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Early Colleges/Middle Colleges: Where Courses Provided

This database indicates where early and middle college programs may be offered.

Why does it matter?
  • Programs on postsecondary campuses are good exposure, especially for students who would be the first in their family to attend college.


  • Highlights
  • Two states — North Carolina and Tennessee — allow early college high school programs to be based at a school within a school, a technical high school, or on a postsecondary campus.
  • One state — California — specifies that only community college campuses may host middle college programs.
  • One state — North Carolina — offers early college high school courses online.
  • State policy in four states — Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas — does not specify locations at which early and middle college programs may be established.

    What's not included in this database:
  • While partnerships between districts and postsecondary institutions make early and middle college high schools available in many states, the state policies governing these partnerships are often either intended for dual enrollment, charter or alternative programs. Such policies are not usually a good fit with the unique characteristics of early and middle colleges. State policies included here are specifically designed to provide a comprehensive structure for early and middle college high schools.
  • State policies that address early college or middle college in piecemeal fashion but do not address the overall structure or functioning of programs.
  • State programs that allow high school students to earn substantial amounts of postsecondary credit but do not appear to fully align with the early or middle college model (i.e., West Virginia EDGE).

    As of August 2008, seven states have explicit state-level policies governing the creation of local early and/or middle college high school partnerships. States whose local early/middle college programs are governed by dual enrollment or charter school policies are not included in this database.

    Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Last updated: August 20, 2008

    This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.
  • Where courses provided
    California On community college campus
    Colorado Not set in state policy
    Michigan Not set in state policy. In practice, most courses are provided on postsecondary campuses.
    North Carolina Programs may be provided in "a school within a school, a technical high school, or a high school or technical center located on the campus of a college or university." If the program includes a partnership with a private business or organization or the county board of commissioners in the county in which the program is located, the program may be operated there, as well.

    If a University of North Carolina (UNC) system institution is the postsecondary partner, the early college must be located on the university campus.

    In addition, the Learn and Earn Online program makes the program available to students in participating high schools. Learn and Earn Online high schools are in addition to those that have bricks-and-mortar Learn and Earn programs.
    Pennsylvania Not set in state policy
    Tennessee Programs may be provided in "a school within a school, a technical high school, or a high school or technical center located on the campus of a postsecondary institution." If the program includes a partnership with a private business or organization or the county legislative body in which the program is located, the program may be operated there, as well.
    Texas Not set in state policy


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