Harlingen CISD received an Early College High School Grant and open its doors on August 2007 in partnership with Texas State Technical College. ECHS is a bold approach, based on the principle that academic rigor, combined with the opportunity to save time and money, is a powerful motivator for students to work hard and meet serious intellectual challenges. Early college high schools blend high school and college in a rigorous yet supportive program, compressing the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college. Harlingen's ECHS will give 100 incoming freshman students each year the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and an Associates of Arts degree or enough college credits to enter a four-year baccalaureate program as a college junior.
Early College High School is part of the Texas High School Project designed to collaborate public and private dollars to increase graduation and college enrollment rates in every Texas community. The Texas High School Project is funded through partnerships with public and private support including the Office of the Governor, Texas Education Agency, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the Wallace Foundation.