• How is The Early College Academy [ECA] at Alexis I. du Pont High School [AIHS] different from a traditional high school?

    The ECA is a program that offers enrolled students an opportunity to simultaneously earn high school and college credits through Wilmington University. During the students’ freshman through junior years, Wilmington courses will be offered at AIHS and led by AIHS faculty. In addition, ECA students are offered the same academic opportunities as any AIHS student, including Advanced Placement and elective courses.  

    How are the ECA courses different from Dual Enrollment and Advanced Placement courses?

    The ECA courses are dual enrollment courses. Students must pass the courses with a 65% or higher to receive Wilmington University credit or a 74% or higher to receive transfer credits to universities that accept these courses. Visit this link for further Wilmington University grading policies.

    AP courses require a passing score on the AP exam and is subject to a university’s transfer credit policy.

    (Note: Students who score at least a 60%, although they may not receive Wilmington University credit, will still receive AIHS credit per our district policy.)

    How did you select the courses for ECA?

    Courses are based on high transferability and reflect state and district requirements when possible. We also considered the range of courses a student would take during his or her freshman year of college. We take into account Wilmington University’s suggestions based on previous dual enrollment success. Over the four years, we try to select courses that also fulfill and replace high school requirements.

    Can Wilmington University courses be transferred to other colleges and/or universities?

    Generally speaking, yes. An important component of the ECA course selection process reflects high transferability of its offered courses. However, parents/students will be responsible for researching guidelines for transferring Wilmington University credits to the other colleges and/or universities.

    Is my student guaranteed to earn 33 college credits?

    No. The number of college credits earned by students is dependent on the student’s ability to effectively manage taking high school and college courses simultaneously. Most students in ECA from grades 9-12 will take 28 credits. The additional 3 credits that Wilmington University offers in the summer is for students who choose to attend Wilmington University after graduation.

    What types of transcripts upon graduation from the ECA at AIHS?

    Students will generate a traditional high school transcript at AIHS—with Wilmington University courses reflecting the AP/Dual Enrollment additional weigh in the students’ grade point averages. Students will also generate a college transcript through Wilmington University. This college transcript will render students highly competitive for college acceptance.

    What are additional benefits of the ECA at AIHS?

    Notwithstanding the competitive cost of the program compared to cost per credit at colleges/universities (including Wilmington University on-campus costs), the ECA provides a rigorous college course load in a supportive environment. Students will enter their chosen colleges and universities with a highly competitive college transcript, successful college experience, and the mindset of a college student.

    What is the cost of the program?

    Courses will require a $100 per course fee. Books will be provided for ECA students. 

    Do I HAVE to fill out a Choice application?

    Prior to completing the Early College Academy application, you MUST complete the following steps:

    A.I. du Pont High School Feeder Students
    Step 1: Visit http://www.schoolchoicede.org/ and select AIHS Early College Academy (ECA) from the drop down menu.

    Choice Students
    Step 1: Visit http://www.schoolchoicede.org/ and fill out a Choice application, and

    Step 2: Select AIHS Early College Academy (ECA) from the drop down menu.


    *** The Choice Application shall NOT be submitted to the ECA. Failure to follow the proper Choice Application guidelines will jeopardize the applicant’s acceptance into the ECA. ***

    What is the acceptance process for the ECA?

    The ECA Committe reviews the application (due by January 8, 2020). Acceptance status is determined through the Choice office and communicated with student when Choice notification are sent out. There may be an interview as a part of the process this year. 

    Are placement tests required before my student can take ECA courses?

    For the first three years, no. English courses—taken during students’ senior yeas—will require a minimum SAT score. 

    What happens if my student is unable to pass Wilmington University placement tests?

    Good News: Students who do not attain the minimum SAT score may be able to take a placement test, called the Accuplacer.

    While the goal is for each ECA student to pass his or her placement test, if a student does not pass the test or qualify in other ways, he or she will not receive college credits for English during senior year. This will not jeopardize the student’s high school requirements; however, the student will not be able to participate in the English courses through Wilmington University during his or her senior year. The student’s courses will be high school credit only.

    What if my student is unable to pass Wilmington University courses?

    While the ECA faculty at AIHS will offer support throughout a student’s ECA tenure, each situation is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and students’ ultimate success in the program is weighed heavily. Early intervention serves to provide assistance for struggling students; however, any students who experience difficulty for a length of time can be and most likely will be removed from the program for the interest of their long-term success in high school.

    Can ECA students participate in sports and other activities?

    Yes. ECA students have access to the same opportunities as their AIHS peers, including extra-curricular activities, sports, and music program

    Will ECA courses affect what courses my student can take throughout high school?

    In some cases, yes. Each ECA course is a “singleton,” meaning it occurs only once in the master schedule.  The more singleton courses a student takes, the more challenging it will become for students to take additional singleton courses throughout their high school schedule. For example, students who do not take Spanish may have issues with scheduling after their second year of the language or students who want to take an AP course that only meets the same time as an ECA course will have to forego the AP course. 

    What if my student has special needs?

    Special needs will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with Wilmington University policy.

    Where can I find updated information about the ECA at AIHS?

    Access the ECA’s website and application at https://de01903704.schoolwires.net/domain/1097

    I still have questions. Whom do I contact?

    Direct questions to Jennifer Abernethy, ECA Co-chair, at AIHS High School: 302-651-2626 EXT 236 or Jennifer.Abernethy@redclay.k12.de.us