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

Laws and Rules

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


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