Dual Credit and Early College High School

El Paso Community College  Dual Credit and Early College High School
Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Dual Degree/Dual Credit/Early College High School,


El Paso Community College's (EPCC) Dual Credit and Early College High School (ECHS) program's mission is to provide higher education access and support for the community’s underserved, majority Latino student population by providing access to college level coursework to high school students. EPCC waives tuition and fees and ensures all faculty are fully credentialed to teach college courses; K-12 partners provide the textbooks, transportation, and school operations. Integrated, mandatory services designed to meet students’ needs and support program goals include bridge camps, tutoring, advising, and social supports. The Program aims to increase college enrollment, post- secondary matriculation and completion, and the number of high school faculty credentialed to teach college courses.

Program Description

In 2003, the program was created to address the majority Latino region’s high poverty rate and low educational attainment compared to Texas and the nation. Currently, only 28% of this region’s population has completed an associate degree or higher, and 25% do not have a high school diploma. EPCC and its partners leveraged resources to launch the program collaboratively and committed to address the cost barrier by providing the program free to students. Necessary student supports and practices include tutoring and intrusive advising and joint EPCC and high school faculty training. The program began by offering dual credit courses in a few high schools mostly taught online by EPCC faculty with a total of 502 students served, 78% Latino. Now, thenumber of students served has grown over 16 times to 8,146 students, 83% Latino. The program targets Latino students by focusing on feeder patterns with predominantly Latino populations, engaging families, and highlighting successful Latino program students. Alignment of students’ pathways to EPCC and UTEP is now emphasized.


Institutional context: Of high school students who did not participate in the program, only 33% enroll within one year to institutions of higher education. EPCC’s overall 4-year full-time graduation rate is 21.6%, its 6-year rate is 30%, and its transfer rate is 24%. Of students enrolling at EPCC, 70% are not considered college ready.  On average, 58% of Dual Credit students enroll at EPCC within one year of high school graduation.  Dual credit students have a one-year persistence rate of 82.7% and, on average, 63% complete an associate or baccalaureate degree within five years. When looking at overall completion and transfer rates for both ECHS and Dual Credit:  For students in the ECHS, the 5-year associate completion rate is 74%, and 86% for Latinos in the program. For the First Time In College (FTIC) 2012 cohort, Dual Credit students have a 5-year transfer rate of 47%. ECHS students have a 5-year transfer rate of 44%. Compared to students who are not part of either components of the program whose 5-year transfer rate from EPCC to a 4-year is only 22%.