What is an Early College?
What is an Early College High School?
Colorado Early Colleges (CEC) is a Network of Schools, authorized by Colorado Charter School Institute, with a curriculum that is designed to give students the opportunity to graduate with a postsecondary credential (an associate degree and/or career and technical education certificate(s), or 60 college credits within four years.
As CEC is an open enrollment, public charter Network of Schools, students enroll with a broad spectrum of skills ranging from below grade level to college ready as early as 9th grade. CEC welcomes students from all backgrounds and neighborhoods to include students requiring exceptional student services and English language development. CEC is semester-based and offers skill-based courses to students. Developmental coursework supports students to “catch up”, if needed, to become high school ready quickly. College prep coursework prepares students for success in college courses. Students who are college ready upon enrollment in CEC begin their college coursework immediately. It should be noted that The Postsecondary Progress and Success of High School Graduates Report states, “that nearly 60 percent of students at two-year institutions and a quarter of students at four-year institutions are placed in developmental education courses—prerequisite classes designed to shore up basic academic skills.” It is with intentionality that CEC supports all students to become college ready in English and math, the gateway subjects for all college courses. This enables students, upon high school graduation, to enter the workforce or into a four-year college program with a high school diploma and postsecondary credential or 60 college credits.
CEC does not utilize a prescribed course sequencing according to grade level. Rather, CEC uses an individualized and skill-based approach for all students. Students can begin working on their postsecondary credential path as soon as they are academically ready, which can be as early as the fall semester of a student’s 9th grade year. During a student’s four years at a CEC high school, motivated students can, and do, graduate with more than one associate degree plus certifications and in some cases a bachelor’s degree. Students can graduate after their 11th grade year if they have earned their degree or have met graduation requirements and desire to enroll in a four-year institution or enter the workforce.
What is a CEC Early College Middle School?
CEC middle schools offer an educational program for 6th-8th grade students that aligns with the goals of CEC’s early college high school model. Middle school students will build academic and workforce readiness skills to ensure that all students are ready for college and career pathway courses upon entry into high school. The goal is for every CEC middle school to seamlessly matriculate to a CEC high school to earn a postsecondary credential.