Early College High Schools (ECHS) blend high schools and colleges to create an academically rigorous and supportive environment where students can attain a high school diploma and two years of college credit within five years. The school model typically targets students who are traditionally underrepresented in college, including students from low-income backgrounds, first generation college students, and racial-ethnic minorities.
North Carolina’s ECHS Initiative was launched in 2004, funded by the General Assembly, and designed and supported by North Carolina New Schools. Our state leads the nation in the number of ECHS (70 in 2014) and evaluations of the Initiative show that their students have higher rates of participation and success in core college preparatory courses, higher attendance, and lower suspension rates than their peers in traditional schools. North Carolina’s Early College Students are also more likely to enroll in both two and four-year colleges.