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.

Merging High School and College: The Early College High School Model

Also In this Issue

A New Architecture for High School Learning

By Russlynn Ali and Timothy F.C. Knowles

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.

Telltale Signs of Rigor and Career Readiness in High School

By Gene Bottoms

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.

How Rhode Island Increased the Value of a High School Diploma

By Angélica Infante-Green

New graduation requirements aim to align with college admission standards and address inequities in college and career readiness.

Access to Data Is Key to Navigating High School and Beyond

By Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger

Surveyed students report being at sea on postsecondary options and the progress they are making toward their goals.

Merging High School and College: The Early College High School Model

By Julie A. Edmunds

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.

Featured Items

Multiracial group of teachers walking in school hallway. Image credit: iStock i

Strengthening the Principal Pipeline through State Leadership Academies

Missouri, Delaware, and North Carolina have developed evidence-based professional learning for current and prospective school leaders to increase their effectiveness and reduce turnover.
Credit: istock i

State Advances in Early Childhood Education Seed Plans for 2024

In 2023, several states made significant strides toward universal pre-K, increased funding and support for early educators, and improved literacy and math instruction.
Business people sitting on books. Image credit: iStock i

Curriculum That Counts

Authors in this issue of the Standard draw lessons from a spectrum of state policies that are being used to increase the adoption of high-quality curriculum.

Upcoming Events

From the States