Newark Early College (NEC)

Mission Statement & Core Principles

The mission of the Newark Early College High School is to prepare students for post-secondary academic work, with the goal of completing 30-60 credits of college before high school graduation.

The Newark Early College High School, together with its university partners, provides an opportunity for early campus exposure and continued reinforcement of its academic goals, beginning in grade 7.

Core Principals

The Common Core Principles of the national Early College High School movement are:

  • ECHS schools have a commitment to serving students who are currently underrepresented in higher education.
  • ECHS schools are developed and sustained by the local public school district in collaboration with one or more college/university partner(s).
  • ECHS schools and their higher education partners jointly develop an integrated academic plan that allows all students to earn one to two years of transferable college credit leading to college completion.
  • ECHS schools engage all students in a comprehensive support system that develops academic and social skills as well as behaviors necessary for college completion.
  • ECHS schools and their higher education partners share data to help demonstrate effectiveness at the local, state, and national level.

The Newark Early College High School has been developed in collaboration with the Newark Public Schools and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.


University Partnerships

The Newark Early College High School has two university partnerships: Essex County College and Rutgers University. University partners participate in the following collaborative activities:

  • Regular campus visits for students: During these visits, students are exposed to campus life, simulated college classes, and lessons provided by college faculty.
  • Curriculum planning: Together with the Newark E.C.H.S. staff, college faculty members design a “hybrid” curriculum map. This curriculum map combines the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards with college-ready skills.
  • With the assistance of a college liaison, Newark E.C.H.S. schedules college coursework for students beginning at the high school level.

Special Features

Due to the high expectations of the Newark Early College High School mission and course of study, the following special features are part of the school model:

  • 8:25 a.m. –3:40 p.m. school day.
  • Mandatory college-based Summer Bridge Program.
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum units and assessments.
  • Use of Cornell note-taking method in all classes.
  • Students must develop two MLA-style research papers per year and complete extensive work packets during any school breaks.
  • Students are provided daily bus transportation from all areas of Newark.


Criteria for Admission

Students admitted to the Newark Early College High School must meet the following criteria:

  • Newark residency.
  • NJASK scores in Reading and Math of at least 200.
  • No record of suspensions or “Needs Improvement” grades on the most recent report card.
  • First generation college attendance preferred.
  • Evidence of effort as demonstrated by report card grades.


Contract and Exemptions

All students and parents are required to sign a contract upon admission. This contract outlines a series of behavioral and academic expectations for each student. In addition, students are expected to adhere to uniform and discipline policies mandated by the Newark Public Schools (see Uniform Policy and Student Code of Conduct).

Students who do not adhere to the school’s contract, or to Newark Public Schools policies, will be exempted from participating in the Newark Early College High School and returned to their home school.

Standardized Testing and Homework

Newark Early College High School students are tested weekly in all core curriculum content subject areas, and are administered the Newark school district’s benchmark assessments four times per school year. Students also take the state NJASK exams in the spring as well as the PSAT in the fall.

Newark Early College High School students are expected to devote a minimum of two hours per night to homework in grade 7, and a minimum of three hours per night in grades 8+.

Homework is due the day after it is assigned and deductions are taken for late submissions.

Vacation work packets are issued for all week long school breaks.

Students are expected to complete both the Newark Early College High School vacation packets, as well as any additional packets required by the school district.