Establishing an Early College High School  

Education trends resurface from time to time with new concepts and new approaches that have grown from lessons learned out of educational reform. Since 2002, educators and scholars have continued to encourage community colleges and high schools to embrace aligned curriculum and integrated programs that would advance and encourage college readiness. Thus the birth of the early college initiative, which is an example of the evolution from a traditional high school setting to a nontraditional experience,  that offers qualifying students the opportunity to graduate in four years with a distinguished high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree. Moreover, early college high schools have become exemplar examples of how the community college and high school partnerships advance student success through early maturation into a college environment that yields high attendance rates, high academic performance, and high retention and completion rates, all of which make a difference in the lives of the students who would not otherwise be able to change their futures and their destinies because of obstacles like being 1st generation, low socio-economic need, and at-risk. This session addresses how to begin the critical conversations between the community college and the independent school district as they join forces to design, create, develop, and implement an early college.


Charlotte Twardowski, Ed.D., Director of Educational Services and Partnerships, has worked in the field of education for over 25 years for Lone Star College-North Harris and with large comprehensive ISDs. Experience consists of multifaceted knowledge and skill with challenging and innovative programs that foster success for high school and college students. Texas Certification in Secondary Education, English, and history. Higher education degrees: from Lone Star College-North Harris – Associate of Arts and from Sam Houston State University – Bachelor of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education in Curriculum Supervision with emphasis on Leadership and English, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Community Colleges.