Early college schools are based on the belief that all students deserve a high-quality education that adequately prepares them for college-level work.
The Early College Initiative (ECI) at The City University of New York (CUNY) supports seventeen public schools in New York City that blend a rigorous college-prep curriculum with the opportunity to earn up to two years of college credit while in high school – at no cost to students and their families. These innovative schools make a college education more accessible, affordable and attractive to New York City students by offering programs that blur the lines between middle school, high school and college.
ECI builds upon a long record of successful partnerships between New York City public schools and the colleges within the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Each new early college school is launched by a collaborative team of educators that often includes middle school, high school and college instructors, who together imagine and build schools that support, encourage and challenge students who all too often have trouble navigating the complicated educational landscape in New York City.
ECI provides guidance, project management, and financial resources in creating and maintaining early college schools in New York City. ECI staff provide technical assistance to early college schools in curriculum development, staff recruitment, professional development planning, community outreach, and the evolution and maintenance of strong relationships with partner college faculty and administrators. In addition, ECI staff participate in and contribute to regional and national professional conferences and organizations related to the national ECI. Further, the Early College Initiative is involved with managing the local and state level policy-related work for early college schools.
In recent years, ECI has been creating schools which are partnered with a CUNY college and an industry stakeholder, enable high school students to earn a high school diploma, an Associate’s degree in a growing field, and gain relevant industry work experience all at the same time.