The Fred N. Thomas Career Education Center Early College of Denver is an urban magnet high school located in northwest Denver near I-25 and Speer Boulevard in Denver, Colo., and has been providing students with real-life learning experiences in dozens of career-oriented courses since 1976. The full-time Early College program began in the fall of 2003 with students attending from the entire Denver metro area. To apply, students must submit an CEC Early College  application by the early part of December prior to the next school. The curriculum is college preparatory, focusing on career and technology education.

CEC also has part-time students from the Denver metro area who participate in one of the twenty career classes offered on its Eliot Street campus. The career classes are an innovative way for high school students to earn academic credits towards a college degree or industry certification while completing DPS high school graduation requirements.

CEC Early College application

CEC Guiding Principles


Preparing students for career success in a global economy


The mission of the Career Education Center Early College is to ensure 100% of our students make successful life choices by supporting and guiding them in real world college and career experiences.

Core Values and Beliefs:

Students learn best with a variety of methods, including multiple avenues to “experience“ the learning

Students learn best when content connects to future goals

Students learn best when their voices are valued in the classroom

Students realize success involves striving through mistakes, which are the “portals of discovery.” (James Joyce)

Students will receive academic support, leading to independence and interdependence

Students learn best when they are in a safe and caring environment

Students learn best with consistent high expectations

Fast Facts

Student Population 9-12 (2012-2013)

Full-time: 425 (103 graduating seniors)
Part-time: 364

Demographics (2011-2012):

Hispanic: 86.2%
White: 6.5%
African American: 3.2%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 2.8%


Free/Reduced Lunch: 82% (2011-2012)

Graduation Rate: 80.4% (2011-2012)

College Enrollment: 59% (2011-2012)

Average ACT Composite:
ACT Composite Score: 2011-2012: 18.8

Classes Offered

Core Academic Classes: Intro to Literature, American Literature, World Literature, Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, US History, Civics, Economics, senior classes offered through Concurrent Enrollment and the Community College of Denver

Career Classes: Architectural Technology*, Athletic Training/Sports Medicine*, Audio Engineering, Automotive Technology, Automotive Body Repiar/Painting*, Business Management, Construction Technology, Criminal Justice/Forensics*, Exercise and Health Sciences*, Culinary Arts, Digital Film Production, Executive Internship, Fashion Design and Clothing Careers, Fire Science, Law, Medical Careers*, Multimedia Graphic Design*, Teacher Cadet*, Welding

*Concurrent Enrollment opportunities available