Early College Academy is looking for prospective students for the 2021-2022 school year

Visit www.cb-schools.org/earlycollegeacademy for more information on Early College Academy

Visit www.cb-schools.org/earlycollegeacademy for more information on Early College Academy

Jordan Kreft

It’s that time of year again, Early College Academy is looking for 25 new students for the 2021-2022 school year.

Early College Academy is a program hosted by Iowa Western Community College. The program allows 25 total sophomores from both TJ and AL to attend Iowa Western tuition-free for their junior and senior year. If the students keep up their grades, they are able to graduate high school with an associate’s degree along with their high school diploma.

The school district is holding informational meetings at both high schools in November. These meetings allow prospective students and their parents to ask questions, learn more about ECA, and talk to former ECA students. Students can attend either meeting regardless of their high school.

The meeting at TJ will be held on November 9th from 6-7 PM. The meeting at AL will be held on November 10th from 6-7 PM. There is also a virtual meeting being held on November 11th from 6-7 PM. The link for that meeting will be posted closer to the meeting.

In an interview with The Daily Nonpareil, Spencer Mathews, ECA coordinator commented, “We do accept students from other school districts. ECA is available to all students in southwest Iowa.”

Students are selected for ECA based on multiple criteria: GPA, attendance, an essay written in the application, teacher references, credits in advance-placement classes (AP), and an interview.

The application process can be quite lengthy so Mathews recommends students begin gathering materials in November and December. Applications are accepted from January 1st through the 31st. Applications can be picked up in TJ and AL’s office/counseling center after the informational meetings.

“In February, we will have face-to-face interviews,” Mathews explains when asked about the selection process. “In March, we select the 25 finalists. We really look at ECA selection from a holistic point of view. Not only are we looking for smart students, we’re looking for hard-working and dedicated students. We’re looking for students who want to get out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves — students who want something more than the traditional high school experience.”

For more information about ECA visit www.cb-schools.org/earlycollegeacademy. We wish everyone good luck with the application process and we hope to see you all the informational meetings in November!