EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOLS

Early college high schools are small, autonomous schools that serve specific populations and are usually located on a college campus. Students have the opportunity to graduate with their high school diploma as well as an associate's degree, transferable college credit, or a career credential.

EARLY COLLEGE VERSUS TRADITIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

The main differences between early colleges and traditional high schools are:

  • Early colleges are a result of strong partnerships between a local school district and their higher education partner that seamlessly blend both high school and postsecondary experiences.
  • Most early colleges serve a large majority of students who are first in their family to go college.
  • An early college is structured around high levels of student supports and high expectations. The school is centered around student success using aligned instructional strategies that empower students to take ownership of their own learning.
  • Students will experience the “power of place” by attending a school that is located on a college campus. Students are immersed in college expectations and experiences that build their identity as college-goers.
  • Students in early colleges can start taking college classes in ninth and 10th grade, whereas traditional high school students are typically only eligible to take them starting in 11th grade.

WHY EARLY COLLEGE?

Early college is ideal for students who would best reach their potential in a supportive, personalized learning environment. Early college provides the supports for student success that they may not find in their base school or in their home. Many early colleges provide internships and volunteer opportunities for students that further contextualize and reinforce the link between classroom and college.

ARE ALL EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOLS HOUSED ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS?

Most early colleges are housed on a community college or four-year university campus to allow students to take high school and college classes simultaneously. This experience allows students to feel confident that they will be successful in college.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ATTEND AN EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL?

An early college is a public high school; there is no cost for students to attend an early college. College tuition and textbooks are not charged to the students or their families.

ARE THERE EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AT EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOLS?

Extracurricular activities are provided at the local district's discretion and are often generated by student interest. Students also may have access to extracurricular opportunities provided by their higher education partner.

HOW DO I APPLY TO ATTEND AN EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL IN MY DISTRICT?

Eighth-grade students are eligible to apply to their district’s early college. The application process is determined by each district and their higher education partner.

WHERE ARE EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOLS LOCATED IN MISSISSIPPI?

There are currently four early college high schools located in Mississippi:

  • Mayhew, MS at East Mississippi Community College
  • Vicksburg, MS at Hinds Community College
  • Clarksdale, MS at Coahoma Community College
  • Natchez, MS at Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Alcorn State University

HOW DO I BRING AN EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL TO MY DISTRICT?

Contact Myra Pannell for more information at 662.325.2510 or Myra.Pannell@rcu.msstate.edu .