The Texas Early College High School (TXECHS) website provides information and resources to support the Early College High School (ECHS) model in Texas public school districts. An initiative of the Texas Education Agency (TEA), ECHSs are innovative high schools that allow students least likely to attend college an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and up to 60 college credit hours. ECHS students are provided dual credit at no cost to students, offered rigorous instruction and accelerated courses; provided academic and social support services to help them succeed with increased college readiness.
The ECHS model was introduced in 2006, and the number of ECHS programs in Texas increases yearly. The reason is simple: while creating and running an ECHS requires a serious commitment, the model works; it has helped thousands of Texas public school students graduate with brighter futures.
Each ECHS is a partnership between a school district and an institution of higher education (IHE). To achieve the TEA approval required to run an officially recognized ECHS, an organization must apply for initial ECHS Designation; thereafter each ECHS must re-apply for designation annually.
ECHS campuses are required to serve students who are at risk of dropping out of school, provide an associate’s degree or up to 60 hours toward a baccalaureate degree, waive tuition, fees, or required textbooks, comply with all assurances in the application, and adhere to the ECHS Blueprint. Beyond those requirements, leadership teams at designated campuses have the ability to structure the ISD-IHE partnership, establish the physical campus, recruit students, partner with the community, etc. in a way that best meets the needs of their unique communities and students.
TEA is committed to furthering the ECHS model in Texas by providing support to campuses through technical assistance and leadership coaching services to ensure fidelity of implementation according to the ECHS Blueprint. Services include site visits, meeting/PD opportunities, and numerous multi-media supporting resources such as webinars, video conferencing, and online resources.
Want to learn more? A great way to start is to locate an ECHS near you and arrange a visit. Or explore the demonstration sites, recognized by TEA as exemplars of the ECHS model. The Resources page has links to more great ECHS information, essential downloads, and helpful videos. Feel free to contact us with questions, or to request being added to the listserv.
News and Updates
Save the Date: Early College High School Best Practices Summit—August 4–5, 2016.
You are invited to participate in the Early College High School (ECHS) Best Practices Summit. The purpose of the Summit is to present successful models and strategies . . . Read more.
TEA Announces 13 Early College High School Demonstration Site Grants
The Texas Education Agency, working with Education Service Center Region 13 in Austin, today announced that Early College High School (ECHS) Demonstration Site grants have been awarded . . . Read more.
TEA Announces Early College High School Designations
Commissioner of Education Mike Morath today announced approval of 16 new Early College High School (ECHS) designations for the 2016-2017 school year . . . Read more.