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Early College Academy


Early College Class of 2018 Cohort
Class of 2018 Early College graduates, First Cohort


Penn High School’s Early College Academy started in the 2014-2015 school year and is designed to offer students a unique opportunity to begin working toward college requirements while simultaneously fulfilling courses for graduation at Penn High School. Penn High School is partnered with Ivy Tech Community College to offer a selection of courses, including dual credit courses, that can potentially earn a student college credits up to an Associate Degree by the time the student graduates. The yearly sequence of courses for the Early College Academy student is specific and required. Students may select elective courses when available.


For many Early College students, they will be the first members of their family to attend college. Getting a lot of their college credits—and tuition costs—and the opportunity to earn an Associates Degree in high school is a huge benefit to them. Click here to watch a video of what this opportunity meant to one Class of 2019 ECA graduate.


In April 2019, the Early College Academy received an endorsement as an Early College High School by The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning.


As an endorsed Early College High School by the CELL, Penn’s Early College Academy is regarded as an exemplar for other high schools across Indiana implementing an Early College program.


Early College High School logo  Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning logo


The Class of 2018, the first cohort, included 82 students: 

  • 37 earned Associate of General Studies degrees
  • 31 earned Technical Certificates (earning between 32-62 credits, the equivalent of one year of college or more)
  • 14 earned at least 15 college credits


At the time of Commencement (June 7, 2019) The ECA Class of 2019 is expected to include 100 total students:

  • 50 earning AGS degrees thru Ivy Tech 
  • an additional 34 earning STGECs
  • 14 earning at least 15 college credits or more
  • 2 will have earned less than 15 college credits


The Early College Academy serves students by providing individualized support and guidance in order to prepare them for post-secondary educational opportunities. Students are identified as potential candidates for this program in middle school, based on specific criteria. Participation in this academy is based largely on invitation only. Students may only select courses in the academy if they are members of the academy at the beginning of their freshman year.