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The Early College Academy (ECA) is a partnership between the KC Public Schools and MCC-Penn Valley. Qualified and highly motivated high school juniors and seniors attend college classes full time on the Penn Valley campus, earning both their high school diploma and Associate's degree. 

While in the ECA, students get the complete college experience, taking all their classes with other college students, participating in college activities and clubs, and even working on campus.
I invite you to browse our website for more information email Paula Schaaf, the Coordinator of Early College Programs, at or call (816) 604-4059. 

Program Selection Requirements

Students must have:

  • A GPA of 3.5 or higher is recommended
  •  College ready scores in math, reading, and writing on the MCC placement test (Currently the COMPASS but will be changing fall of 2016
  • OR a 21 or higher on the ACT
  • Recommendations from high school faculty, and/or counselor (3 recommendations required) 
  • An essay (at least 500 words) written by the student using a specific prompt (There are five prompt choice)
  • An MCC Application filled out online as well as an Early College Academy application packet 
  • A signed agreement to abide by the expectations and responsibilities of the KCPS Early College Academy

Students will be responsible for:

  • Their transportation to and from Penn Valley.
  • Their food while on campus - breakfast and lunch are not provided
  • Following the academic calendar of the college.
  • Following the behavioral expectations of both the KCPS and Penn Valley.

Paula Coyote Schaaf
KCPS Coordinator of Early College Programs

  •   Applications are NO longer being accepted for the 2016-2017 school year. The Application process is CLOSED.

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In the News

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Sophomore Year

Recruitment begins in the fall semester of the student's sophomore year. Letters are sent home to all district sophomores and information sessions are set up for students during the day at each high school and for parents and families in the evening. High school counselors and teachers will also recommend students who meet the selection criteria. During their sophomore year, students will apply to MCC using the on-line application and will go to Penn Valley and take the  placement  test. They must test into college level classes and will be allowed to take the test two times at no charge. They will also fill out the ECA application, gather three letters of recommendation from teachers, coaches, and people who know them as a student and write a 500-word essay from one of the possible prompts. Submission deadline for applications and test results is April 30. Students can either turn their completed applications into their high school counselor or the program coordinator. Once accepted new students will participate in a New Student Orientation and Enrollment session at Penn Valley, where they will learn more about the ECA program and Penn Valley and will enroll in their fall classes with the help of the ECA Senior Leadership Team. A special Open House will be offered to parents in the early fall.

Junior and Senior Year

Students will be enrolled in 14 to 16 credit hours their fall semester. Students will be working towards an Associate of Art - General Transfer degree, which will allow them to complete all their general education classes (English, math, history, science) as well as take classes in their desired major or explore the major they might be interested in. Classes will be based on the student’s future post-secondary plans, placing them in classes that meet the requirements for their interests as well as their high school graduation. Students who participate in the ECA will have an on-site Program Coordinator (PC) who will assist them with making the transition from high school into college. The PC will assist students in ACT test prep, resume writing, interviewing skills, and applying for scholarships and colleges after graduation. The PC will also help students adjust to college life by assisting them in becoming familiar with college success resources (tutoring, research, etc.), helping them to approach instructors, use and manage time wisely and how to  study, and showing them how to involve themselves in college life (clubs, honor society, student life and leadership, etc.).

Program Outcomes

The ultimate goal of the ECA is for KCPS students to graduate with a high school diploma as well as an Associate’s Degree - General Transfer from MCC-Penn Valley. Students will maintain a C or better GPA in all classes and will receive on-going assistance from a program coordinator to help them make the transition from high school expectations to college expectations, allowing the students to be ready to move into and remain in a four-year university setting successfully.

ECA Upcoming Events

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