Early College High School? What in the world is Early College High School?
Whether you’ve heard of it or not, there is currently an option for local high schoolers to accelerate their high school experience… and earn college credits at the same time! Early college settings are created through “formal agreements between secondary and postsecondary campuses.” The application process begins in 8th grade when students begin preparing their high school paths. When choosing the early college option, it’s important to know that this is the only year students may apply…because the early college program is designed for students to begin in 9th grade when their high school careers begin.
Although this type program is not for everyone…especially if sports, music, and/or arts are options your child would like to pursue in high school…it is a tremendous academic opportunity for many.
How does it all work? There are two Early College programs for New Hanover County, one program in Brunswick County, and one in Pender County. Visit the schools’ web-sites for mission statements, requirements, and information on the application process. Please note that applicants must be residents in the county of the school for which they apply.
Wilmington Early College High School (WECHS)
WECHS is partnered with Cape Fear Community College with classes located on the CFCC north campus (Blue Clay Road). Students graduate with high school diplomas as well as Associate’s Degrees.
- Resident of New Hanover County
- Score Level 3 or 4 on 8th grade EOGs
- Complete Application (including teacher recommendations)
- Personal Interview
Visit www.nhcs.net/wechs for more information and the WECHS application. Call 362-7789 with questions. Applications are typically required by November for the following school year.
Isaac Bear Early College High School (IBECHS)
IBEC is partnered with UNCW (since 2006) and offers an academic environment with only honors level courses. Students attend classes at IBECHS on MacMillan Drive during their freshman and sophomore years and attend classes on the UNCW campus during junior and senior years. They have the potential to earn up to sixty hours of transferable college credit hours upon graduation.
- Resident of New Hanover County
- Level 3 or 4 on 8th grade EOGs in Reading, Math and Writing
- 8th Grade Teacher Recommendation
- Completed Application
- Handwritten Essay
Visit www.nhcs.k12.nc.us/isaacbear for details about the school and application process. Call 350-1387 with any questions. Applications are typically required by November for the following school year.
Brunswick County Early College High School
Students who attend BCECHS graduate in five years with a high school diploma and a two-year Associate’s degree (with transferable credits). The school is partnered with and located on the BCC campus in Bolivia.
Applications are typically accepted in the month of February for the following school year. More information will be available in the Brunswick County Middle Schools in January. If you have questions, feel free to contact the school at 754-8565 or visit www.bcswan.net.
Pender Early College High School
PECHS is partnered with Cape Fear Community College and holds classes on the CFCC Burgaw campus. Students are offered the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree in a five year program.
Applications can be found on line at http://pechspcs.sharpschool.com. Contact the school at 362-7925 with questions and application deadline information.
Families have choices concerning their children’s high school education. What are the next steps if your child is interested in attending an Early College High School?
- Contact the school in your county to learn more about its specific program.
- Talk with families of students who are currently enrolled in an Early College program to find out what they like/dislike about an Early College environment.
- Follow-through with the application process.
Best wishes for a tremendous high school experience!