Early College High School

Early College High Schools (ECHS) blend high school and college coursework to enable students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and up to two years of transferrable college credit (60 hours), tuition free. ECHSs were originally located on a college or university campus, but, as the portfolio has grown and evolved, variations of how an ECHS school is designed and presented have emerged.

Educate Texas originated as the Texas High School Project in 2004 to introduce the Early College High School model to Texas. It has led the development and implementation of innovative practices with ECHS programs which have dramatically increased college-readiness across the state.


As an extension of the Early College High School (ECHS) model, the Industry Cluster Innovative Academies (ICIA) initiative leverages partnerships among ECHS campuses, regional industries and institutions of higher learning to help students at risk of dropping out to earn credentials, degrees and certificates in high-demand workforce pathways specific to their regions.

The Investing in Innovation grant funded the Early College Expansion Partnership, a five year initiative which began in 2012 with two goals: 1) to scale up designs of early college programs through systemwide secondary school improvement and college readiness strategies for all students, and 2) to position early college designs to continue and expand after the funding period ended.