early college

Early College

Save time and money by getting an early start at Chattanooga State Community College! Early College is a program that provides high school students with a unique opportunity to get an early start their college education. High school students take college courses and the credit earned applies to both a high school diploma and a college degree.

Students can attend college classes during the regular school day on their high school campus, on any Chattanooga State campus and even online! By taking advantage of Tennessee’s Dual Enrollment Grant, students can receive scholarship money to put towards tuition with Early College. Choosing to take dual enrollment classes is an excellent way to jump-start your college education and future career. The classes that you take at Chattanooga State Community College transfer Tennessee Community Colleges and Universities.

Early College Pathways

Dual Enrollment

ChattState Dual enrollment provides high school students with an opportunity to enroll in college courses, with the potential to earn course credit that counts towards a high school diploma and a college degree. Students can enroll in dual enrollment courses at their high school, online, or on one of Chattanooga State Community College’s three sites (Chattanooga, Kimball, and Dayton).

The Early College program offers many benefits for students. It allows high school students to experience college early, allows students to sample college coursework without being enrolled as a full-time student, and allows students to save time and money on a college degree.

The Dual Enrollment Grant allows high school students to attend five (5) college classes tuition-free*.

High School Juniors & Seniors: High School students who attend a recognized Tennessee public or private school must speak to their high school counselor to participate in dual enrollment. A high school counselor’s recommendation is required to attend ChattState Dual Enrollment classes. If you have questions about your high school or who to speak to, contact the Early College office.

Homeschool Juniors & Seniors:  Homeschool students also qualify for the Dual Enrollment Grant. Homeschool students must have an academic advising meeting with an Outreach Specialist before enrolling in classes; contact the Early College office for more information. If you are ready to apply, fill out the ChattState Application to register as a student at ChattState. 


Phone: 423-697-4427
Email: earlycollege@chattanoogastate.edu
Virtual Office
Fax: 423-697-2676
Location: CAT Room 74

*The Dual Enrollment Grant does not cover textbooks, program fees, or other fees. The grant only covers tuition. Be sure to speak to the Early College Office for more information about the grant.

Early College Academy

The Early College Academy (ECA) is a program offered in partnership with Marion County Board of Education.  It is a four year cohort-based program that begins during a student’s freshman year. The ideal ECA student is responsible and demonstrates academic promise. Students in the ECA will graduate high school with a University Parallel Associate of Arts.

Criteria for Admittance Includes:

  • Completed Chattanooga State Early College Application
  • 250 on the Accuplacer exam (for registration purposes)
  • Parental consent


Phone: Early College (423-697-4427)
Email: earlycollege@chattanoogastate.edu
Location: CAT Room 74

Collegiate High

Collegiate High Info

Collegiate High is a partnership between the Hamilton County Department of Education and Chattanooga State. Collegiate High serves as a launching pad for students in grades 9-12 to be "ahead of the game" and expedite their education.

Collegiate High offers students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an associate's degree, or earn college credit hours toward a college major of their choice. The Collegiate High supports student achievement by providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary for postsecondary success.

Student Criteria:

  1. 10th - 12th grade students must have an ACT composite score of 19 or higher (see ACT test information below).
  2. 9th grade students must have an ACT score or take the ChattState Accuplacer.
  3. Students may enroll their freshmen, sophomore, junior, or senior year in high school.
  4. 10th - 12th grade students must be on track for graduation.

Application Process

More information about the application process can be found on the Hamilton County Schools website.

Am I Eligible?

An ACT composite score of 19 or better is required for admission to the Chattanooga State Collegiate High program for students grades 10-12.

Attend High School at Chattanooga State!

Students at Collegiate High have full access to the Chattanooga State campus, including clubs, organizations, intramural sports, and student government. Also, students have an opportunity to participate in the UTC marching band program, Chattanooga State Symphonic Band, and Concert Choir.

Still Not Convinced? Here Are More Advantages​

  • Engineering/Technology programs available
  • Schedule flexibility, including full term in-person, hybrid, online, and 7 week course options
  • Availability of college support services including mentoring, counseling, learning tutoring clubs
  • Accessibility to state-of-the art equipment
  • Small teacher/student ratio
  • Explore a variety of careers and opportunities
  • Enjoy learning on a college campus
  • Participate in Global Scholars Honors Program

Other Hamilton County Early College Programs


Fax: 423-697-2676
Location: CAT Suite 75

STEM School Chattanooga


STEM School Chattanooga is a Hamilton County Department of Education magnet high school located on the campus of Chattanooga State Community College. The keystone of the platform school is an integrated curricular model with a central focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics(STEM). This innovative learning environment will serve as an incubator for inventive teaching methods and technological learning. Partnerships with colleges and regional businesses will provide students with opportunities for internships and apprenticeships. Learn More

Project-based Learning

The curriculum at the STEM school will be rooted in a project-based learning philosophy. Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges, simultaneously developing cross-curriculum skills while working in small collaborative groups. Because project-based learning is filled with active and engaged learning, it inspires students to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they are studying. Strong related arts programs and advanced technological resources will foster creativity and innovative critical thinking skills as they address the project challenges presented in school curriculum.


Phone: 423-531-6270
Fax: 423-531-6268
Location: ChattState Main Campus (CETAS Building)

Mechatronics Academy at Volkswagen

The Mechatronics Academy is a unique partnership between Chattanooga State, Hamilton County Department of Education, and Volkswagen.  Blending high school, dual credit, and dual enrollment courses, this program is designed to give students a jump start on the path to future success in Mechatronics! Students entering their 11th or 12th grade year of high school are eligible to apply.
Selection criteria includes:

  • 2.0 Cumulative High School GPA
  • Standardized Test Scores in moderate to college level range
  • Good Discipline Record
  • Good Attendance Record
  • On Track for Graduation
  • Academic Recommendation


Phone: Annika Goins (423-697-2402)
Email: myers_j@hcde.org

Polytech Academy at Chattanooga State

Polytech Academy at Chattanooga State is a unique blend of high school, dual credit, and dual enrollment courses designed to give students a jump start on their education and career paths. Paths available are Chemical Engineering Technology, Mechatronics, and Computer Information Technology. Students entering their 11th or 12th grade year of high school are eligible to apply.

  • 2.0 Cumulative High School GPA
  • Standardized Test Scores in moderate to college level range
  • Good Discipline Record
  • Good Attendance Record
  • On Track for Graduation
  • Academic Recommendation

To be considered as part of the Polytech Academy, complete this interest form.


Phone: Annika Goins (423-697-2402)
Email: Goins_Annika@hcde.org

Polytech Academy at Kimball

Selection criteria includes:

  • 2.5 Cumulative High School GPA 
  • Standardized Test Scores in moderate to college level range
  • Good Discipline Record
  • Good Attendance Record
  • On Track for Graduation
  • Academic Recommendation


Phone: Early College (423-697-4427)
Email: earlycollege@chattanoogastate.edu or polytech@chattanoogastate.edu
Location: Kimball Campus

Tech-Track/Dual Credit

Tech-Track is a federally funded program that provides a seamless transition from secondary education to post-secondary education. It was developed by Chattanooga State and funded in part through the Re-authorization of Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Act of 2006 (Perkins IV). Tech-Track provides opportunities for students to receive college credit, free of charge, for approved courses completed while still in high school. For a complete listing of course availability, click here: https://chattanoogastate.edu/early-college/tech-track

To take advantage of this dual credit, students must

  • Pass (70%) an articulation exam created by Chattanooga State instructors
  • Submit a College Credit Application
  • Attend Chattanooga State Community College
  • Apply for dual credit within 2 years of high school graduation


Phone: Breanne Kintz (423-697-4493)
Email: breanne.kintz@chattanoogastate.edu
Fax: 423-697-2676
Location: CETAS 370D

TCAT Dual Enrollment

The TCAT Dual Enrollment program is an opportunity for students interested in Applied Technology fields such as cosmetology, electricity, welding, collision repair, and advanced manufacturing, to earn up to a third of the technical diploma while in high school.

Students at select County High Schools can take advantage of the TCAT Dual Enrollment offerings. 

Selection criteria includes:

  • Academic Recommendation
  • Holistic Review of Discipline, Attendance, and Academic Records


Phone: Carl Miller (423-697-3238)
Email: carl.miller@chattanoogastate.edu
Fax: 423-697-2676
Location: TCAT


Early College courses become part of a student’s permanent college transcript. Potential students must demonstrate maturity, responsibility, and initiative in addition to being academically prepared for success! Course qualifications are varied. Students need to meet minimum high school GPA qualifications.

Payment & Financial Aid

Tuition information can be found here. Please note that some courses have extra fees that may cover equipment, lab materials, or online fees.
Students who are juniors or seniors and Tennessee residents may qualify for financial aid through the Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant.


One of the advantages of the Early College program is students are treated like regular college students; all correspondence is sent to the student via email or other online student platforms, and all expectations are extremely high. We want to emphasize that students must demonstrate maturity, responsibility, and initiative in addition to being academically prepared for success! According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, administrators and instructors can only speak with you if your student signs a disclosure form.


In order to transfer dual enrollment credits to a different institution after high school graduation, students must complete an official transcript request through the National Student Clearinghouse. Directions can be found here: https://chattanoogastate.edu/student-support/information/transcript-request. The TTP's also constitute an agreement between community colleges and universities confirming that community college courses meet major preparation requirements.

If an Early College student transfers to another Tennessee community college, the student is guaranteed that all courses transfer. A student who completes all the courses listed on a particular Transfer Pathway will earn an A.A. or A. S. degree at the community college. When the student transfers to a Tennessee public university the transcript will certify that the pathway has been followed. The student is guaranteed that all the community college courses taken will be accepted at the university and the courses will count toward completion of the particular major.

Student Handbook

Visit the Student Handbook for more resources.

"First of all I would just like to say how welcome I have felt at Chattanooga State and it started with the Early College office. You all went above and beyond to help me with admissions and to choose my first classes and that made me feel a lot more secure about taking college classes. The campus is friendly and offers more than enough classes to choose from.  I have loved being treated like an adult and have found that I have no trouble meeting the requirements of a college level course. I would recommend this program for anyone who wants a change from typical high school courses and to see what being a college student is like."

- Nikola (homeschool student)