CELL at UIndy

Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning

What is Early College High School?

Increased Rigor, Enhanced Support

What if a school could predict the future for every student that entered its doors? What if that school could provide each student with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in life? What if this school could discover the true potential in every one of its students? What if has now become what is. Welcome to Early College High School.

The Early College High School model gives students a head start on the rest of their lives. These small schools allow students to earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree, or up to two years of credit toward a bachelor’s degree. While open to all students, the model specifically serves low-income young people, first-generation college students, English language learners, and students of color, all of whom are statistically underrepresented in higher education and for whom society often has low aspirations for academic achievement.

Early College removes many of the barriers that prevent students from advancing to college. Students receive enhanced supports to help them excel both academically and personally. Since students earn college credit while in high school, the time it takes to complete a college degree is condensed. Students and families also benefit from reduced or free tuition costs. Ultimately, Early College High School turns obstacles into opportunities for student success.

Core Principles

Pathways To & Through College

Early College High Schools remove the academic, financial, and psychological barriers that prevent too many students from succeeding in college. These schools create support systems for students to help them aspire to higher learning and achieve academic success. Every Early College adheres to eight Core Principles that serve as a framework for the planning and implementation of this school model. The principles ensure that each school maintains the highest academic standards while providing enhanced support to promote student achievement.

Eight Early College Core Principles

  1. Targeted Student Population
  2. Curriculum & Plan of Study
  3. College-Going Culture
  4. Rigorous Instruction
  5. Supports for Student Success
  6. Collaboration & Partnerships
  7. Leadership & Staffing
  8. Data Collection, Analysis, and Use
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