The Early College at Guilford

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The Early College at Guilford
The Early College at Guilford (logo).jpg
The Early College Logo
5608 West Friendly Avenue,
Greensboro, North Carolina, 27410
Type Public High School - Selective Admissions
Established 2002
Principal Bobby Hayes
Enrollment 201
Information (336)-316-2860
Mascot Phoenix

The Early College at Guilford (ECG) is a high school with approximately 200 students located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The school was started in 2002 by an agreement between Guilford College and Guilford County Schools as the first early college high school in North Carolina, allowing students to graduate with a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit from Guilford College.[1]

The school practices a rigorous selection method for admissions. Prospective students must submit a written application and, as of 2006, participate in an on-campus examination created by the school's admissions team, currently involving an essay and math portion.

In 2010, Newsweek magazine listed The Early College at Guilford as one of "The Nation's Most Elite Public High Schools".[2] Newsweek also ranked ECG at 21st on its annual list of America's Best High Schools in 2013, making it the top high school in North Carolina.[3]


In the first few months of ECG's existence, Principal Tony Burks II surveyed the students to choose a mascot and school colors. The students took into account other mascots already in use around the county, and the colors of Guilford College—-maroon and white. Based on the student body's response, the phoenix was selected as the school's mascot, and burgundy and pewter were chosen as the school's colors.


The Early College is located on the campus of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Students have access to almost all of the Guilford facilities (including the cafeteria, the "Underground", computer labs, gym, off-campus ragers, and Founder's), with the exception of dormitories. This environment provides a large amount of freedom, as well as the opportunity to interact with college students. While through its history classes especially concerning ninth and tenth grades have been held in places varying from the basement of the Frank Science building or the Bauman Building, currently classes are held on two on-campus modulars comprising eight classrooms total.


Students at the Early College at Guilford experience a rigorous academic schedule throughout all four years. Freshmen are required to take the PSAT while Sophomores are required to take both the PSAT and the March SAT. Although Juniors and Seniors take actual college classes, some students say that Sophomore is the hardest year with a very rigorous schedule with up to 6 AP courses in AP US History, AP Environmental Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP Music Theory, AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC. Sophomore year at The Early College at Guilford is internally accepted as the hardest year at the school due to the high number of AP classes most take.

The underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) take honors and AP Classes. Classes are taught on a modified block schedule with holidays that align with Guilford College's schedule.

Upperclassmen have dual enrollment; they are enrolled in both the Guilford County school system as freshmen (and then sophomores in their second year), and in Guilford College as juniors (and then seniors). Often, the number of AP Classes taken as underclassmen allows students to register as Sophomores and Juniors at Guilford. Juniors and Seniors take Guilford College classes, which count towards their remaining high school credits, and can often be transferred when continuing to higher education. If a student remains at Guilford College after graduating from the Early College, the credits they received for their two final years will transfer towards their undergraduate requirements.

The Early College at Guilford has been recognized as one of the nation's top public high schools by Newsweek Magazine. The Early College ranked fourteenth in 2007 and twenty-first in 2008 on a list of 1300+ public high schools.[4] In the US News "Best High Schools of 2009", The Early College ranked seventeenth out of 20,000+ schools examined.[5]

Many Seniors at The Early College at Guilford get into and prestigious universities such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, North Carolina State, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke. They also get prestigious scholarships such as the Carolina Scholars award (a merit based, full tuition scholarship to UNC Chapel Hill), the Parks Scholarship (a full ride to North Carolina State University) and Presidential Scholarship to Wake Forest University.

The Early College at Guilford has about 18-20% of its students each year to be semi-finalists for the National Merit Scholarship.

Culture and extracurricular activities[edit]

Due to the discrepancy between the required "seat time" for a high school diploma in Guilford County and the actual time spent in class in a college setting, juniors and seniors must make up the difference with mandatory volunteer work. A license was since issued that nulls the "seat time" rule for ECG juniors and seniors, but upperclassmen are still required to complete a certain amount of volunteer work each academic year.

Both underclassmen and upperclassmen participate in Early College clubs, usually held after underclassmen classes. Clubs include a Harvard Model Congress team (under the umbrella of Early College Model Congress), Guilford Model Congress, Interact Club, Math Team, a Red Cross club, Interact Service club, an active FIRST Robotics team, Academic Quiz Bowl team, Student Council, Student Human Relations Club, EducateUS, Science Olympiad, Speech and Debate Club, Film Club as well as many other arts and interest clubs.[6]

ECG's disciplinary system originally included the notable Student Court, a collection of students responsible for designating punishments to their fellows who had committed some error. In the late spring of 2008, however, the role of the student court in disciplinary action was abolished.

The Early College at Guilford does not have any traditional sports teams, due to the school's small size. There is, however, an unofficial ultimate team that occasionally plays other high schools in friendly matches, as well as a foundling basketball team which competes with other Middle and Early Colleges in the area. In addition, students may choose to play sports at the school they are districted for.


Guilford College is founded on Quaker principles, and encourages its professors and students to speak on a first-name basis. This is acknowledged by the administrators of Early College by allowing the students to address them by first name only when the eleventh grade has been reached and they have become part of the Guilford College community.

Changes in Policy[edit]

Late in the spring of 2008, the administration of the Early College began to announce and implement new changes in the structure and function of the Early College, including new academic courses such as band/orchestra and advanced physical education, as well as changes in expulsion policies and altering the function of the student court entirely. These choices were made in response to the academic stress of sophomore students who often took upwards of four or five Advanced Placement courses. More non-Advanced Placement courses were added to encourage a more relaxed environment; the academic rigor of the standing Advanced Placement courses has not changed. The application process was also overhauled, and no longer includes an interview with prospective students.


  • Tony Lamair Burks II (2002-2006)
  • Charles Blanchard (2006-2009)
  • Bobby Hayes (2009–Present)


  • Profile of The Early College at Guilford

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°05′43″N 79°53′24″W / 36.0953°N 79.8901°W / 36.0953; -79.8901