Early College Academy

The Early College Academy (ECA) is a partnership between the Kansas City Public Schools and MCC – Penn Valley and has been designed for highly motivated high school students who are ready to leave the high school environment and participate in the rigor of being full-time college students. Through the ECA qualified high school students will earn high school credits while also earning college credits as they attend classes, full-time, on a college campus. 


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Freshman and Sophomore Year
Students will be recruited in the fall semester of their freshman year. The ECA Coordinator and counselors at each high school will determine which students meet the selection criteria and recommend students for selection. Students enroll in the ECA program and will be scheduled into the necessary prerequisite classes for their freshman and sophomore years. The students will attend regular high school classes with the opportunity to take dual credit classes in their high school.

Junior and Senior Year
Students who have successfully completed their freshman and sophomore years, maintained a 3.5 or better GPA, successfully passed the COMPASS (MCC entrance exam) and have competed an application to Penn Valley and the ECA will be eligible to attend the ECA full-time at Penn Valley.

Students will be enrolled in required college classes their fall semester (ENG 101, AM HIST 120, CSIS 115, and PSY 140 for a total of 12 credit hours). Students will be allowed to develop their own Associate’s Plan for the remainder of their time in the program. 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.), how to approach instructors, use and manage time wisely and study, and how to involve themselves in college life (clubs, honor society, student life and leadership, etc.). 

For more information about this program contact:

Paula Coyote Schaaf
Coordinator of Early College Programs – KCPS
816-604-4059
pschaaf@kcpublicschools.org