Incoming Hutto High School students will soon have another opportunity to get an early start in higher education, now that the campus has been designated an Early College High School.

What you need to know

Hutto ISD received a designation of Provisional Early College High School May 7, per a release from the district. The designation will allow Hutto High School to offer both a high school diploma and an associate's degree, or up to 60 hours of college credit, in partnership with Temple College.

This provisional designation allows the district to operate an Early College High School for one year, after which the designation will have to be renewed. HISD will operate its ECHS in its first five years as the district works to obtain full approval from the Texas Education Agency.

About the program

According to the district, the first cohort of 25 students will begin their coursework through the program this fall. Students participating in the program will be able to take college credit courses at Temple College while completing their high school diploma, ultimately graduating with the diploma and either an associate's degree or up to 60 college credits.

The first 25 students in the program were selected through a lottery process, and an additional 10 students will be drawn as alternates in the case that any of the original 25 cannot continue with the program.

Degrees earned through the program will come at no cost to students or their families, according to the district.

What they're saying

Tamica Allen, assistant principal and ECHS liaison at Hutto High School, said the designation is just a next step for the district's only comprehensive high school.

“With the creation of the Early College High School—a school within Hutto High School—our young Hippos will be introduced to the rigor of college coursework early on, bolstering the likelihood of these students enrolling and succeeding in college," Allen said in the release.