Early College High School

Early College High Schools (ECHS) are innovative high schools that allow students least likely to attend college an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and 60 college credit hours. Early College High Schools:

  • provide dual credit at no cost to students
  • offer rigorous instruction and accelerated courses
  • provide academic and social support services to help students succeed
  • increase college readiness, and
  • reduce barriers to college access.

ECHS Designation

Under the authority of Texas Education Code (TEC) §29.908(b) and Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §102.1091, the TEA developed a designation process for Early College High Schools. The designation process ensures that districts and colleges operating ECHS campuses maintain the integrity of the model, which was researched and designed to target and serve students who might not otherwise attend college.

The highest concentration of Early College High Schools in Texas are located in the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas is home to 164 designated Early College High Schools including 16 newly designated campuses for the 2016-2017 school year.

2016-2017 Designated Early College High Schools

TEA has designated 198 Early College High Schools, including 41 newly designated campuses, for the 2017-2018 school year.

2017-2018 Designated Early College High Schools


Laws and Rules

The following laws and rules related to early college high school programs are available below:

Resources

The following resources provide information related to early college high school programs:


ECHS Blueprint Redesign

TEA engaged Jobs For the Future (JFF), national ECHS experts, to assist in the process and develop recommendations to the ECHS Blueprint and Designation process.

JFF presented five recommendations to the ECHS Blueprint and Designation process. TEA reviewed the recommendations and made changes where necessary. Commissioner Morath approved the recommendations to be effective for the 2018-2019 school year.

Download a copy of the 2018-2019 ECHS Blueprint. To determine the targets for the Outcomes-Based Measures (OBMs), current ECHS data was analyzed. The standard setting document details the process and data analyzed for setting the targets in the OBMs.

Implementation Timeline

Transition year: 2017-2018

  • Designated ECHSs operate under the existing Blueprint
  • Prepare for Implementation of the OBMs
    • PEIMS Indicator-Submission 1, 3, and 4
    • Continued collaboration with dual credit partner
  • Designation application for 2018-2019 released:
    • Planning Year applicants-Fall 2017
    • Existing ECHS designation renewal application-early 2018

Implementation year: 2018-2019

  • Redesigned Blueprint design elements required to be met
  • OBMs phase in beginning with the 9th grade students
  • Planning year participant

View infographics explaining the ECHS Designation process


Download a .pdf version of the presentation “ECHS Blueprint Redesign: The Future of ECHS” from the ECHS Best Practices Summit, August 2-3, 2017.

Blueprint Redesign Activities

TEA held a ECHS Blueprint redesign webinar on 3/9/17. This webinar discussed the rationale and vision for change, process for redesign, timeline for implementation and opportunities to provide input. To view the recorded version of the webinar; a name and email address must be provided. A downloadable PDF version of the presentation used during the webinar is available.

Download a copy of the South Texas Early College High School Conference presentation from April 24, 2017.

First Draft Recommendations

On April 17, 2017, TEA released the first draft recommendations. gathered stakeholder input as part of the ECHS Blueprint redesign process through public comment. The public comment period was open April 17, 2017- April 28, 2017.

TEA is seeking stakeholder input as part of the ECHS Blueprint redesign process. On April 17, 2017, TEA released the first draft recommendations.

View the overview webinar for a 12-minute walk-thru of the first draft recommendations. Download a PDF version of the first draft recommendations.

Second Draft Recommendations

On May 25, 2017, TEA released the second draft recommendations. Download a PDF version of the recommendations. The public comment period was open May 26, 2017- June 2, 2017.