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:


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

ECHS Blueprint Redesign

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.

First Draft Recommendations

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

To provide feedback on the draft recommendations, please complete the public comment form.

The public comment period is open April 17, 2017- April 28, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.