Early College High Schools

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Early colleges, high schools located on college campuses, eliminate redundancies in course work and before students know, they not only get a high school diploma, but an Associates Degree also -- all by the time they're 18.


What are early college high schools?
Early College High Schools are small high schools from which students leave with a high school diploma and a two-year Associate of Arts degree or sufficient college credits to enter a four-year, liberal arts program as a junior.


Why do some people choose early college high schools?
Early college high schools have the potential to improve high school graduation rates and better prepare students for careers by changing the structure of the high school years so the number of years to receive a college degree is also compressed. It also helps remove the financial barriers to college.


What are the benefits of an Early College High School?
Early College High Schools provide a new kind of learning institution for underserved youth, according to some education experts. Some of the benefits are:

  • They may provide the rigor of college-level work in high school;
  • They may inspire underachieving, and well-prepared high school students to work hard, rewarding them with access to college-level courses;
  • It may help families and students save money and time by integrating high school and college-level work; and Provide young people with guidance and coaching from adults through the first two years of college.


  • To learn more about early high schools:

    • The Carnegie Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has more information about early high school initiatives.

    • Click here for a list of some early college programs.

    • Learn more about education in America through fun facts, national statistics and unusual schools in a CBSNews.com interactive.

    • Melissa McNamara

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