Wisconsin high school students earn college credit from Carthage — and get a taste of college life — through the Early College Credit Program (formerly known as “Youth Options”).
To participate in the Early College Credit Program, a student must attend a Wisconsin high school, and must be seeking coursework not available at his or her school. Funding is provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Based on individual high school requirements, courses may count toward high school graduation and/or college credit.
Students must be approved by their school district and by Carthage College to enroll in courses. To apply for the Early College Credit Program, students must complete the following:
- Complete the Early College Credit Program Participation Form and submit it to your high school counselor.
- Submit your high school transcripts to Carthage College.
- Submit your ACT/SAT score (if taken) to Carthage College Carthage’s Early College Credit Program.
For more information about Carthage’s Early College Credit Program, contact:
Director of Admissions and Financial Aid
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Early College Credit Program?
The Early College Credit Program is an opportunity for students in grades 9-12 enrolled in a Wisconsin public or private high school to attend a Wisconsin postsecondary institution for the purpose of taking one or more courses for high school and/or college credit. For complete details about the program, visit the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities’ website.
What are the benefits of the Early College Credit Program?
There are many benefits:
- High school students get a taste of college life through the Early College Credit Program.
- Participation can give high school students a competitive advantage when they begin the college search process and submitting their college applications.
- Students and families can save money on tuition.
- Students will have access to all of the resources on campus, beginning with our Hedberg Library!
How does a student access the Early College Credit Program?
Students interested in participating in the program should talk with staff at their high school and the postsecondary institution they plan to attend and decide on an appropriate course or courses. High school counselors are typically a good place to start.
Once a student has decided on the course or courses for which he or she wants to apply, the student needs to notify the school board of their school district with the titles of the courses in which they intend to enroll, the number of credits of each course, and specify whether they will be taking the course(s) for high school or postsecondary credit. The notification needs to be submitted to the district by March 1 when applying for fall semester classes and Oct. 1 when applying for spring semester classes.
How many classes can I take?
Early College Credit Program students at Carthage may enroll in a maximum of eight credits (2 courses) each term. The state of Wisconsin restricts the total number of Early College Credit Program credits to 18 credits in total.
What is the cost of the ECCP Program?
According to Wisconsin legislation, the cost of college classes, books, and course materials will be paid by the public high school student’s school district if the high school does not offer a comparable course, or if the student has exhausted the course curriculum.
If a student withdraws prior to completion of the semester, fees will be handled on an individual basis. If a student receives a failing grade in a course, the student’s parent or guardian is required to reimburse the school district if requested.
Are home-schooled students eligible to participate in the Early College Credit Program?
No. The program is available to any public and private school pupil enrolled in high school.
Will credits received at Carthage transfer to another college?
All courses taken by Early College Credit Program students at Carthage College will be recorded and transcribed as postsecondary credit, and they will become part of a student’s permanent college record. Credits earned through the program may be accepted by most other colleges and universities. However, we do not guarantee acceptance, since every institution is governed by its own policies. Please check with the other institution to determine if courses will transfer.
Can an Early College Credit Program student take a course that is offered by a postsecondary institution outside of Wisconsin?
No. The statute specifically states that the program is available for programs located in the state (Wisconsin). Eligible institutions include the University of Wisconsin system, Wisconsin private nonprofit institutions, and Wisconsin tribally controlled colleges.