The Early College at Guilford


The Early College at Guilford is located on the Campus of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. The principal and director of the program is Dr. Bobby Ann Hayes. It was founded in 2002 as a public early entrance high school for gifted children who would normally have matriculated in the public high schools in their respective districts. The curriculum is centered on allowing gifted high school freshman the opportunity to begin taking advanced courses that are beyond the general requirements for North Carolina high school students. The program is co-educational and 50 students are accepted every year giving the school an approximate population of 200 students with an average class size of 16 for the freshman and sophomores. As freshman and sophomores, the students take honors and AP courses exclusively. As juniors and seniors the students enroll in Guilford College and take college courses with college students taught by the professors at Guilford. These students are able to participate in any major or minor that is offered at Guilford College. When students graduate from the Early College at Guilford they receive a high school diploma and two years of college credit, roughly 75-80 credits from Guilford College. Upon completion of their program, all of their students continue on to complete their college education either at Guilford or at universities around the country.


The Early College is part of the North Carolina public high school system. Both 9th and 10th grade falls under the costs of a public high school so there is no tuition for those two years. Once students enter 11th and 12th grade they enroll in Guilford College, tuition is $14,000 a year. Students are eligible to apply for financial aid and scholarships that are available to all Guilford College Students. Students are selected for admittance based on several factors: standardized test scores, personal essays, recommendations, academic achievements, and self-reported interests and activities. The mean SAT and ACT scores for the class of 2010 were 2032 and 30 respectively. They accepted roughly 22% of their applicants for their freshman class.


The students at the Early College spend their first two years taking honors and AP courses with one another. These include AP: English Language and Composition, US History, World History, Psychology, Statistics, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Environmental Studies, Music Theory and French Language. Students must do well enough in their 9th and 10th grade years to be admitted to Guilford College. In the 11th and 12th grades take courses at Guilford College with Guilford College students and professors. The 11th and 12th graders also take part in a seminar every week, professors from the college give lectures on various subjects. The program also adheres to the North Carolina State educational requirements that students have 4 years of English, 4 years of Math, 3 years of Science, 2 years of a Foreign Language and a PE class as well as a Health class. Some of the college courses meet these requirements.


The Early College is a non-residential program. Students live at home and are encouraged to maintain relationships with their friends outside of the program. There are over twenty different clubs and organizations that are available to the students in the program, all of which have very limited adult involvement. They range from Student Government and The Red Cross Club, to the Robotics team and Science Olympiad. In the 11th and 12th grade students are expected to accrue 160 hours of community service in order to graduate. The students also have the option to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities at the schools where they would have matriculated had they not joined the Early College. This allows students to interact with their peers who are not in the gifted program.


Representatives from the Early College travel to various middle schools to discuss the program with students and teachers as well as to share information with the school counselors. Counselors at middle schools are encouraged to tell students, who they think would be interested, about the program. The State of North Carolina Public School District also hosts “high school option nights” where parents throughout the school district can come and learn about the different high schools and programs throughout the area. The Early College presents at all of these nights.