Frequently Asked Questions

Please contact the EFE #330 office at 217/355-1382  for any questions that were not answered here.

What is ECCA?
The Early College and Career Academy (ECCA) is a joint effort of Education for Employment System #330 (a K-12 Career and Technical Education cooperative), and Parkland College. The Academy office is located in Room A113 on the Parkland College campus.

Which programs are included in the Early College and Career Academy?
Students have the option to enroll in one of ten programs: 

  • Automotive
  • Computer Programming
  • Construction Trades 
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education Pathway
  • Emergency Medical Service - Health Professions Focus
  • Emergency Medical Service - Fire Service Focus
  • Health Professions – Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Industrial Technology: Machining, Welding, and Design
  • Precision Agriculture (New for 2022-2023)

Please see the program guide for specific information about each program.

Who is eligible to be enrolled in the program?
ECCA is open to any junior or senior in Parkland College’s district. There will be an early enrollment period for those students who attend an EFE #330 high school.

Where is the Early College and Career Academy located?
All of the Early College and Career Academy programs are located on Parkland College’s campus. The CNA and EMS programs incorporate a clinical experience which will take place off-campus. The Construction Trades program includes off-campus visits to various trade union halls and job sites. 

Will I earn high school and college credit if I participate in the program?
Yes! This is a true dual credit opportunity. Students will be earning high school elective credit that will count towards their graduation requirements, and will also earn college credit if they successfully complete the coursework. The amount of college credit earned will vary by program. See the program guide for specific information.

How long are the Early College and Career Academy programs, one-semester or an entire school year?
Almost all students will be enrolled in a year-long program. There are a few exceptions for health professions students from Central, Centennial, and Mahomet-Seymour. Your school counselor will provide details. You can also contact Nick Elder at the EFE #330/ECCA office (217/355-1382 or nelder@efe.k12.il.us).

Will the Early College and Career Academy programs follow my high school calendar?
This is extremely important. No, the Early College and Career Academy will follow the Parkland College calendar. Your high school is aware of this. If you will be utilizing a school bus, your school will still provide the bus on days when your school is not in session, but Parkland College is in session. If your school’s spring break is not held on the same week as Parkland’s, you will still be responsible for attending your ECCA classes. If you have any questions about this, please contact Nick Elder at the EFE #330/ECCA office (217/355-1382 or nelder@efe.k12.il.us).

What time are the programs held?
All ECCA programs will be held for at least 1.5 hours per day, each day that Parkland College is in session during the fall and spring semester, during the hours of 7:30 – 9:30 am. Each program will have a unique start/end time, but it will be between the hours of 7:30 – 9:30 am. If you have any questions about this, please contact Nick Elder at the EFE #330/ECCA office (217/355-1382 or nelder@efe.k12.il.us). This schedule was created to allow students to travel back to their home district and continue their daily high school schedule. 

How do I sign up for the Early College and Career Academy?
Students should contact their high school counselor if they wish to sign up for an ECCA program. The ECCA application materials will be turned into the student’s high school counseling office and will then be delivered to the EFE #330/ECCA office at Parkland. If you are a home-schooled student, please contact the EFE #330/ECCA office (217/355-1382) for application information. Application materials are available on the application process page.

Will there be “college-age” students in my courses or only other high school students?
The ECCA sections will only be offered to high school students.

Should I purchase textbooks before class begins?
No. Your textbooks will be delivered to you during one of your first-week class sessions. These textbooks will be loaned to you by the EFE #330/ECCA office. If you would like to purchase the books at the conclusion of the program, you will purchase the books from the EFE #330/ECCA office. The cost will vary depending on the program. If you wish to purchase your textbook(s), please contact the EFE #330/ECCA office (217/355-1382 or email nelder@efe.k12.il.us). 

Does my home high school pay for the cost of the program?
This will vary by school. Please check with your high school counselor for clarification.

Can I apply for financial aid to pay the cost of the program?
Unfortunately, financial aid is not available for high school dual credit students.

Will the college credits I earn in the ECCA impact my financial aid eligibility once I enroll in college?
It is unlikely a former Early College and Career Academy student would experience financial aid impact solely because of their enrollment in the program. However, if a former ECCA student, once in college, changed majors several times, failed or withdrew from several courses, and/or accumulated several developmental course credits he/she could exceed the maximum number of credit hours for which financial aid is allowed. Click here for information about Satisfactory Academic Progress and the impact on financial aid.