STUDENT VOICES - Targeting populations of students that are potential first-generation college attendees from low socio-economic backgrounds Early College High Schools Program, South Texas College In 2006, South Texas College (STC) partnered with Progreso ISD (a small rural district with a high school student population of approx. 300 students) to develop an Early College High School (ECHS) Program. Early College High Schools specifically target populations of students that are potential first-generation college attendees from low socio-economic backgrounds. They provide a nurturing atmosphere for students that require extra support systems and accelerated programs to help them succeed. South Texas College and its Early College High School partnerships are making great strides in closing the educational gap in partnership with school districts that share in the same philosophy of educational excellence and advancement. Collectively, these partnerships are breaking barriers and creating a paradigm shift, ensuring that every student is successful academically and in life. There were approximately 6,000 students in the pipeline successfully enrolled in college coursework. Of students enrolled in STC’s 30 Early College High Schools, 98% are Hispanic, and 100% of them qualify for free or reduced lunch (ref. 2015).