Welcome to the ECA!

The Early College Alliance (ECA) is an excellent public secondary option for high school students in Michigan's Washtenaw County, or any county contiguous to Washtenaw County.

The Early College Alliance at Eastern Michigan University (ECA@EMU) is part of the Washtenaw Educational Options Consortium (WEOC). Students who reside in Washtenaw County, or any county contiguous to Washtenaw, are eligible to participate in this unique educational program designed by a collaboration of community members, the nine Washtenaw County public school districts, Van Buren Public Schools, and the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. 

Información en Español


There’s power in location. 

High school students who may have thought a college education was out of their reach are sitting in college classrooms at a mid-sized university and realizing success. The Early College Alliance is a public, early/middle college program located on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. There are over 150 early/middle college programs in the state, and the ECA is one of 20 that are housed on a college campus. Opening the door for high school students to take classes at EMU through the ECA gives them the tangible experience of campus life and the motivation to excel. 

ECA allows students to:

  • Graduate from high school with a diploma and up to 65 college credits
  • Attend classes on a university campus with staff support and services
  • Learn in a college environment that fosters equity, maturity, and academic growth
  • Gain vital skills for college completion
  • Reduce college expenses with free college credits attained while in high school
  • Stay connected to their home district through sports and other extracurricular activities
  • Complete high school in up to 5 years (Four Plus One Program)

Testimonials from ECA alumni attest to the benefits of the program. 

Enrollment Information

Attention Parents & Students: The ECA & ECA 9th Grade Academy enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year is now open!

Families are encouraged to apply and students will be accepted into the program based on open enrollment slots per district. 

Please email for information!


Program Information Sessions

​Are you/your student interested in attending the Early College Alliance?

Learn how the ECA can help you/your student get a head start on college and career while earning up to 60 college credits at Eastern Michigan University — a $30,000 value!  Please join us for more information.

Student Shadowing Information

The ECA is hosting Shadow Day experiences for prospective students and families.

This will be a chance for students to shadow a student in ECA high school classes for either a morning or afternoon.

We will provide special programming for parents/guardians while their students are in class, including a Q & A session with the Principal and current students, parents, & guardians.

Shadow Day is for students entering 9th, 10th or 11th grade for the 2023-2024 school year. Students are only allowed to attend ONE Shadow Day per school year.

Please sign up for Shadow Day by clicking: HERE

“ECA is a great place for self-starters to get a jump on college. Being able to take classes for both high school/college credit will help you focus on your major later on and net you a big “Thank You!” from your wallet when you graduate.” – Anthony 

“The ECA prepared me well and provided stepping stones to college. ECA appealed to me because it was two years of free college credits and it was something different. It challenged me and I had to push myself harder than when I was at my local high school.” – Breanna

“The ECA helped me excel in life at an early age. The quality education, personal attention, and financial assistance are just a few reasons why I would, without a doubt, choose the ECA all over again.” - Danny

“I am so grateful for the incredible opportunity to attend ECA at the age of 15. Through this program, I received a tremendous head start on my college courses as well as halved my overall cost to go to college. I was able to begin pursuing my doctorate without any undergraduate debt after graduating with a double-major-- something I would not have been empowered to do without the support and structure of ECA!” - Elisa

“The teachers at ECA were more than willing to help me and pushed me to succeed. They were rooting for me the whole time and I couldn’t get away with what I got away with in high school. ECA made me grow up… they made me take ownership and responsibility for my actions.  I had to actively listen and prepare for college. I think that’s why college was so easy and why I was disciplined to get into a nursing program.” – Jordan

“To gain an early start on college was the appeal of enrolling in the ECA. It wasn’t easy but was worth it.  In my home district, there were not many options for advanced classes, and I saw ECA as a way to expand my learning opportunities and to take education more seriously. I was able to take so many courses and figure out what I wanted to do because I had no clue. I just completed my master’s degree, and if I didn’t go through the ECA, I wouldn’t have been prepared for my master’s program at all.” - Trenton

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David Dugger receives Lifetime Achievement Award.

David Dugger founded the Early College Alliance at Eastern Michigan University in 2007 and is now the Executive Director of the Washtenaw Educational Consortium Options. He has been recognized for his work in early middle colleges with the Dr. Chery Wagonlander Early Middle College Lifetime Achievement Award. . Dugger is most proud of making policy and systemic changes that have led to positive student outcomes.

WEOC Executive Director honored with Michigan Department of Education Lifetime Achievement Award

Early College Folio

Early college as an educational reform has had a unique trajectory over the past two decades. School reform in the United States (with a few exceptions) has been a top-down movement, and the majority of attention has centered on grades three through eight, the grade levels the No Child Left Behind Act focused on. 

  • 28 Mar
    • Early Release Day
      Date: Mar 28
      Calendar: ECA

      1st Period           8:50-10:05

      2nd Period         10:15-11:30

      Lunch                  11:30-12:00

      3rd Period          12:09-1:25

      4th Period          1:35-2:50

    • ECA Shadow Day
      Date: Mar 28
      Calendar: ECA
      Sign up for Shadow Day HERE! Please email Mrs. Jackson with questions (jackson@earlycollegealliance.info). 
  • 30 Mar
    • Early Release Day
      Date: Mar 30
      Calendar: ECA

      1st Period           8:50-10:05

      2nd Period         10:15-11:30

      Lunch                  11:30-12:00

      3rd Period          12:09-1:25

      4th Period          1:35-2:50

    • ECA Virtual Information Session for Fall, 2023 Enrollment
      Date: Mar 30
      Time: 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
      Calendar: ECA
      Please join our Information Session via Zoom!

      When:  When: Mar 30, 2023 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

      Register in advance for this meeting: https://emich.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAsdOGgpjwuGdRmTTrzsPSygu4biu5l7oa8
      After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
  • 4 Apr
    • Early Release Day
      Date: Apr 4
      Calendar: ECA

      1st Period           8:50-10:05

      2nd Period         10:15-11:30

      Lunch                  11:30-12:00

      3rd Period          12:09-1:25

      4th Period          1:35-2:50

  • 6 Apr
    • Early Release Day
      Date: Apr 6
      Calendar: ECA

      1st Period           8:50-10:05

      2nd Period         10:15-11:30

      Lunch                  11:30-12:00

      3rd Period          12:09-1:25

      4th Period          1:35-2:50

    • ECA's Got Talent 3:15 PM to 4:30 PM
      ECA's Got Talent
      Date: Apr 6
      Time: 3:15 PM to 4:30 PM
      Calendar: ECA
  • 7 Apr

Documented Success 

One of the first programs of its kind in Michigan, the ECA@EMU has made a phenomenal impact on college graduation outcomes and is now considered one of the best preparatory programs for college completion in the state. Data shows:

  • The ECA is one of Michigan’s top high school programs, and is one of the top high schools in the country, in producing college graduates, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender*  
  • Between 2010-2015, 72% of the ECA graduates completed degrees from a 4-year university compared to only 42% of Washtenaw County, 22% for Wayne County, and 26% for the state of Michigan 

* All students who graduate from the ECA earn college degrees at rates above 70%. Source: www.mischooldata.org and National Student Clearinghouse, 2021.

ECA Declarations

Values: Social justice, strong and supportive relationships, diversity, growth mindset,  and individualized pathways

Vision: To bridge the gap between high school and college, enhancing life outcomes while fostering a democratic society.

Mission: To empower high school students from diverse backgrounds to earn up to 60 university credits towards a bachelor's degree.