Mapping Early College Programs Across the U.S.

Early Colleges    

Early Colleges are partnerships between school districts, charter management organizations, or high schools, and two- or four-year colleges or universities. A type of dual enrollment program, Early Colleges often offer students the opportunity to earn an associate's degree or up to two years of college credits toward a bachelor’s degree in high school—at no or low cost to students. Early Colleges also provide supports to students to help them succeed in their college courses and plan for college after high school.  

Learn more about AIR's Early College work.

AIR is currently conducting a second Early College efficacy follow-up study—designed to build off AIR’s original and first follow-up Early College efficacy studies—to assess the longer-term impact of Early Colleges on college degree completion, workforce, financial, and life outcomes up to 14 years after students’ expected high school graduation.

The participants in this second efficacy follow-up study entered Grade 9 between 2005–06 and 2007–08. Since that time, there has been great expansion and adaptation of Early Colleges nationwide. To situate the findings within the current landscape of Early Colleges, AIR released a national database and map that features over 1,000 Early College and Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) Programs across the country.

The map below and the database provide the location and key information about the population of Early Colleges nationally. Although AIR researchers searched websites and contacted representatives in each state to identify all existing Early Colleges, it is possible that some Early Colleges have been overlooked. In some cases, key information about certain Early Colleges was not publicly available. To increase the accuracy and relevance of this database and map, AIR researchers created a survey for schools and programs to request their inclusion or an update to information in the national database. AIR will continue to add Early Colleges to the database and map as more information is collected through the survey. Please email Sara Mitchell if you have any questions about the database or the map.


Users can use the designation filter to view schools/programs based on their Early College, Middle College, or P-TECH designation status. Hovering over a colored dot on the map will reveal the designation and school model, program/school name, and zip code of the selected Early College/Middle College/P-TECH. If you need to reset the view of the map at any point, you can select the left facing arrow on the interface at the bottom of the map.

Schools are color-coded based on their designation and school model.

  • Early College, Whole School: Early College program that serves all students within a school.
  • Early College, Within School: Early College program that is housed within a traditional high school and does not serve all students within the school.
  • Early College, College-Based: Early College program that is based out of a college campus and does not have a physical high school location. Students participating in college-based programs may come from multiple high schools.
  • Middle College, Whole School: Middle College program that serves all students in a school.
  • Middle College, Within School: Middle College program that is housed within a traditional high school and does not serve all students within the school.
  • P-TECH, Whole School: P-TECH program that serves all students in a school.
  • P-TECH, Within School: P-TECH program that is housed within a traditional high school and does not serve all students within the school.