skip to main content

GECHS Overview

over 3 years ago

Granville Early College High School is a partnership between Granville County Schools and Vance-Granville Community College.  The school is located adjacent to Vance-Granville Community College's South Campus in Creedmoor.


GECHS will offer students a 5-year course of study.  At the end of 5 years, students will have the opportunity to complete their high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree or up to two years of college transferable credit.  All of this is free to the students.


There are 3 Associate’s Degrees that students can choose to work on.  The Associate of Arts is for students that want to transfer to a four-year college.  The Associate in Applied Sciences Degrees in Business Administration or Office Systems Technology is for students that want to go straight into the workforce after high school.  Regardless of which degree students choose to work on, they will be getting a jump start on their future.


Another key component of GECHS will be our focus on 21st Century skills.  Every GECHS student will be provided their own laptop computer to use throughout their high school career.  Technology will be integrated into every subject to help give students the types of experiences that are necessary to be competitive and marketable in today’s global economy.


We thank you for your interest in GECHS.  As our school and program develop, more information will be shared on this website.


Frequently Asked Questions

over 3 years ago

What are early college high schools?


Early college high schools are small schools designed so that students can earn both a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree or up to two years of credit toward a Bachelor’s degree. Early college high schools have the potential to improve high school graduation rates and better prepare students for high-skill careers by engaging all students in a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum and compressing the number of years to a college degree.


Aren’t high school students too young to do college work?

Over the last decade, opportunities have expanded for high school students to earn college credit. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses and their accompanying tests give many students ways to take college-level courses from their regular teachers, usually during their senior year. Students in dual enrollment programs remain formally enrolled in high school but take college courses, taught by either high school or college faculty, in classrooms located either at their high school or on a college campus. At the same time, more and more community colleges are developing ways to accelerate high school students (as well as high school dropouts) by enrolling them in college courses. Meanwhile, a variety of postsecondary incentive programs reward students with free or reduced college tuition for finishing some college work in high school. And, at the most dramatic end of the continuum, students at middle colleges and early college high schools can complete up to two years of a college program while still enrolled in high school.

Until recently, this educational terrain of college-courses-in-high-school belonged almost exclusively to a small, privileged group of young people: those whose families could afford high-quality private high schools and those in well-funded public schools that offered Advanced Placement and similar options to their highest-achieving students. But today’s programs that allow students to earn college credit in high school are no longer limited to elite schools. Students from a wide range of backgrounds and with diverse prior accomplishments are demonstrating that the academic challenge provided by college-level courses can be an inspiration, not a barrier. The job of early college high school faculty and partners is to refine the instructional practices and wraparound support structures that move students from inspiration to true achievement. Some of the most promising strategies currently in use in early college high schools include: adopting school-wide literacy practices, focusing on inquiry-based instruction across grade levels and content areas, and creating “shadow” or “lab” courses to complement college courses.

The question for the future is the degree to which opportunities like these will increase the number of young people who gain a postsecondary credential—especially among those who remain underrepresented in higher education.


What do all early college high schools have in common?

Each early college high school develops a unique vision and a learning environment that represents community interests and student needs. However, all early college high schools share the following characteristics:

  • Students have the opportunity to earn an Associate’s degree or up to two years of transferable college credit while in high school.
  • Mastery and competence are rewarded with enrollment in college-level courses and the opportunity to earn two years of college credit for free.
  • The years to a postsecondary degree are compressed.
  • The middle grades are included in the school, or there is outreach to middle-grade students to promote academic preparation and awareness of the early college high school option.
  • Schools provide academic and social supports that help students succeed in a challenging course of study.
  • Learning takes place in small, personalized learning environments that demand rigorous, high-quality work and provide extensive support.
  • The physical transition between high school and college is eliminated—and with it the need to apply for college and for financial aid during the last year of high school.

How is early college high school connected to other high school reforms?

Early college high school is not the only effective way to improve education; rather it is one among a number of promising approaches for improving education for all young people. In particular, early college high school shares the attributes of high-performing small schools:

  • A common focus on key, research-based goals and an intellectual mission;
  • Small, personalized learning environments, with no more than 100 students per grade;
  • Respect and responsibility among students, among faculty, and between students and faculty;
  • Time for staff collaboration and for including parents and the community in an education partnership;
  • Technology as a tool for designing and delivering engaging, imaginative curricula; and
  • Rigorous academic standards for both high school work and the first two years of college-level studies.

Is early college high school designed for gifted and talented kids?

As with many innovative educational pathways to a high school degree and beyond, early college high school is appropriate for a wide variety of young people. The partners in the initiative believe that encountering the rigor, depth, and intensity of college work at an earlier age inspires average, underachieving, and well-prepared high school students. However, the small schools being created through the Early College High School Initiative focus on students for whom a smooth transition into postsecondary education is now problematic.


How do early college high schools organize to promote student success?

Early college high schools offer a much-needed alternative to traditional high school programs and emphasize academic preparation, support, and success in higher education. Based on research and practice about what helps underrepresented young people prepare for success in high school and postsecondary education, early college high schools have three key features that promote success for even the most struggling students:

  • Small size. Early college high schools enroll 100 or fewer students per grade. Students are well-known by adults.
  • Personalization and student supports. There is an emphasis on assessing students and providing supports based on the identified needs of individual students.
  • Power of place. Early colleges draw on the college environment and experience to build students’ identity as college goers.

Do early college high school students pay college tuition to get credit for college courses?

No. Early college high school courses, including college-level courses taken on the campuses of partner colleges, are free to students.




Taken from The Early College High School Innitiative website