The Early College at Guilford

The Early College at Guilford

Infobox school | name = The Early College at Guilford
name2=The Early College at Guilford, Greensboro, North Carolina

caption=The Early College Logo
established = 2002
type = Public High School - Selective Admissions
address= 5608 West Friendly Avenue,
location = Greensboro, North Carolina, 27410
faculty = N/A
enrollment = 200
free_label = Mascot
free_text = Phoenix
information = (336)-316-2860
principal = Charles Blanchard
website = [ The Early College at Guilford]

The Early College at Guilford (ECG) is an advanced placement honors school with approximately 200 students. It is a public school in the Guilford County, North Carolina school system, yet it practices rigorous selection methods for admissions. To join, one must submit a written application to the Early College at Guilford as well as participate in an on-campus examination. Upon completion of sophomore year, students must also apply to Guilford College and be accepted by the admissions committee in order to continue further study at the Early College at Guilford.


In the first few months of ECG's existence, Principal Tony Burks, II surveyed the students to choose a mascot and school colors. The students took into account other mascots already in use around the county, and the colors of Guilford College—-maroon and white. Based on the student body's response, the phoenix was selected as the school's mascot, and burgandy and pewter were chosen as the school's colors.


The Early College is located on the campus of Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. Students have access to almost all of the Guilford facilities, with the exception of dormitories. This environment provides a large amount of freedom, as well as a constant level of social interaction with college students. There is a greater limit of freedom on the underclassmen, as certain rules have been added over the years, but upperclassmen have the ability to completely assimilate themselves into the college atmosphere. The students of ECG find the pheonix to be a suitable mascot for their school.


Education at ECG comes in two parts; underclassmen and upperclassmen have very different routines.

The underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) take honors and AP Classes, compressing four years of the high school credits that are necessary to graduate into two years. Classes are taught on a modified block schedule designed to take Guilford College's schedule into account. By careful manipulation of timing, underclassmen have limited contact with college students.

Upperclassmen have dual enrollment; they are enrolled in both Guilford College as freshmen (and then Sophomores in their second year), and in the Guilford County school system as juniors (and then SENIORS). Juniors and Seniors take Guilford College classes, which count towards their remaining high school credits, and can often be transferred when continuing to higher education. If a student remains at Guilford College after graduating from high school, they can transfer up to 2 years of credit in college courses as well as save the $35,000 that it would normally cost to spend 2 years at Guilford College after completing a normal high school.

The Early College at Guilford has been recognized as one of the nation's top public high schools by Newsweek Magazine. The Early College ranked fourteenth in 2007 and twenty-first in 2008 on a list of 1300+ public high schools.cite web | title = The Top of the Class | work = Newsweek | publisher = Newsweek, Inc. | date = 2007 | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-14]

Culture and extracurricular activities

Due to the inherent discrepancy between the required "seat time" for a high school diploma in Guilford County and the actual time spent in class in a college setting, juniors and seniors must make up the difference with mandatory volunteer work. A license was since issued that nulls the "seat time" rule for ECG juniors and seniors, but the 40 hours per semester are still required, and may take place at a maximum of 3 volunteer sites, one of which is the school itself. In addition, 50 of these hours a year must be at the same volunteer site. This rule helps the students to focus their volunteer hours in a few places, which looks better on college transcripts. Volunteering is also a required part of the Guilford College curriculum.

Both underclassmen and upperclassmen participate in Early College clubs, held after underclassmen classes. Clubs include a Harvard Model Congress team, a Red Cross club, Intercultural club, an active FIRST Robotics team, as well as many other arts and interest clubs.

The Early College at Guilford has a vital and active student legislative body and court. Students and faculty of ECG have received accolades for their leadership initiative and outstanding academic records.

ECG's disciplinary system originally included the notable Student Court, a collection of students responsible for designating punishments to their fellows who had committed some error. The court was subject to strict supervision, and the school administration retained final authority. Because the student being tried had generally admitted to wrong-doing beforehand, the trials may be more accurately referred to as "hearings." A hearing functioned as a chance for the justices to hear testimony, view evidence if any was presented, and then make a recommendation of punishment, restitution, or other consequences as appropriate. Past recommendations included letters of apology, public apologies, community service hours, and loss of certain privileges.

In the late spring of 2008, however, the role of the student court in disciplinary action was abolished. The student court now serves to present periodic mock trials on issues of questionable integrity to the student body. (See Changes in Policy.) The court consists of a head justice, four justices, a secretary, a bailiff and several student advisers who take on the role of quasi-attorneys.

The students of the Early College at Guilford enjoy a small class size, and the camaraderie it provides. Many students express relief at leaving the "traditional" high school setting to be among gifted students like themselves. The physical integration of Early College and Guilford College class space leads to friendships with the more mature college students, providing slightly more adult peers than the average high school setting.

The Early College at Guilford does not have any traditional sports teams, due to the school's small size. There is, however, an unofficial ultimate team that occasionally plays other high schools in friendly matches, as well as a foundling basketball team which competes with other Middle and Early Colleges in the area. In addition, students may choose to play sports at their "sender school."


Guilford College is founded on Quaker principles, and encourages its professors and students to speak on a first-name basis. This is acknowledged by the administrators of Early College by allowing the students to address them by first name only when the eleventh grade has been reached and they have become part of the Guilford College community. Also, the first graduating class of 2003 began the tradition of graduating barefoot. Not every student chooses to follow this particular custom, but most members of the classes of 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 have done so.

Changes in Policy

Late in the spring of 2008, the administration of the Early College began to announce and implement new changes in the structure and function of the Early College, including new academic courses such as band/orchestra and advanced physical education, as well as changes in expulsion policies and altering the function of the student court entirely. These choices were supposedly made by the current administration in response to the academic stress of sophomore students who often took upwards of four or five Advanced Placement courses. The addition of more non-Advanced Placement courses will putatively encourage a more relaxed environment; the academic rigor of the standing Advanced Placement courses has not changed. Student responses to these changes were mixed. The application process was also overhauled, and no longer includes an interview with prospective students. The teaching staff was also changed over the summer, with the last of the original Early College teachers leaving the school.


*Tony Lamair Burks II (2002-2006)
*Charles Blanchard (2006-)

External links

* [ Current Early College website]
* [ Previous Early College website]
* [ Guilford County School District]
* [ ECG FIRST Robotics Team website]


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