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Early College Academy

In 2012, Virginia House Bill 1184 passed mandating that "each institution within the Virginia Community College System shall develop agreements for postsecondary degree attainment with the public high schools in the school divisions that they serve. The Early College Academy provides students with this opportunity through Reynolds Community College.

What are the benefits of completing an ECA program?

High school students participating in college credit courses often have social, emotional, career, and academic advantages over their peers who do not participate in such programs. Reynolds Community College offers the ECA program to allow students to increase the academic rigor of their high school experience. The desire for rigor should be the ultimate goal of participating in an Early College Academy. Students participating in the ECA attend college classes in the morning on the Reynolds Downtown Campus and the return to their zoned high school for afternoon classes and after-school activities (such as athletics, clubs, etc.). Students are expected to make the full two-year commitment to the program as a member of a cohort for their junior and senior years of high school. The cohort model allows the student to develop strong peer relationships the student can utilize as a support system throughout the program. Students also receive career coaching services from Reynolds beginning with their acceptance into the program in 10th grade.

Successful ECA Students…

  • Choose to take challenging courses and programs in their middle school and early high school years.
  • Regularly study at night and on the weekends and are prepared to start Reynolds coursework in mid-August, two-and-a-half weeks before the beginning of their junior year of high school.
  • Demonstrate the maturity to take responsibility for their own education and have a proven track record of motivating themselves to keep up with school work, especially when coursework and projects provide them an extra challenge.
  • Are involved back at their zoned high school in the afternoon through clubs, service opportunities, athletics, music and art programs, or other similar activities.

Applying to the Early College Academy

All RPS sophomores with a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA by the end of the Fall Semester may apply to participate in the Early College Academy.  Interested students and families may reach out to their school counselor for more information.  Applications will be due by 11:59 p.m. on February 22, 2022. Admissions decisions will be shared with applicants on March 8, 2022. Click HERE to access the Class of 2024 ECA application.

Admissions Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of the fall semester of the sophomore year

  • Completion and submission of the ECA application by 11:59 p.m., February 22, 2022

  • Recommendation/endorsement from one (1) school counselor and one (1) teacher

Admissions Process

  • A team of educators will review all applications to ensure that all requirements are met.

  • All students who meet the requirements for admissions will be randomly selected to participate in the program.

A representative group from each high school in RPS will be offered admission to the Early College AcademyClass of 2024

Admissions Timeline:

  • January 14, 2022:  Admissions Timeline Posted Online - Admissions Application Posted Online
  • January 24 - February 16, 2022: Information Sessions will be conducted at schools during the school day.  School counselors will choose dates and times for their school and share information with students.
  • February 1, 2022:    Evening Student and Parent/Guardian Information - Session 6-7 p.m. (online)    MEETING LINK
  • February 9, 2022:    Evening Student and Parent/Guardian Information- Session  6-7 p.m. (online) -            MEETING LINK
  • February 16, 2022:    Evening Student and Parent/Guardian Information- Session  6-7 p.m. (online)             MEETING LINK
  • February 22, 2022:  Completed Application Submission Date By 11:59 p.m.
  • March 8, 2022:        ECA Status Decisions Distributed to Schools/Applicants

Applications will be due by 11:59 p.m. on February 22, 2022.

In keeping with the VA Plan for Dual Enrollment and JSRCC Admission Standards, all students, regardless of course request, must meet score requirements for admissions. Students will receive an initial acceptance to the ECA contingent upon successful completion of any placement tests required by the Virginia Community College System. Additionally, students must complete all onboarding meetings and tasks assigned by the Early College Academy coaches during the Spring of their sophomore year to maintain their placement.

Contact Information

Candace Veney-Chaplin
Manager of College and Career Pathways

Department of Curriculum & Instruction
301 North Ninth Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 592-9603
Fax: (804) 648-6075