The SFA Early College High School (SFA ECHS) is a collaboration between Woden ISD, Nacogdoches ISD, and Stephen F. Austin State University. Early College High School is a promising high school reform model targeting students for whom the transition into post-secondary education is currently problematic. Students participating in ECHSs engage in a rigorous and supportive academic program of study that blends high school and college work with the goal that students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree or up to 60 college credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree.
The ECHS curriculum includes core courses that are approved as dual credit courses taught by university professors on the SFA campus. Students participating in SFA ECHS begin in grade 9 taking one course each fall and spring semesters. In grade 10, students also take one course each fall and spring semesters. If students are making adequate academic progress, they are able to enroll in multiple courses each semester during their grade 11 and grade 12 years. Academic advisors at the high school confer with university personnel in selecting appropriate courses for ECHS students. Continuation in the program is based on academic success.
To be eligible for the SFA ECHS, students meet specific criteria including academic performance and demographic characteristics. The program seeks to provide opportunities for students who demonstrate academic promise, who are recommended by public school personnel, who are first generation college students, who are eligible for the federal reduced and free breakfast and lunch program, and/or who come from a demographic that is underrepresented in higher education. We expect to grow each admitting cohort to approximately 100 students.The SFA Early College High School Council provides oversight and meets quarterly. The council is comprised of representatives from SFA academic affairs (faculty, administrators, and staff), from Woden ISD (administrators, counselors, andfaculty), and Nacogdoches ISD (administrators, counselors, and faculty).