BOSTON, MA (March 22, 2012) — More than 75,000 high school students nationwide can earn free college credit at early college high schools. These schools and their partners will hold events publicizing their impressive results as part of the fourth annual Early College High School Week, Sunday, March 25, through Saturday, March 31.
“For many young people, early colleges are opening the door to higher education and better-paying careers,” says Michael Webb, associate vice president at Jobs for the Future (JFF), the national nonprofit that manages the Early College High School Initiative. “Early college students are proving that students underrepresented in higher education can complete high school on time and be prepared for success in college.”
The initiative is based on the principle that academic rigor and extensive student support, combined with the opportunity to save time and money, are powerful motivators for students to work hard and meet serious intellectual challenges. Early colleges blend high school and college, and compress the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college.
Together, the 270 early college schools boast a 93 percent graduation rate. Of those who graduate, 78 percent immediately enroll in college the following fall. Ninety-three percent of early college graduates earn at least some college credits, indicating that they gained concrete knowledge about what it takes to succeed in postsecondary education. Twenty-four percent of graduates at early college schools open for four or more years have earned an Associate’s degree or college certificate.
During Early College High School Week, JFF will release a new publication titled Launching Early College Districtwide: Pharr-San Juan-Alamo’s “College for All” Strategy. This paper documents critical design decisions, operational approaches, and lessons learned from the first year of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District’s work to create college-ready, college-connected pathways for every student.
Another school district that employs a college-going culture is Hidalgo, a small, rural school district in South Texas where every student earns college credits before graduating from high school. JFF has created a toolkit to share the district’s knowledge about what it takes to create college opportunity for all. Click here to access the toolkit. to hear directly from Hidalgo students about how early college has impacted their lives at http://bit.ly/v60eTH.
Early College High School Partner Organizations
Early colleges are partnerships between school districts and colleges. JFF leads a coalition of national organizations that provide startup and ongoing technical support, guidance, and professional development for their networks of schools. These national partners are:
- Center for Native Education
- City University of New York
- Communities Foundation of Texas/Educate Texas
- Foundation for California Community Colleges
- Gateway to College National Network
- Georgia Board of Regents
- KnowledgeWorks Foundation
- Middle College National Consortium
- National Council of La Raza
- North Carolina New Schools Project
- SECME, Inc.
- Utah Partnership for Education
- Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
For more information about the Early College High School Initiative, click here.
About Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future works with our partners to design and drive adoption of education and career pathways leading from college readiness to career advancement for those struggling to succeed in today’s economy.
About the Early College High School Initiative
Early college high school is a bold approach, based on the principle that academic rigor, combined with the opportunity to save time and money, is a powerful motivator for students to work hard and meet serious intellectual challenges. Early college high schools blend high school and college in a rigorous yet supportive program, compressing the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college.