Early College High Schools (ECHS) use a transformational strategy of bringing college into high school by simultaneously offering a high school diploma and a college-level credential and/or degree.
Early college high schools are tuition free, and expose all students to rigorous academics and career technical education coursework. They focus on low-income youth, first-generation college-goers, English Language Learners, ethnically diverse students, and other young people underrepresented in higher education.
Early college high schools establish formalized partnerships with colleges and community partners that foster shared responsibility for student success.
Programming includes meaningful work-based learning experiences that align to dynamic sectors of New Mexico’s economy and a structured Career and Technical Education (CTE) sequence that leads to credentials recognized by business and industry.
Characteristics of ECHS
Some defining characteristics of early college high schools:
- Small size – typically 100 students per grade level
- Responsible growth – typically opens with 9thgrade and takes 4 years to reach full capacity
- Close proximity to the partner postsecondary – often on their campus
- Block scheduling – allows for acceleration of the graduation requirements so upperclassman can take college courses
- Limited high school electives – most elective credits are earned through dual credit coursework
To find more information about the ECHS programs happening in New Mexico, please visit the ECHS Resource Center.