New Policy Coalition Launches to Expand High-Quality College Options for High School Students

Jobs for the Future and more than 35 national organizations join effort to advance policies that support dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high school opportunities 

March 2, 2017—Washington, DC—A new policy coalition launched on Capitol Hill today to support policies that increase student access to high-quality college options in high school including dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high schools.

The College in High School Alliance (CHSA), a coalition comprised of 39 leading education and policy organizations, is committed to raising awareness and support for college pathway options that ensure students are more likely to graduate high school and persist to completion of a postsecondary degree.

“The College in High School Alliance is a powerful next step in the early college movement,” said Joel Vargas, vice president of school and learning designs at Jobs for the Future, a founding member organization of CHSA. “With 39 dedicated partners working with hundreds of schools, we can ensure that underserved students are getting the college experiences they deserve and need to be able to go on to college and career.”

High-quality dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high schools offer opportunities for high school students to take college courses for college credit. Students who participate in these school designs are more likely than their peers to graduate high school, immediately enroll in a postsecondary institution and persist to completion.

CHSA raises awareness in order to garner support for these models at the federal, state, and local levels to significantly improve the secondary and postsecondary outcomes of students, particularly those from low-income and middle-class backgrounds. Its goals include:

  • Develop and advance a shared federal policy platform regarding dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high schools for the new Administration and the 115th Congress.
  • Help states establish the policy environments to develop, strengthen and expand these unique learning opportunities for students.
  • Raise awareness of dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high schools and their impact on student achievement.
  • Marshal existing resources and cultivate new champions with diverse perspectives to support the growth of these programs. 

“Now more than ever, it is important to encourage the expansion of successful models like dual enrollment and early college and continue federal support for programs that work for students,” said Lexi Barrett, director of national education policy at Jobs for the Future. “We are proud to help lead a coalition that can make real change at the state and federal level.”

CHSA consists of 39 national organizations committed to advancing the goals above. A steering committee comprised of Bard College, Jobs for the Future, KnowledgeWorks, the Middle College National Consortium, and the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships helps guide the work of the coalition.

CHSA will continue to raise awareness for its work during Early College High School Week, a celebration of schools around the country participating in dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college models, which will take place April 2 – April 8, 2017. Learn more at www.jff.org/ECweekinfo.

About the College in High School Alliance

The College in High School Alliance (CHSA), founded in September 2016, is a coalition of leading national organizations committed to policies that support high-quality dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high schools. CHSA believes that greater support for these models at the federal, state, and local levels will significantly improve the secondary and postsecondary outcomes of students, particularly those from low-income and middle-class backgrounds. The Alliance welcomes the participation of any organization supportive of these issues as an Associate Member by contacting Alex Perry of the Majority Group.