Early College Opportunities

Deering High School encourages students’ high aspirations and participation in a wide variety of academic opportunities.  Our Early College Opportunities (ECO) program is one of several options that can help you gain college readiness skills and academic experience. 

The ECO program allows high school students to engage in college-level academic work online, at Deering, or at a local college campus. To qualify to participate, your grade point average (GPA)must be 85 or higher. You may also need to provide standardized test scores from the SAT or Accuplacer test.

We have partnerships with the following programs:



Application Deadline

Southern Maine Community College (SMCC)

Classes at Deering or on the South Portland campus.
SMCC Early College Program


University of Southern Maine (USM)

Classes on the Portland or Gorham campus.
USM Early College Program


University of Maine (UMaine)

Online classes with a mandatory workshop in Orono.
UMaine Academ-e


St. Joseph’s College

Classes on campus in Standish.
St. Joseph's Early Scholars



Online, year-long Advanced Placement classes


Tuition is waived for one 3-credit course per semester. Usually, students are expected to purchase required books and some institutions have students pay non-tuition fees (approx. $150-$200 per course). Students are encouraged to talk with your guidance counselor about the programs. 

Early college classes help to prepare students for their future by providing them with real world experience in a college classroom.  The classes are rigorous and require independence.  In addition to the 11 Advanced Placement classes offered at Deering, ECO classes are another way for students to earn college credit while in high school.  Students who take advantage of these opportunities have the ability to save time and money in college.