Frequently Asked Questions

What is the philosophy or mission of the Dayton Early College Academy?

DECA’s mission is to prepare potential first generation college students to attend and succeed in college through a personalized curriculum. This mission guides our philosophy of providing students with a support network of teachers, parents, and administration that will do whatever it takes to help children reach their ultimate goals.

What is the Dayton Early College Academy’s academic structure and how are gateways a factor?

The Dayton Early College Academy was, is, and always will be a non-traditional school. Rather than promoting students based on Carnegie Units, students matriculate through DECA by completing a series of six Gateways. In order to pass a Gateway, students must demonstrate several things. First, students must demonstrate college-preparatory skills like using a planner and conducting research projects over the course of each gateway. Next, students show personal growth and a commitment to the community through community service, job shadows, and internships. Finally and perhaps most significantly, students must demonstrate academic prowess by maintaining high grades.

How many students attend the Dayton Early College Academy?

The Dayton Early College Academy’s current enrollment is around 426 students including over 160 students in our new Junior High.

How do students gain admission to the Dayton Early College Academy?

The Dayton Early College Academy advertises an enrollment period and the number of open positions for each grade each school year. Enrollment begins in mid-January and ends April 30. If DECA receives more than the advertised number of completed applications within the enrollment period, students will be selected by lottery. Incomplete applications will not be considered, and notification of acceptance will be mailed to homes after enrollment ends.

Can special needs students attend the Dayton Early College Academy?

Yes. Accommodations consistent with IEPs will be made; however, students must be able to adapt to an accelerated and compacted high school curriculum which is geared toward college preparation.

Which grade levels can students enroll at the Dayton Early College Academy?

DECA is a 7-13 high school but only accepts new students at 7th, 8th, and 9th grade years. DECA enrolls a full group of 7th grade students but only fills in remaining slots for 8th and 9th grade students as needed.

Does the Dayton Early College Academy use the same curriculum as other schools?

DECA’s junior high curriculum and structure closely resembles that of a traditional school. Students receive traditional letter grades and curriculum is aligned to the Ohio Content Standards. All students take courses in each of the core content areas for 60 minutes daily. Electives/specials for the junior high students include physical education, technology, fractions help, and English skills.

DECA’s high school curriculum is non-traditional but academically rigorous. All DECA students graduate with at least four years of English, four years of mathematics, four years of science, and three years of social studies. 

Will uniforms be required for students?

Junior high students (grades 7-8) are required to wear uniforms.

While the high school does not have a standard uniform, reasonable and appropriate dress is required. DECA frequently hosts visitors from all over the state and country and, as a result, students should dress accordingly. Appropriate dress is also required when on job shadows, interviews, internships, and at school presentations.

What is the Dayton Early College Academy’s report card rating and has DECA met AYP?

DECA was awarded an “Excellent with Distinction” rating by the state in its 2010 Report Card. DECA has earned an “Effective” rating or higher every year it has been rated.

Will transportation be available to and from school?

Junior high students are transported by Dayton Public Schools on traditional “yellow school buses” to and from school.

High school students utilize the RTA public transportation system to travel to and from DECA. Monthly bus passes are issued to students who reside more than two miles from school.

What are the food service options?

All 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students eat lunch in the school cafeteria. Free and reduced rate lunch programs are available to eligible students. Students also have the option to bring lunch from home and should pack their food in an insulated bag. Cold drinks may be purchased from vending machines in the cafeteria. Students who pass gateway 3 and have signed permission from their parent and advisor may go off campus for lunch.

Will students be allowed to participate in after school sports?

Currently, Dayton Public Schools allows DECA students wanting interscholastic competition to declare a “home” high school where he/she can try out for a sports team. DECA students must maintain weekly eligibility requirements in order to participate in school sports.

Can students continue with other academic assistance programs?

Yes, DECA encourages students to continue external academic programs such as Young Scholars, Montgomery County College Promise and Wright Step.

When can students begin to take college classes?

During their first year at the Dayton Early College Academy, incoming freshman are taken to Sinclair Community College for ACCUPLACER testing. Based on student readiness, college classes may begin as early as their second year.

Are the Dayton Early College Academy’s teachers qualified by the Ohio Department of Education?

100% of DECA full-time teachers are licensed and highly qualified in the subjects they teach.


All DECA or DECA PREP educational programs are available to its students without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex and disability, and genetic information.


The Dayton Early College Academy, Inc. | 300 College Park | Dayton, OH 45469-2930
High School Phone: 937-229-5780 | Junior High School Phone: 937-229-5781 | School Fax: 937-229-5786

Website designed and maintained by Transpire Design