May 21, 2018 – Early College Academy, a District Six high school in collaboration with Aims Community College has been named one of the top high schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
Early College Academy (ECA) was awarded with a national recognition in the form of a bronze medal based on level of college readiness. U.S. News & World Report has a four-step process to select schools for the list. The four steps include students exceeding expectations in their states, underserved students performing better than the state average in reading and math, graduation rates must exceed 80 percent and the school’s efforts to prepare graduates for college-level work.
“This award is really a reflection of all of the hard work many people have done,” said Ray Chard, Assistant Director of High School Programs at Aims. “There were many individuals from Aims and District Six who took ECA from an idea to reality three years ago. The individuals who had the greatest impact are the faculty at ECA, these individuals have spent countless hours working with students and making ECA the wonderful place it is today,” he added.
Early College Academy was founded in 2015 behind the idea of helping students get a head start on post-secondary education. At ECA, students are able to earn both a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree through Aims Community College by taking college courses at a decelerated pace. The class of 2018 was the first graduating class at ECA and over 80 percent of students are candidates to graduate this spring with their associates degree complete. Many of the remaining students have already signed up for Aims summer classes to finish their degree.
“It’s a lot of hard work. Students must put in the time to excel in their high school and college level work, but our students want to be here and want to put in the work,” said Mindy Marshall, Aims Academic Advisor at ECA.
ECA students have a mix of District Six teachers and Aims professors. As students progress from their freshman year to senior year, they will take more college level courses with faculty from Aims in order to complete their degree.
“Aims mission is to build a stronger community, and clearly we are doing that here with ECA,” Chard added. “Students will reap the benefits of this tremendous education that they are receiving for free.”
About Early College Academy
Early College Academy (ECA) is a public high school hosting grades 9-12 in Greeley, Colorado that is home to nearly 300 students. ECA students are given the opportunity earn both a high school diploma from District Six and an Associate of Arts degree from Aims Community College while enrolled.