has a resource room, offering materials and instruction tailored to the learning styles of students with special education needs.