Early College Academy

The Early College Academy (ECA) is an open enrollment charter school for students ages 16-22 residing in Franklin and its contiguous counties.  ECA’s mission is to engage disenfranchised students, low income youth, first-generation college goers, English language learners and other young people under-represented in higher education in a curriculum that will enable them to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree for up to two years of credit towards a bachelor’s degree, tuition free.

ECA is partnered with Columbus State Community College  to provide a dynamic learning community utilizing all conceivable resources to drive instruction, learning, continuous improvement, and accelerated learning to promote access to postsecondary opportunities for students. ECA makes a commitment of two or more years to students who wish to earn a high school diploma and transferable college credit leading to an associate’s/baccalaureate degree at a state college/university of their choice at no charge.


CAYCI has partnered with ECA to: 1) support infrastructure development, assessment and progress-monitoring and program design related to student services; 2) provide service personnel, specifically two student interns from the College of Social Work at The Ohio State University to support program development and service delivery; and, 3) implement professional development opportunities for ECA staff focused on solution-focused schools, innovations in student support, and supporting student learning.

2018-19 OSU College of Social Work interns include: MSWII student Maggie Griffin and MSWI student Keshawn Harper. Dr. Dawn Anderson Butcher, LISW serves as their field instructor and supervisor.


2017-18 Former OSU College of Social Work interns include: MSW II student Hannah Musil and MSW II student Megan Klang. PhD student Samantha Bates serves as their field instructor with oversight and supervision from Dr. Dawn Anderson Butcher, LISW.

2016-17 Former OSU College of Social Work interns include: MSW I student Joni Sivey, and MSW II student Chelsea Clay. PhD student Samantha Bates serves as their field instructor with oversight and supervision from Dr. Dawn Anderson Butcher, LISW.

Joni Sivey (M.S. California State University, Fullerton) is a MSW I student in the College of Social Work pursuing a Master’s in Social Work with an anticipated graduation date of Spring 2018. Joni is currently completing her fieldwork at Early College Academy. Her primary areas of interest include: substance abuse prevention and treatment with adolescents and young adults, co-occurring disorders, and school social work. Prior to enrollment in the MSW program, Joni worked in residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment facilities as a counselor and Columbus City Schools as a substitute teacher, primarily in special education classrooms.

Chelsea Clay graduated with her BSW from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in 2013. Since graduation she has been working at Directions for Youth and Families as an Outreach Social Worker.  She has been providing mental health counseling, case management, and running therapy groups. She was worked closely in Columbus Scioto High School and Whitehall City Schools.  Chelsea is currently in the process of obtaining her MSW from Ohio State University.  Her field placement this school year is at Early College Academy which is located in Columbus, Ohio.  Chelsea enjoys being in the school setting and hopes to be able to work at a school after graduation.

Social work interns at ECA have been implementing an attendance program to track and reward students who have had perfect attendance. Also, the program set a goal for students – if they attained over 50% attendance, their English teacher and Vice Principal would be get a “pie to the face” at lunch. Interns also gathered donations for students who had perfect attendance during one week in the Fall semester to be entered into a drawing for fun prizes! In January 2017, students at ECA achieved their goal and had “Pie in the Face” event during their lunch period.

Principal Josh Johnson was a great sport! Below, Mr. Johnson graciously took a “Pie to the Face” to reward students at ECA for reaching their attendance goals!

ECA also has partnered with yoga instructor and doctoral student, Rebecca McCloskey (LISW), to offer a free after-school yoga program. Every Tuesday  students engage in mediation and yoga for stress management in the ECA recreation room. The program will be offered from February 14th – end of March.

For more information on the Early College Academy, please visit their website: http://www.earlycollegecolumbus.com/