Early College Gets Results
From 2004-2014, the Early College High School Initiative Student Information System, created and maintained by Jobs for the Future, collected, warehoused, and provided reporting and analytics to demonstrate the efficacy of early college high schools in improving outcomes for underserved student groups. The data has been used in many ways over the years and is summarized in this overview, Early College Gets Results. so help early college schools document the impact of these features and continuously improve practice at the classroom, school, and district levels, JFF created and maintained the to track a wide variety of data on student outcomes. Please read more about the outcomes of these data in our report on early college expansion.
Early College, Early Success
Among the major findings:
- Early college students had significantly higher English language arts assessment scores in high school than comparison students.
- Early colleges had significant impacts on underrepresented students.
- Early colleges were particularly effective at helping female students, students of color, and lower-income students earn college degrees.
- 86% of early college high school students graduated from high school compared to 81% of comparison students in surrounding districts.
- 81% of early college high school students enrolled in college, compared to 72% of comparison students
- One year past high school, 21% of early college students had earned a college degree, compared to 1% of comparison students. Two years past high school, 25% had earned a degree, compared to 5% of comparison students.
The study compared early college students with students who wanted to attend early college but lost out in an admissions lottery. The randomized design allowed researchers to conclude that early college helps students succeed—and do better than similar kids at traditional high schools who were just as motivated but didn’t get the chance to enroll.
A Better Ninth Grade
The SERVE Center in North Carolina has been studying the early college model implemented in many North Carolina high schools for several years. This keystone report had several findings:
- More early college high school students were on-track for college than control group students.
- The early college high school model appears to be closing the performance gap among student sub-groups.
- Students in early college high schools were less likely to be suspended and were absent fewer days.
- Early college students reported higher levels of academic engagement.
- Early college students reported more positive school experiences than students in the control group, including better relationships, higher expectations, more rigorous and relevant instruction, and more academic and social support.
Other studies that offer strong evidence about the efficacy of taking college courses while in high school include:
- The Impact of Dual Enrollment on College-degree Attainment: Do Low-SES Students Benefit?
- Keeping Students in School: Impact of the Early College High School Model on Students’ Enrollment in School, a paper by Julie Edmunds of the SERVE Center, presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, DC.
- Evaluation of the Texas High School Project: Third Comprehensive Annual Report, by SRI International
- Taking College Courses in High School