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ECS High School Policy Center (HSPC)

From the ECS State Policy Database: High School--Early Colleges/Middle Colleges - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Improving Outcomes for Traditionally Underserved Students Through Early College High Schools PDF - Early college high schools allow students, five years after entering high school, to complete an associate’s degree, technical certification, or earn enough college credit to enter a four-year postsecondary institution as a junior. While early colleges in many states seek waivers from state requirements to meet the specifications such programs require, a small number of states have enacted integrated state-level policies to provide programs with the specialized funding and parameters they require. This Policy Brief [do we italicize and/or capitalize this], building upon the state policy research in the ECS database on early/middle college high schools, defines early college high schools, clarifies how they differ from traditional dual enrollment programs, provides the most recent research on positive impact on academic outcomes for traditionally underserved students who participate in such programs, and sets forth the model state policy components that undergird quality programs. (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, October 2008)...

Early/Middle College High Schools - Early college high schools and middle college high schools are typically geared toward serving low-income, minority, and at-risk youth. Early college high schools can be located in a school-within-a-school, two- or four-year college campus, or third-party location, and allow students, five years after high school entry, to complete a high school diploma along with an associate’s degree, technical certification, or enough credits to enter a four-year institution as a junior. Middle colleges are usually situated on a college campus and allow students to concurrently earn high school and college credit in a specialized, supportive environment. This database provides information on the small number of states that, in lieu of having early and middle college high schools apply for waivers from state policies to address their specific program structures, have adopted comprehensive policies specifically tailored to the unique needs of such programs. (Jennifer Dounay and Michael Griffith, Education Commission of the States, July 2008)...

Early College Designs: Achieving College- and Career-Readiness for All - Early college designs - which allow students to take college courses while still in high school and earn both high school and college credits simultaneously - are among the most effective strategies for promoting higher rates of postsecondary access, persistence and completion. This paper concerning designs in Massachusetts says early college experiences can be especially valuable for students who might otherwise believe that postsecondary education is unattainable, or who do not think of themselves as college-bound. (Rennie Center, July 2015)...

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