Skip to content
Early College Expansion Partnership External Evaluation

July 9, 2019

At a Glance

This research highlights the results from an effort to scale up early college designs to reach more than 30,000 students in three school districts in Colorado and Texas.

Dr. Julie Edmunds, SERVE
Dr. Karla Lewis, SERVE
Dr. Bryan Hutchins, SERVE
Dr. Kristin Klopfenstein, University of Denver

Three school districts, in partnership with JFF and Educate Texas, attempted to use early college as a districtwide high school transformation strategy from 2012 to 2018, supported by an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. An external evaluation was completed by the SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Over 90 percent of 12th graders in participating schools were taking courses for college credit by graduation, surpassing the rates of enrollment and completion for students in comparison schools included in the evaluation. However, these and other results were not statistically significant. A lesson from this effort is that complex school systems did and can make notable progress on a variety of student success measures by using the interventions applied by the partners to implement early college schools. But it takes much time and continuous work for such efforts to fully bear fruit and achieve consistency in results across schools.   

Other resources that describe the progress, successes, and challenges in bringing early college to scale can be found below.

Related Content


Breaking the Boundaries Between High School and College: How to Scale Success for Low-Income Students

Thousands of low-income students have earned associate’s degrees—for free—by the time they finished high school, thanks to early college designs JFF has spread nationally. Now JFF proposes a bold way to scale this proven model—a…

April 24, 2019
Impact Story

Early College Expansion Partnership

We're expanding a proven model for improving high school students' success in the Rio Grande Valley and the Denver Metro regions. We’re expanding a proven model for improving high school students’ success in the Rio…

May 15, 2018

Looking Backward and Looking Forward: Highlights of the Early College Expansion Partnership

The Early College Expansion Partnership aimed to increase the high school and college success of 30,000 low-income youth. This brief highlights the core elements of the partnership and key lessons learned that can inform school…

July 3, 2018