What is an Early College?
In short, Early Colleges are designed to offer students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and either an associate degree, certification, or up to 60 college credits. Early Colleges have grown in number and participation across the state of Michigan since the late 1990s, and there are currently more than 100 Early Colleges in Michigan.
Is Dual Enrollment the Same as Enrollment in an Early College?
All students in grades 9 and above are able to participate in dual enrollment courses. While these courses are at the college level, they are not aligned to a specific course of study. Often these courses are self-guided, and can be more sporadic in topic and purpose than what an Early College would require.
While dual enrollment does provide students with exposure to the college experience and expectations while still in high school, the number of courses a student can take is capped at 10.
By comparison, Early Colleges guide student through a specific and deliberately designed course of study, and these courses will transfer to both public and private Michigan universities. In addition, the student can continue in the Early College through a complete associate degree or certification, or 60 total credits.