Early college high school

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The Early College High School Initiative in the United States allows students to receive a high school diploma and an associate degree, or up to two years of college credit, by taking a mixture of high school and college classes. This differs from dual enrollment, where students are enrolled in a traditional high school and take college classes, whereas early college students take high school classes in preparation for full college workloads. At early colleges, students also have fewer high school classes because some of their college classes replace their high school classes. Early colleges differ from closely related middle colleges. ECHS students spend their school day at college, and go to their home school occasionally for events such as football games, homecoming, and prom.

The ECHS Initiative began in 2002 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others. The first early college in the United States, Bard College at Simon's Rock, was founded in 1966.[1] Today, more than 230 early colleges across 28 states serve 50,000+ students.[2]


  • 92% of early college students graduate from high school,[3] versus the national rate of 69 percent.[4]
  • 86% of graduates enroll in college the next semester after high school graduation.[5]
  • 91% of early college graduates earn transferable college credit.[6]
  • 44% of graduates at schools open 4+ years earn at least one year of college credit.[6]
  • 24% of graduates at schools open 4+ years earn two years of college credit or an associate degree.[6]
  • 70% of early college students are students of color.[7]
  • 59% of early college students are classified as eligible for free or reduced lunch (used as a conservative estimate of how many students' families are low-income).[7] Most early colleges are funded to target first generation college, low-income families, and/or academically gifted students.

Intermediary partners[edit]

Fifteen intermediary partners work directly with early college schools, school districts, and postsecondary institutions. They provide start-up and ongoing technical support, guidance, and professional development for their networks of schools.

  • Center for Native Education
  • Center of Excellence for Leadership of Learning (CELL) at University of Indianapolis
  • City University of New York
  • Communities Foundation of Texas/Texas High School Project
  • Foundation for California Community Colleges
  • Gateway to College National Network
  • Georgia Board of Regents
  • Middle College National Consortium
  • National Council of La Raza
  • NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning
  • SECME, Inc.
  • Surry Community College
  • Utah Partnership for Education
  • Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bard College at Simon's Rock | K12 Academics". www.k12academics.com. 2018-02-24. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  2. ^ "Overview & FAQ". Early College High School Initiative. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  3. ^ Webb, Michael (April 2009). "Early College High School Initiative, Student Information System". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "Diplomas Count". Education Week. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  5. ^ Webb & Mayka (2011), p.9
  6. ^ a b c Webb & Mayka (2011), p.8
  7. ^ a b Webb & Mayka (2011), p.3

External links[edit]