Academic pathways

Design Principle 2/6

Preliminary criteria

  1. The program design has clearly articulated, thoughtfully designed, and fully integrated pathway(s) for students, including:
    1. Pathway(s) are designed to prepare students in earlier grades for later college level courses;
    2. Early career development and postsecondary education exploration, grounded in employability skills and labor market information;
    3. Program design reflecting an integration of courses, career awareness exploration and/or work based learning experiences, informed by and offered in partnership with area employers;
    4. Courses are linked with the broader college going experience, such that where feasible, at least some academic courses are taught on the campus of the postsecondary partner institution;
    5. Program is designed such that during high school, students will have gained a clear understanding of the postsecondary pathways and courses of study available to them, and how those courses of study will help facilitate their career aspirations; and
    6. Program is designed such that upon completion, students will have 60 transferable college credits, and students will also fully understand the range of postsecondary institutions available to them, how to matriculate at those institutions, and how to pursue the financial aid necessary to pay for those opportunities.
  2. The program outlines a basic plan for the scope and sequences of high school courses to enable participating students to prepare for and later access college-level coursework in a cohort of their peers.
  3. The program includes a description of when and where college coursework will be completed and how it is articulated with a high school’s graduation requirements.



Models and Examples


Final Designation Criteria

The applicant shall continue to meet all criteria requisite for Preliminary Designation. In addition, the applicant must provide:

  1. Scope and sequence evidencing a course of study allowing for all students who complete the program as designed to graduate with 60 college credits.
    1. We strongly suggest that, at a minimum, students complete English Composition I or the equivalent and a college-level mathematics course prior to completion of the early college program. Students should be identified as more interested in a STEM or non-STEM pathway for the purposes of completing a math course that will be appropriate for their field of study.
    2. Program design should also reflect a pathway that allows a student to complete both a two year and four year degree, should they wish. As such, it is strongly recommended that program design reflect course sequencing aligned with admissions requirements for New Mexico public four year institutions. If, for some reason, program design does not so align, applicants must articulate the rationale.
  2. Evidence of curricular alignment between high school and college courses.
  3. Proposed schedules for students enrolled in the Early College High School program. Note that should the proposed program require a Student Learning Time waiver, the application for that waiver should be included in the application for final designation.
  4. Sample redacted individualized learning plan (ILP), including connections between areas of interest and exposure to career opportunities.
  5. Proposed high school course catalogs or additions to existing catalogs, including program outlines and course descriptions and syllabi.
  6. Written policy for placement of students into college courses that includes strategies for assuring student preparedness. Early college partners are strongly encouraged to explore alternatives to determine student placement.

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