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Educational Benefits of Early College Programs in High School

Beautiful student studying at home

Some innovative public and private high schools are offering qualified students the opportunity to participate in Early College High School (ECHS). While these programs are not the right choice for every student, when it is a good fit for your child, ECHS can offer many benefits and a jump start on the transition to college.

What Is Early College in High School?

Through participating high schools, young people who are ready to take on the challenge of college level coursework can earn up to two years of college credits, or even an associate’s degree, in the time it takes to complete high school. This approach is more than college prep by allowing students to attend college classes and earn actual credits toward their future degree.

These programs were specifically designed to help young adults who may not be able to afford college, or who are first generation college attendees in their families. ECHS allows any qualified student to take this path regardless of financial factors and broadly expands access to higher education for all young people who can take advantage of this fast track to a college degree.

For students who are wondering how to finish college early and parents who are trying to budget for the costs of college, ECHS can be a viable option to maximize academic achievement and save up to two years of time on their future career path.

What Are the Benefits of Early College Programs in High School?

Young student studying at home

The educational advantages of ECHS have been proven in the early years of the program. The program helps young people succeed by providing:

  • Increased rates of graduation. Studies have shown that students who participate in ECHS are significantly more likely to graduate from high school. Additionally, 88% of ECHS graduates enroll in college for the fall term after graduation.1
  • Advanced preparation for college. By attending college level courses and entering the college environment, students have the opportunity to learn to navigate these waters with the support and assistance of their high school. Many find the transition to college much less stressful after high school graduation.
  • Mental focus on being college bound. ECHS turns attending college from a dream into a reality and helps a young person feel capable, confident, and focused on following through with the remainder of their degree. Their high school teachers and counselors provide help with any problems and help foster the sense of accomplishment that these students have earned.
  • Financial savings. Graduating high school with up to two years of college credits means that a student can finish in about half the time. They can also enroll in more advanced classes as soon as they transition to college full time, leapfrogging past the normal freshman courses and the scheduling headaches that come with competing for seats in a college classroom.
  • Time management and study skills. College professors have higher expectations of students and often report that first year college students are not well prepared. ECHS lets students ease into the coursework and leverage support from their high school as they build the skills needed to succeed in college. They will have a better understanding of how much homework and study time is needed to do well and the level of quality expected of their projects and papers.
  • Relationships and networking opportunities. An ECHS student will meet other gifted students and college level friends and mentors. Programs within the college will help students make friends and be recognized by educational leaders and influential people as the promising student they are. These experiences can lead to excellent letters of recommendation and even support in getting into the most prestigious colleges and universities.

Does Your High School Offer Early College Programs?

Young female student with book

Many students change to Lydian Academy, even in the middle of the traditional school year through rolling admissions, because they want to take advantage of the gifted, 2e, and Early College High School opportunities we offer. No matter which educational path we help students and parents customize to individual strengths, all of our students graduate high school with the essential skills needed to reach their post-secondary goals.

Our one-on-one approach to learning allows students to blend college courses smoothly into their high school curriculum, and attend either online or in person. Flexibility and a customized approach to high school frees students and parents to find the methods and environments where they can truly thrive and excel.

You can contact us to schedule a virtual open house or tour one of our campuses in Burlingame or Menlo Park, CA. Partnering with us opens the doors to the most innovative and comprehensive approach to your child’s education. To find out more about ECHS and all our programs, reach out to us today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.air.org/project/evaluating-impact-early-college-high-schools

We offer a unique year-round one-on-one learning experience, personalized to you and your schedule.

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