Merging High School and College: The Early College High School Model
For students who would like to go to college, the separation of secondary from postsecondary systems presents many financial, logistical, and cultural barriers. Early college high schools were designed to bridge the disparate systems and address the full range of obstacles students face in attaining college degrees. While setting these schools up requires a lot of collaborative work, it is worth the effort to expand these efforts and make early college high school available to more students.
Policymakers’ solutions to the problem of inequitable access to postsecondary institutions often focus on the financial barriers students face. However, other barriers are just as significant. Students may face barriers in the logistical aspects of applying to college. They may not have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college coursework, which sets up academic barriers. They may not understand or be prepared for the college culture.
Also In this Issue
State leaders should retire the Carnegie unit and open the door for high school designs that ensure learning is engaging, relevant, experiential, and competency based.
State boards can take a lesson from schools that already dish up rigorous assignments in college- and career-ready courses alike and ensure more schools do it.
New graduation requirements aim to align with college admission standards and address inequities in college and career readiness.
Surveyed students report being at sea on postsecondary options and the progress they are making toward their goals.
Six elements in statewide law and policy pave the way for effective programs that help more students thrive in college courses while they are still in high school.