Early College High Schools
Smart Scholars - Early College High Schools
Through SUNY and the New York Department of Education's Smart Scholars Early College High School (ECHS) Program, institutions of higher education (IHEs) partner with public school districts or public charter schools to create early college high schools that provide students with the opportunity and preparation to accelerate the completion of their high school studies while earning a minimum of twenty but up to sixty transferable college credits at the same time. This program is targeted to students who are traditionally underrepresented in post-secondary education. Students receive additional academic support from the school/college partnerships to ensure they are at grade level and ready to participate in rigorous high school and collegiate courses. This “dual or concurrent enrollment” program serves to increase high school graduation and college completion rates, while reducing student tuition costs as a result of the compressed time needed to complete a college degree.
Use the map links to learn more about each Region's Smart Scholars.
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Find contacts and more details of Smart Scholars Early College High School Partnerships below.
The first cohort of eleven (11) ECHS school/college partnerships started offering classes to Smart Scholars in Summer 2010, following a generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in late 2009. Following its great success, the New York State Education Department released a Request for Proposal (RFP) in 2010 to create a second cohort of ECHS partnerships with State funding. Twelve (12) more Smart Scholars ECHS partnerships were created and four (4) partnerships from the first cohort received additional funding to expand their projects.
Leaders, teachers, and administrators in Smart Scholars ensure students succeed in higher education by:
As of Fall 2012, 5,100 students have participated in the Smart Scholars Program. Collected data from the Fall of 2010 to the Summer of 2012 reveals that 3,105 students earned 8,723 transferrable credits. The participating 9th to 12th graders have been offered 177 college courses.
90% of participating students passed all offered credits, 85% have earned transferrable credit, and 98% are on track to graduate. Of the 23 schools, 18 are in partnerships with SUNY, 3 are with CUNY and 9 with private colleges (some schools have multiple college partners).
SUNY's Office of the Education Pipeline serves as an intermediary of the Smart Scholars program, providing the 23 participating schools, school districts, and college/university partners with technical assistance through a contract with EDWorks. Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher has said that, "Smart Scholars Early College High Schools are making college a reality for students who otherwise would be at risk of dropping out. By giving high school students an opportunity to earn college credit, we give them a better chance for success in higher education. SUNY is a proud partner in this initiative with Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Steiner, and all of the school officials whose commitment to strengthening the education pipeline in New York is evident in their continued development of Early College High Schools throughout the state."