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About Early College Academy (ECA)

The Early College Academy (ECA) is an APS magnet and sister high school of the Career Enrichment Center that focuses on college preparation. Classes are offered to 200 students in a small school environment. ECA classes are scheduled in the morning so that students may take a full load of CEC, UNM, CNM, or IAIA classes in the afternoon. UNM and CNM classes may apply toward an associate or university degree. ECA’s small-school environment offers students a personalized and rigorous college-readiness learning experience. We believe in an academic focus, paralleling a college-level curriculum, and we encourage our students to start their post-secondary work while still in high school.

Is the ECA right for you?

The Early College Academy is a match if you have:

  • An interest in a challenging curriculum
  • A history of successful completion of Language Arts and Mathematics classes
  • A willingness to complete 2-3 hours of nightly study/homework
  • A preference for small class sizes
  • An interest in career exploration (internships, apprenticeships or vocational courses)
  • The drive to complete college coursework while still in high school
  • An interest in the individualization of a smaller school environment
  • A need for personalized college admissions support

ECA Recruitment Flyer (PDF)

students welding

ECA students at CNM’s college day participating in the welding program

student athletes signing day
Signing Day Assembly
students on campus
parade float

Twinkle Light Parade

students on campus
students on college campus tour

ECA Students College Tour - whirlwind tour of NM Tech and NMSU in one day!  

students at a parade

ECA Float crew at Twinkle Light Parade

students at awards assembly
Academic Awards Assembly
drama club
Julius Caesar - English 10 Honors
students at the river
River Field Trip
student council club

Student Council 2021-22

gift donations
Giving Tree
paint for peace club
Paint4Peace Club - Purple Pantry
students at mock trial

Mock Trial

Student/Parent Expectations

As a college preparatory school, Early College Academy (ECA) knows that the parents/guardians, students, and school must have shared expectations. The objective of the contracts listed below is to be clear about those expectations. View the appropriate grade-level title to see the entire contract in the accordions below.

Activities at ECA

Students cannot enroll in core academic courses at other high schools, but they are allowed to participate in after school activities at their “home” high school. Students must go through the APS Activities Clearinghouse at City Center to participate. See Activities Director at ECA or the home school for paperwork.

NM Bridging Effective Practices and Schools Together (BEST)

ECA Is NM'S BEST High School!

The Early College Academy has been selected by the New Mexico Public Education Department as one of NM's BEST high schools.

What is NM BEST?

NM BEST or Bridging Effective practices and Schools Together is an expansive, modern digital resource library that bridges scientific research and proven practices for schools and districts to ensure smarter investment in decisions and interventions that promote student achievement. This online digital clearinghouse provides easy to comprehend and usable guides to provide schools and school leaders the tools to help refine school practices or establish a turnaround effort in their schools to ensure success for all students.

Why was our school picked?

Early College Academy was part of an intricate and dedicated process to cull the best schools in New Mexico. Blue Ribbon Schools, A schools, Reward Schools, and other indicators were chosen in PED's first sweep. Schools were examined by demographics and longitudinal student achievement data. As theyconducted initial phone interviews, Early College Academy High School stood out amongst the rest. Secondary interviews were conducted to further dive into our school’s practices and preliminarily match schools with our clearing house topics. From schools interviewed and with this year’s school grades, NM BEST ismoving forward to showcaseour schooland its practices to the entire state.

How does NM BEST plan on featuring our school?

They plan on showcasing our schoolin the following topics:

  • Maximizing Instructional time—High performing schools make every minute count. This practice focuses on optimizing instructional time and minimizing non-instructional time to increase student achievement at the school and classroom levels. At ECA, this is a daily practice amongteachers.
  • Response to Intervention (RtI)—The RtI framework is a continuum of school-wide decision making and support that seeks to maximize the odds of student success and contributes to overall comprehensive school improvement efforts. This practice aims to provide schools effective use of core instruction and matching tailored interventions to individual needs. At ECA, teachers strive to guide and assist students in achieving academic success.
  • Using Differentiation to Support All Learners—Effective differentiation starts with knowing students needs. This practice focuses on the use of data, ability grouping, monitoring student progress, and devising a cohesive school plan where all areas are in sync. At ECA, teachers mold instruction to maximize student success.