BOSTON, MA (March 14, 2011) — More than 50,000 high school students nationwide can earn free college credit at early college high schools.
Between Sunday, March 20 and Saturday, March 26, these schools and their partners will hold events publicizing their impressive results as part of the third annual Early College High School Week. Organizers hope the awareness will help school districts nationwide adopt early college designs to increase graduation rates and the college readiness of students traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
“For many young people, early college high schools are opening the door to higher education and better-paying careers,” says Michael Webb, associate vice president at Jobs for the Future, the national nonprofit that manages the Early College High School Initiative. “Early college students are proving that such young people can complete high school on time and be prepared for success in college.”
Together, the 230 schools in the Early College High School Initiative boast a 92 percent graduation rate. Of those who graduate, 86 percent immediately enroll in college and 78 percent come in with free college credit—making a college degree easier and more affordable to earn.
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 college high schools blend high school and college and compress the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college.
During Early College High School Week, JFF will release the following publications:
- ACCELERATING COLLEGE READINESS: Lesson’s from North Carolina’s Innovator Early Colleges
- UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: A Profile of the Graduates of Early College High School
- MAKING THE GRADE: Texas Early College High Schools Prepare Students for College
- EARLY COLLEGE GRADUATES: Adapting, Thriving, and Leading in College
On March 24, JFF will present a free webinar for early college practitioners: Life Beyond Early College: Strategies for Success. This webinar will share 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. Presenters will be Dawn Cooper, Director of College Readiness, Georgia Board of Regents; Kaitlin Kelley, Alumni Support Coordinator, University Park Campus School; and Michael Nakkula, professor, University of Pennsylvania.
Other activities scheduled for Early College High School Week include:
- The New School Project in North Carolina will hold a conference: 2011 Many Voices, One Goal: Every North Carolina Child Graduates Ready (March 24).
- North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue will issue a proclamation in honor of Early College High School Week.
- The Texas High School Project is planning a formal recognition of Early College High School Week at the state capital during the current legislative session.
Activities for Early College High School Week 2011 can be followed on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/fuA98k.
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
For more information about the Early College High School Initiative, visitwww.earlycolleges.org.
About Jobs for the Future
JFF identifies, develops, and promotes new education and workforce strategies that help communities, states, and the nation compete in a global economy. In 200 communities in 41 states, JFF improves the pathways leading from high school to college to family-sustaining careers.