P.O. BOX 2120



October 21, 2005



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Early College Scholars Program


During the 2004-2005 school year, more than 28,000 students in Virginia participated in the Early College Scholars Program. As we begin another school year, I would like to remind superintendents of the Early College Scholars Program and the important educational opportunity it presents to students in the commonwealth.


The Early College Scholars Program is intended to encourage eligible high school students to complete requirements for a high school diploma and concurrently earn at least 15 hours of transferable credits toward a college degree. This program can potentially result in a more productive senior year and reduce the amount of college tuition for families. Students earning a college degree in seven semesters instead of eight can save an average of $5,000 in college expenses. Early College Scholars participants should:


  • have a B average or better;
  • be pursuing an Advanced Studies Diploma; and
  • be completing or have completed college-level course work (i.e., Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge, or dual enrollment) that will earn at least 15 transferable college credits.


The Early College Scholars Program agreement will be signed by participating students, their parent/guardian, and the high school principal and school counselor. It may be signed at any time, from ninth to twelfth grade. A copy of the agreement is attached and sets forth the expectations and responsibilities of all parties in meeting the terms of the agreement.


I encourage you to identify students in your school who meet the eligibility criteria for the Early College Scholars Program. Please note that it will be the responsibility of the principal to determine when at least 15 hours of college credit have been earned such that a participating student earns the distinction of Early College Scholar.


On Monday, November 7, 2005, two conference calls will be held for division-level school counseling directors. For directors in Regions I, II, III, and IV, the call will be held at 10 a.m. For directors in Regions V, VI, VII, and VIII, the call will be held at 11:30 a.m. The call will include information about: Early College Scholars, the graduation requirement changes effective with the class of 2007, online tutorials for reading and Algebra I, and Project Graduation. At your divisions appointed start time, you are asked to dial (804) 497-3932 if you are in the Richmond area. If you are outside the Richmond area, you should dial (800) 337-3137. After dialing the appropriate number you should enter the pass code below.


10 a.m.-11 a.m. Regions I-IV 1993

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Regions V-VIII 7869


If you are planning to participate in a conference call, attachment B contains a response form to be returned by fax to Dr. Willie Stroble, school counseling specialist, at (804) 786-5466 on or before October 31, 2005. The form contains a place to list questions you would like addressed during the conference call. If you need additional information, please contact Dr. Willie Stroble (, at (804) 225-3666; or Tabitha Foreman, specialist, high school initiatives, at (804) 786-1993.