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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:

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.



Lydian Academy was recently featured in San Francisco Magazine. Read the profile in full below:

For fall 2021, Lydian Academy will open its second location in Burlingame. “After seeing the growth in Menlo Park over the past 15 years, and what being a student at Lydian has meant to our community, we thought now is the time to expand up the Bay Area Peninsula,” said Frecceri.

Lydian serves middle and high school students providing them with a unique opportunity to tailor their educational path. Instead of being in a classroom that may not suit their needs, students learn one-on-one, paired with expert instructors specializing in their subject. 

Lydian offers courses of study for advanced placement students, students in need of credit remediation, neurodiverse learners with diagnosed learning differences or health challenges, gifted and 2e students, and athletes and performers in need of flexible scheduling while simultaneously pursuing a rigorous college-preparatory education. Lydian Academy is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). 

The new Burlingame campus will be led by Christiana Cassio, who possesses 10 years of experience in one-on-one education. “I have seen firsthand the impact of compassionate, student-centric education in a personalized school and how life-changing it is for students and their families,” said Cassio.

Both Lydian campuses are currently accepting students for the 2021-2022 school year and will continue with rolling admissions throughout the year. With a combined 20 years of educational experience, Freccari and Cassio are excited to partner together in this new venture to grow and honor the legacy of Lydian Academy. 


Many parents might consider an early college high school program for their child but need more information on what the program entails.

Early college high school can be perfect for kids who have cognitive challenges, gifted students, or for those with parents who travel or want their kids to have more freedom, stimulation, and responsibility than is offered in traditional schooling environments.

Early college high school students typically develop academic maturity way beyond their peer group by earning college credit while simultaneously working toward their high school graduation requirements.

What Is Early College High School (ECHS)?

Early college high school (or the Early College High School Initiative) enables students to combine high school and college classes at the same time. This means students can earn a high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time. At the very least, your child will have pre-earned valuable credits toward their degree and shortened their time spent in college after high school.

The initiative began back in 2002. In coalition with other high-profile organizations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded the first early college high schools. Today, early college high schools blend school coursework with college classes.

Students spend the majority of their time dealing with a college-level workload and academic demands. Their college courses are then added to high school transcripts, at the same weighting as high school AP courses.

What Are the Benefits of Early College High School?

confident graduate student holding diploma while standing with friends at university

Higher State Exam Scores

Students who participate in ECHS generally score higher on state exams than their traditional high school peers, particularly in English literature and mathematics.

Increased Likelihood of Graduation

The rate of graduation from high school—and further enrollment in college post secondary school—is much higher in early college high school students. As much as 92% of ECHS students graduate from high school compared with the national average of 69%.

College and Career Preparedness

Managing the academic demands and independent study expected at college level helps prepare your child for full-time college when they graduate high school. It encourages a level of maturity and critical thinking that serves students very well, both in college and once they enter the workforce.

Higher Future Earnings Capability

Although early college is slightly more expensive than the average high school fees, the benefits far outweigh the costs. One study in 2019 found that ECHS students enjoyed around $33,709 increased lifetime earnings.

Early College High School at Lydian Academy

At Lydian Academy in Burlingame and Menlo Park, CA, we provide a robust Early College High School program but with added personalization and flexibility for your child. Your child will receive the benefit of interacting with professors and community college peers to prepare them thoroughly for post secondary life. Since the majority of the courses are UC-transferable, ECHS can also reduce both Lydian and college tuition costs. If you’d like to learn more about the Early College program at Lydian, contact us today at (650) 321-0550.

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

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