The Early College HS initiative is an open-enrollment program that blends college and high school coursework, enabling students to earn up to two years of college credit (60 hours), tuition-free, while enrolled in high school.
Applicants must be current LISD 8th-grade students in good standing to be advanced to the 9th grade.
The ECHS program conducts a weighted lottery open to all 8th-grade applicants, with extra weight placed on students who align with targeted populations according to the ECHS Blueprint as outlined by the Texas Education Agency.
LISD ECHS is now accepting applications for its third cohort, which will then be selected through a blind lottery process later in the spring for incoming 2024–25 9th-graders. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 8, 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Early College High School?
Early College High Schools (ECHS) are open-enrollment high schools that allow students an opportunity to receive both a high school diploma and either an associate degree or at least 60 college credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree. ECHS campuses enroll historically underrepresented students, targeting first generation, at-risk and economically disadvantaged, provide dual credit at no cost to students, offer rigorous instruction and accelerated courses, provide academic and social support services to help students succeed, provide students with highly personalized attention, increase college readiness, and partner with Texas institutions of higher education (IHEs) to reduce barriers to college access.
Can I sub-campus to my zoned campus for specialized programs (Ag, Auto, Culinary, JROTC, etc) as an ECHS student?
No. Students cannot sub-campus either to or from ECHS.
What’s the difference between an ECHS and Advanced Placement (AP) and dual credit on a traditional high school campus?
All options provide students the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school. ECHS students will earn a high school diploma and an Associates of Arts in General Studies from Austin Community College.
- High School Diploma: ECHS students follow the same requirements as all LISD students with the standard ECHS four-year plan aligning with the highest graduation plan. This plan, the Leander ISD Distinguished with Honors, allows students to qualify for Automatic (Top 10%) Admission to Texas state colleges and universities.
- ACC Associates of Arts in General Studies: Students must earn at least 60 college credits in the following categories: Communication, Mathematics, Life and Physical Science, Language, Philosophy & Culture, Creative Arts, American History, Government/Political Sciences, Component Area Option, and electives.
Is transportation provided?
Yes, ECHS students are eligible for transportation services though the model used may differ than on traditional campus.
Where is ECHS located? Where do I take my classes as an ECHS student?
ECHS is located at the Austin Community College San Gabriel campus located at 449 San Gabriel Campus Drive in Leander, adjacent to the Cap Metro light rail station. Most classes are held on the third floor of the campus building.
Can I participate in UIL activities (Athletics, Band, Fine/Performing Arts, etc) as an ECHS student?
No. All UIL activities remain available at traditional/comprehensive high schools but not at schools of choice.
Can I participate in off-campus PE as an ECHS student?
Usually no, particularly in Grades 10–12 due to the time required to be successful in taking rigorous college courses.
Can I visit the campus?
During the Spring semester, group campus tours are available on Wednesday afternoons from 4:30–5:30 p.m. Please, fill out the Google Form to sign up for a tour. You can also contact the ECHS office to reserve a spot.