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Early and Middle College High School FAQs

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Early College High Schools and Middle College High Schools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1. What restrictions apply to admission of K-12 students to summer session at a community college?

Answer: Under California Education Code (Ed Code) section 48800(a), to enroll in a class at a community college, a student must be recommended by the principal of his or her school and approved by the governing board of the school district. Approval from the governing board of the community college district is also required (Ed Code Section § 76001(a).). The governing board of a community college district may restrict enrollment based on age, completion of specified grade level, and/or demonstrated eligibility for instruction. (Ed Code Section § 76002(b).) Also, Ed Code Section 48800(d)(2) caps the number of students who can enroll in community college courses during the summer term by limiting the principal to recommending no more than five percent of the students from each grade level.
Note, that where certain conditions apply, a summer school student will not be included in the five percent limitation. (Ed Code Section 48800(d)(3), (4).)

Question 2. Is there a standard rule for how many high school units a student may earn by completing a 3 semester unit community college course?

Answer: Ed Code Section 76001(c) states that credit for courses completed by a special part-time or full-time student at the community college shall be at the level determined to be appropriate by school district and the community college district governing boards.

Question 3. What is the difference between dual and concurrent enrollment?

Answer: Although the term “concurrent enrollment” is not found in the California Education Code, these terms have no difference and are used interchangeably in California.  They signify enrollment in a college course while also being enrolled in elementary or secondary school.  (Ed Code Section 76004.)

Question 4. What is the earliest grade and age for a student to begin dual or concurrent enrollment in a community college, college or university?

Answer: Ed Code Section 48800 authorizes the governing board of a school district to determine which pupils would benefit from advanced scholastic or vocational work. The governing board may authorize those pupils, upon recommendation of the principal of the pupil’s school, and with parental consent, to attend a community college during any session or term as special part-time or full-time students. Ed Code Section 48800 does not designate a minimum age or grade level but Ed Code Section 76002 provides that a community college district may limit the admission or enrollment of special students based on age or grade level.

Ed Code Section 11300 states that the goal of the middle college high school (MCHS) is to select at-risk high school students who are performing below their academic potential and place them in an alternative high school located on a community college campus in order to reduce the likelihood that they will drop out of school before graduation. Neither Ed Code Section 48800 nor Section 11300 reference the California State University or the University of California.

Ed Code Section 11302 states that early college high schools (ECHS) are innovative partnerships between charter or non-charter public secondary schools and a local community college, the California State University or the University of California that allow pupils to earn a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit. In early college high schools, pupils begin taking college courses as soon as they demonstrate readiness and the college credit earned may be applied toward completing an associate or bachelor’s degree. Ed Code Section 11302 does not specify an age.

Question 5. Under Ed Code Section 76004, is a community college instructor, teaching a course at the partnering high school campus, required to be a certificated employee of the school district or charter school claiming attendance?

Answer: Yes. Ed Code Section 76004 made no changes to the requirements for school districts. Therefore, a community college instructor teaching a course at the partnering high school for high school credit must be a certificated employee of the district for attendance in that class to generate average daily attendance (ADA) for the purpose of apportionment.

Question 6. If a college instructor is teaching a college course on a high school campus as part of a College and Career Access Pathway agreement and the college is claiming FTES, does the instructor need to be a certificated employee of the school district?

Answer: No. If the school district is not claiming attendance for the purpose of school district apportionment, for students participating in the college class, and if the school district is not including the time spent in the college class as instructional time, then the college instructor does not need to be a certificated employees of the school district in order to teach that class.

Question 7. Where can I find different models and designs of the ECHS and MCHS models?

Answer: For information regarding early college high schools, visit the Early College Designs-Jobs for the Future Web Site @ http://www.jff.org/initiatives/early-college-designs/schools#California (Outside Source). For models of MCHS, visit the Middle College National Consortium Website at http://mcnc.us (Outside Source).

Question 8. What is the maximum course enrollment per term for students enrolled in ECHS and MCHS programs?

Answer: Ed Code Section 76001(d) limits the number of college units that a high school student can earn through dual enrollment to 11 course units per term. However, Ed Code Section 76004(p) increases the course-unit cap to 15 units, for participants in College and Career Access Pathways Partnerships (CCAP).

Question 9. Is a concurrently enrolled student required to be scheduled for a minimum instructional day in order to generate attendance for the purpose of apportionment funding?

Answer: Yes. Education Code Sections 46146 and 46146.5 specify minimum day requirements for concurrently enrolled students.

  1. Enrollment in School District and CSU, UC or California Community College
    The minimum day requirements for students concurrently enrolled in a school district and on a part time basis in a California State University, University of California, or California community college setting are as follows:
  • Grades 11 and 12 Enrollment in CSU or UC where not Enrolled in an Early/Middle College High School
    For students in grades 11 and 12 that are not enrolled in an Early/Middle College High School but are enrolled part time in classes of a California State University or a University of California, the minimum day per Ed Code Section 46146(a) is 180 minutes. Per Ed Code Section 46146(c) students that are scheduled for 180 minutes generate ¾ of an ADA.

  • Grades 9-12 Enrollment in Community College where not Enrolled in an Early/Middle College High School
    For students in grades 9-12 that are not enrolled in an Early/Middle College High School but are enrolled as special part time students at a community college, under Ed Code Sections 48800 et seq, the minimum day per Ed Code Section 46146(b) is 180 minutes. Per Ed Code Section 46146(c) students that are scheduled for 180 minutes generate a maximum ¾ of an ADA.

  • Enrollment in Grades 11 and 12 Early/Middle College Non-Charter High School and Enrolled in CSU or UC
    For students in grades 11 and 12 that are enrolled in an Early/Middle College Non-Charter High School and are enrolled part time in courses of a California State University or a University of California, the minimum day is 180 minutes. (Ed Code Section 46146.5 (a).) Students, that are scheduled for at least 180 minutes of instructional time that meets statutory instructional time requirements, generate a maximum of one full ADA.

  • Enrollment in an Early/Middle College Non-Charter High School and Community College
    For students that are enrolled in an Early/Middle College Non-Charter High School and are enrolled as special part time students at a community college, under Ed Code Sections 48800 et seq, the minimum day, per Ed Code Section 46146.5(b), is 180 minutes. Early/Middle College Non-Charter High School students that are concurrently enrolled in community college and scheduled for at least 180 minutes of instruction that meets the statutory instructional time requirements generate a maximum of one full ADA.

  • Enrollment in Early/Middle College Non-Charter High School where not Enrolled in CSU, UC or Community College
    For students enrolled in an Early/Middle College Non-Charter High School, that are not enrolled part time in courses of a California State University or University of California or as special part time students at a community college, the required minimum day is 240 minutes.
  1. Enrollment in Early/Middle College Charter School and Enrolled in CSU, UC or California Community College
    The minimum day requirements for students concurrently enrolled in an Early/Middle College charter school and on a part time basis in a California State University, University of California, or California community college setting are as follows:
  • Enrollment in Grades 11 and 12 Early/Middle College Charter School and Enrolled in CSU or UC
    In order to claim classroom based attendance for 11th and 12th grade students that are enrolled in an Early/Middle College charter school and are enrolled part time in courses of a California State University or a University of California, at least 80 percent of the instructional time offered by the charter school must be offered at the schoolsite and the charter school must require students to attend at least 50 percent of the minimum instructional time offered at the schoolsite in order to generate average daily attendance for the purpose of funding.(Ed Code, § 46146.5(d).)

  • Enrolled in Early/Middle College Charter School and Enrolled in Community College
    In order to claim classroom based attendance for students that are enrolled in an Early/Middle College charter school and are enrolled as special part time students at a community college, and will receive academic credit upon completion, at least 80 percent of the instructional time offered by the charter school must be offered at the schoolsite and the charter school must require students to attend at least 50 percent of the minimum instructional time offered at the schoolsite in order to generate average daily attendance for the purpose of funding. (Ed Code, § 46146.5 (e).)

  • Enrollment in Early/Middle College Charter School and not Enrolled in CSU, UC or Community College
    In order to claim classroom based attendance for students that are enrolled in an Early/Middle College charter school and not enrolled in courses of a California State University, a University of California, or as special part time students at a community college under Ed Code Sections 48800, et seq, at least 80 percent of the instructional time offered by the charter school must be offered at the schoolsite and the charter school must require students to attend at least 67 percent of the minimum instructional time offered at the schoolsite in order to generate average daily attendance for the purpose of funding. (Ed Code §, 46146.5(f).)

Question 10. Our District wants to open an ECHS but currently there is no partnership with a community college or any higher educational institution; can we still open an early college with no partnership?

Answer: Based on Ed Code Section 11302, ECHS are innovative partnerships between charter or non-charter public secondary schools and a local community college, the CSU, or the UC that allow pupils to earn a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit in four years or less. Thus, by definition, a higher educational institution is one half of an early college high school.

Question 11. If a college course is offered on a high school campus during the normal school day, namely during a class period, and the college course is not being counted toward instructional minutes; would that comply with the Ed Code?

Answer: Regardless of the number of courses offered, pupils must be scheduled for at least a minimum day in courses that meet K-12 instructional time requirements. California law places some funding restrictions on community colleges offering classes to high school students. With regard to how these restrictions apply to community colleges offering courses on early middle college campuses, please contact the Fiscal Standard and Accountability Unit at the California Community College Chancellor’s Office at phone number 916-445-1165.

Question 12. What is the difference between a MCHS and an ECHS?

Answer:  A MCHS is a collaborative effort between local school districts and community colleges. The goal of the middle college high school is to select at-risk students who are performing below their academic potential and place them in an alternative high school located on a community college campus in order to reduce the likelihood that they will drop out of school before graduation.(Ed Code, § 11300).

ECHS are innovative partnerships between charter or non-charter public secondary schools and a local community college, the California State University, or the University of California that allow pupils to earn a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit in four years or less.(Ed Code, § 11302.)

Question 13. Is there a situation where a community college course can be offered during a high school day where both the high school counts the course toward annual and daily minutes and the community college receives apportionment?

Answer: No. Ed Code Section 76004 (r) seems to expressly prohibit this.
For information on community college requirements to generate funding please contact the Fiscal Standard and Accountability Unit at the California Community College Chancellor’s Office at phone number 916-445-1165.

Question 14. Can an ECHS or a MCHS use the average of two instructional days to meet the 180 minutes of daily instruction?

Answer: No. There is no statutory provision for averaging instructional time for the 180-minute early college high school or middle college high school minimum day requirement. The statute permitting two day averaging establishes two day averaging to meet a 240-minute minimum day with 180-minutes being the absolute minimum number of minutes that can be offered in a given day. (Ed Code, §§46142, 46146.5.)

Question 15. Do passing period minutes count toward the 180-minutes total?

Answer: It depends. A reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 10 minutes, to walk from one K-12 class to another K-12 class can be included in instructional time. Time to walk from one K-12 class to a community college class or from a community college class to a K-12 class cannot be included in instructional time.

Question 16. My high school student is enrolled in a dual enrollment program. Is the college required to pay for the college text books and supplies?

Answer: If the student is enrolled under a CCAP Partnership agreement, then all textbooks and supplies must be provided. (Ed Code Section 76004(f).) If the student is enrolled in a dual enrollment program that is not a CCAP Partnership agreement, the student may be required to provide for his or her own college textbooks and supplies.

Question 17. Are students who are enrolled in dual enrollment programs required to pay for their own college fees?

Answer: If the student is enrolled under a CCAP Partnership Agreement, the college may not assess student fees. (Ed Code Section 76004(f).)

Questions:   Carolyn Hamilton | chamilton@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5765
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, January 18, 2017