Early College of Arvada
Our school is composed of about 275 students in grades 6-12, and a committed staff of 20 people who love to teach. We don't keep our students locked into classes. Our students function as one student body. If your student shines in math, during the math block he may study with students one or two grades ahead if that is where his ability takes him. If your student struggles in a subject area, he is ability matched to a class where he can best learn. Combined with the tutoring inherent in the Student Success Management system at our school, each student is challenged to be the best they can become. It has been said by our students that this is the first school they have attended where it is "cool to be smart". The atmosphere is supportive of education and success for each person enrolled here. ECA is a safe school. We have specific steps we take to make our school a secure learning environment. Enrollment is open to anyone on a space available basis, with a wait-list after that.
ECA partners with University of Colorado at Denver to provide our students the opportunity to attend college courses while still receiving the high levels of support offered at the high school level. ECA students will achieve college-level learning outcomes within the highly supportive atmosphere of a small high school.
ECA students take predominantly college core courses during their 11th and 12th grade years, earning both high school and college credit, and will graduate with up to 59 transferable college credits along with their high school diploma.
Our athletic program at ECA allows students to take Taekwondo courses during school at no cost to the families. Our teacher is a 4th Dan Black Belt, Susan Marx. These courses satisfy the Colorado physical education requirement as over the course of the class students participate in individual, dual, and group activities. Beyond simply providing students with a unique way to earn physical education credits, participation in martial arts has been shown to provide students with higher levels of self-control, self-defense, and self-discipline.
The Early College Program
The early college movement began in 2002, supported in large part by the small high school reform program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since that time, nearly 250 early college high schools have been created throughout the country.
In addition, several more schools were re-designed from the previous "middle college" model in which students attend both high school and college courses on a college campus. Middle Colleges have been in existence for the last thirty years and have consistently shown great success in providing access to college for thousands of students from a wide diversity of backgrounds.
The first early college in the Denver area was Southwest Early College under a charter from Denver Public Schools. It's design and results greatly influenced the design of Early College of Arvada. SEC founder Christopher Gerboth wrote and gained approval for the ECA charter from the Colorado Charter School Institute in 2007.
ECA seeks, in grades 6-8, to prepare students for college success. Study habits and dependable behavior are developed in these lower grades. Grades 9-10 help students develop their skills at learning so that when they become juniors and seniors, they are taking college level courses that give them high school and college credit. Up to 59 hours of college credit from CU Denver can be earned. These college credits are guaranteed to be accepted at any Colorado public university, and have been accepted at private colleges as well. The administration of ECA keeps tabs on scholastic research to keep current with effective teaching methods and the college requirements of Colorado.
The Middle College National Consortium reported the following data for its member schools in 2006-2007: Source Document
Most of the colleges in the Western University Exchange program will also accept ECA college credits.