The California Department of Education partners with the Chancellor's Office for the California Community Colleges to support the Early College High School (ECHS) Initiative of the Foundation for California Community Colleges.
Early College High Schools are small, autonomous schools that blend high school and college into a coherent educational program:
- They are designed so that all students can achieve two years of college credit at the same time they are earning a high school diploma (within four to five years of entering ninth grade).
- Students start college work based on their performance.
- By reaching out to middle schools or starting with the seventh grade and providing extensive support, Early College High Schools ensure that all students are ready for college-level courses in high school.
Early College High Schools are designed for young people who are underrepresented in postsecondary education, including: students who have not had access to the academic preparation needed to meet college readiness standards, students for whom the cost of college is prohibitive, students of color, first generation college-goers, and English language learners.
Early College High Schools serve the developmental and intellectual needs of young people. The schools remove major barriers to postsecondary access and success. Students are rewarded for hard work by the opportunity to accelerate and to earn two years of college credit without charge. The physical transition between high school and college is eliminated, and learning takes place in a personalized environment where rigorous work is demanded and supported.
The Early College High School Initiative is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
For additional information on the California ECHS Initiative, please visit the Foundation for California Community Colleges' (FCCC) Early College High School Initiative .
For additional information on this topic, visit the National Early College High School Initiative .