Early College Academy

Start college as a third-year student!

In partnership with USD259, the Early College Academy (ECA) is designed to promote access and opportunity for more students to graduate with a college degree. Students in ECA will graduate high school with enough college credits for the equivalent of an associate degree, allowing them to begin college as a third-year student.

The Early College Academy will start classes at 7 a.m. and end at 2:10 p.m., with an option of taking an extra class at the end of the day. Students who are accepted into the program, regardless of their neighborhood high school, will become Northwest High School students and will be able to compete in extra curricular activities as Northwest Grizzlies.

Early College Academy scholarships are available. Contact Financial Aid for more information. If you have general questions regarding Early College Academy, please contact Elaine Schmeidler, Director of Dual Credit, at 316-295-5104 or elaine_schmeidler@friends.edu. For questions regarding payments and payment plans, please contact Kathie Sell at 316-295-5912 or kathie_sell@friends.edu

Start working toward your degree today.

Get a Head Start

Benefits of Early College Academy

In addition to the obvious benefit of getting such an amazing head start on your college career, the Early College Academy also offers other practical experience and opportunities while still in high school.

Helpful Workshops

Workshops for students and families on topics such as FAFSA, admissions processes,
and college success strategies

Early On-Campus Experience

Summer on-campus experience starting as early as sophomore year

College Life Benefits

A Friends University ID card for access to athletic competitions and fine arts
performances

Video courtesy Wichita Public Schools

Application Process

If you are an 8th grade student eligible to attend a USD259 high school, you are highly encouraged to apply! The application consists of the following:

Application consists of:

  • Entry essay
  • Recommendations from teachers
  • Commitment letter from parents or guardians

Applications are available on Northwest High School’s Early College Academy website. Notification letters will be mailed to families in the spring. Each cohort will include 50 students with the entire ECA program having 200 students.

Expectations

  • College preparatory curriculum
  • Maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all coursework
  • Classes held primarily at the high school in the beginning, transitioning to primarily at the university toward senior year

Opportunities to Support the Early College Academy

The Early College Academy is a partnership between Friends University and Wichita Public Schools (USD 259). The program is funded by the school district, private donations, and the university. There are several ways to support the Early College Academy program:

  • Encourage Wichita Public School students to apply to the program in 8th grade at:
    https://www.usd259.org/earlycollege
  • Employers can offer jobs and internships to join us in our efforts to retain talent in Wichita! 
  • Provide a donation below.

If you have additional questions about how to support the program, what the funding will be used for, or general questions about the Early College Academy at Friends University please contact Dr. Preston Todd, Associate Academic Dean at: todd@friends.edu.