ECA Graduates of 2023

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!


Enrollment applications for the 2024-2025 school year will be available soon - please check back.

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“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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Blurring educational lines can help more people get skills they need

The nation continues to grapple with a labor shortage that has left nearly 10 million job openings unfilled. In Michigan, industries like health care, education and construction are all struggling to find skilled workers.

ECA teacher receives national award

Josh Kenney, a chemistry teacher at the Early College Alliance at Eastern Michigan University (ECA) in Ypsilanti, has been honored by the American Chemical Society (ACS). He received the 2023 Central Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching for his outstanding work in the classroom.

Early colleges, like Eastern Michigan's ECA, boost college graduation rates

WEMU(89.1) talks with Dave Dugger about  Early College. 

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: 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.