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ECS High School Policy Center (HSPC)


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 College, Continued Success: Early College Impact Study - An update of findings released in June 2013, this analysis of schools in the Gates funded Early-College High School Initiative found students in those high schools were much more likely to enroll and complete college. They were compared to students who applied for the schools' lottery-based admission but attended traditional schools. In the early-college model, students can earn up to two years of college credit, or get an associate degree from nearby colleges and universities. (Michael Garet, Joel Knudson and Gur Hoshen, American Institutes for Research, January 2014)...

Early College Means Early Success for Students - The Early College Initiative was launched in 2002 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to give traditionally underrepresented students a chance to enroll in college while still in high school. The results? More early college students graduated from high school than the control group, they were more likely to enroll in two- and four-year colleges, and were more likely to earn a college degree. The impacts were similar regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, family income, achievement before high school, and whether they were the first in their family to attend college. (American Institutes for Research, SRI International, June 2013)...

Unconventional Wisdom: A Profile of the Graduates of Early College High School - This report examines characteristics of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 early college graduating classes. It focuses on early college schools and programs that have been open for four or more years, including some schools that were open before becoming early colleges and underwent reconstruction to implement an early college design. (Jobs for the Future, March 2011)...

A Better 9th Grade: Early Results from an Experimental Study of the Early College High School Model - This paper examines the success of North Carolina’s initiative to establish the largest number of Early College High Schools (ECHS) in the United States in order to increase the number of students graduating from high school prepared for college. According to 9th grade results, North Carolina’s early college high schools are creating more positive school environments for students resulting in improved attendance, reduced suspensions, and increased numbers of students on-track for college. These schools are also successfully expanding the initial part of the college preparatory pipeline for students of all backgrounds. (SERVE Center, 2010)...

Evaluation of the Early College High School Initiative - This is a series of reports evaluating the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI), which funds the development of Early College Schools (ECSs) allows students to simultaneously pursue a high school diploma and earn college credits. Since 2002, the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has funded this initiative designed to improve the college readiness and college completion rates of students underrepresented in postsecondary education. Some of the major findings in these reports include: (1) ECSs do serve the intended target population, usually enrolling higher percentages of underrepresented students than would be expected given their surrounding districts. (2) ECSs have higher proficiency rates, on average, on state standardized assessments and higher estimated on-time graduation rates than their surrounding districts. (3) Students earned an average of 23 college credits by the time they graduated from an ECS. (4) In the fall after graduation, 88 percent of graduates enrolled in college. (AIR, 2005-2009)...


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