Preparing students for college: The implementation and impact of the early college high school model
As implemented in North Carolina, Early College High Schools are small, autonomous schools designed to increase the number of students who graduate from high school and are prepared for postsecondary education. Targeted at students who are underrepresented in college, these schools are most frequently located on college campuses and are intended to provide students with 2 years of college credit upon graduation from high school. This article reports on preliminary 9th-grade results from 285 students in 2 sites participating in a longitudinal experimental study of the impact of the model. These early results show that significantly more Early College High School students are enrolling and progressing in a college preparatory course of study. This expanded access, however, is associated with somewhat lower pass rates for some courses, suggesting the need for strong academic support to accompany increased enrollment in more rigorous courses. Implementation data collected on one school indicate that it is successfully implementing the model's components.