Welcome to the 2013 Celebration of Early College High School Week! The Smart Scholars Early College High School (ECHS) Program brings together a powerful public/private partnership between SUNY, EDWorks, and the New York Department of Education. Here we offer some insight into the history of the SUNY Smart Scholars – Early College HIgh School partnership.
SUNY’s Early College High School partnership with EDWorks and the State Education Department began when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded a $6 million grant to launch New York’s Smart Scholars Initiative in late 2009. The mission was to make earning college credits accessible to traditionally underrepresented high school students and motivate students to not only graduate high school, but also pursue a higher education.
Nationally, The Early College High School Initiative has had enormous success. Serving a population encompassing 77% students of color, 57% students from low-income households and 45% first generation college goers, the average early college graduate earns 36 credits or 30% of a Bachelors degree and 60% of an Associate’s degree.
New York State’s 23 Smart Scholars programs have made it possible for over 5,100 students to earn over 8,723 transferable college credits in just two years. In honor of ECHS Week and the accomplishments Smart Scholars state-wide, we would like to highlight our longest running Early College High Schools, including the nation’s oldest, Bard High School Early College.