“By exploring innovative solutions to the challenges confronting our Nation’s education system, projects like the Early College High School Initiative help ensure all our students can succeed.”
–President Obama, March 16, 2011
BOSTON, MA (March 25, 2011) — For many young people, the Early College High School Initiative is opening the door to higher education and better-paying careers. Its 230 early college high schools serve more than 50,000 students in 28 states, targeting groups that are underrepresented in higher education—low-income students, first-generation college goers, and students of color. These students and the schools they attend are refuting the conventional wisdom that such young people cannot complete high school on time and be prepared for success in college.
The Early College High School Initiative is managed by Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit organization that develops and promotes education and workforce strategies.
This past week, these schools and their partners held events publicizing their impressive results as part of the third annual Early College High School Week. To help kick off the Week, President Barack Obama offered his greetings in a letter to those celebrating Early College High School Week.
“A comprehensive and competitive education has never been more important to achieving the American dream. To deliver on the promise of our Founders, we must open doors of opportunity for all our sons and daughters,” said Obama. “As teachers, parents, policymakers, and community leaders, we are responsible for giving our children every chance to thrive in an evolving global economy. By exploring innovative solutions to the challenges confronting our Nation’s education system, projects like the Early College High School Initiative help ensure all our students can succeed.”
In conjunction with Early College High School Week, JFF released the following research on early college high schools:
Accelerating College Readiness: Lessons From North Carolina’s Innovator Early Colleges
The North Carolina New Schools Project, a public-private organization that develops innovative high schools, focused a best-practices workshop on five early colleges using highly effective strategies to prepare all students for postsecondary education. The report incorporates and expands on those strategies and lessons, with specific examples of how these college readiness approaches are implemented in the schools on a daily basis.
Making the Grade: Texas Early College High Schools Prepare Students for College
Early college high schools in Texas have seen 95 percent of the 900 students who graduated in 2010 earn some college credit; more than one-third earned an Associate’s degree. Making The Grade examines what’s behind this successful formula by studying two early college high schools—Mission Early College High School in El Paso and Collegiate High School in Corpus Christi.
Unconventional Wisdom: A Profile of the Graduates of Early College High School
College completion rates for low-income students, first-generation college goers, and students of color are a source of national concern. This report shows that early college students are refuting the conventional wisdom that these young people cannot complete high school on time and be prepared for success in college by examining the characteristics of 6,158 early college high school graduates from schools and programs with at least one four-year cohort between 2007 and 2009.
Early College Graduates: Adapting, Thriving, and Leading in College
This brief explores the extent to which the structures and supports provided by the early college experience help students as they move beyond early college high school and into college. Researchers found that early colleges appear to play a central role in the development of students’ academic identity.
Life Beyond Early College: Strategies for Success (Webinar)
This webinar shared ways in which early colleges help students develop non-academic skills (e.g., time management, intentionality, persistence in the face of difficult tasks/subjects) and how some early college graduates are faring in college today, based on a two-year longitudinal study.
Early College High School Partner Organizations
Early college schools are partnerships between school districts and colleges. Jobs for the Future 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/Texas High School Project
- 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
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.
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.