Initiative to Help Youth Prepare for College Scores High in U.S. News & World Report List
BOSTON, -- The Early College High School Initiative, a national network of 201 schools in 24 states where underrepresented high school students can earn a high school diploma and a college degree, had 10 percent of its schools named to the U.S. News & World Report annual list of America's Best High Schools.
Based on the results of the most recent graduating class, 89 percent of early college high school graduates enroll in some form of postsecondary education immediately after graduating compared to 66 percent of all high school graduates nationally. In addition, 40 percent of graduates at early college high schools earned more than one year of college credits; 11 percent earned two years of college credit or an Associate's degree; and 83 percent earned at least some college credits.
The initiative reaches students who typically fall through the cracks between America's system of K-12 schools and its system of postsecondary education: low-income youth, first-generation college goers, English language learners, students of color, and other young people underrepresented in higher education. Early college high schools engage these students in a rigorous and supportive educational program that enables them to succeed in college classes
before they graduate from high school.
"Having 21 Early College High Schools appear on the U.S. News & World Report list is a true testament to the success of this model of high school reform," said Marlene B. Seltzer, president and CEO of Jobs for the Future, which coordinates the initiative. "In an era when college credentials are essential, this initiative has helped students who are underrepresented in college prepare for and complete a postsecondary education."
U.S. News & World Report analyzed academic and enrollment data from more than 21,000 public high schools to find the very best across the country. These top schools were placed into gold, silver, bronze, or honorable mention categories. The following schools from the Early College High School Initiative are included:
Hidalgo Early College High School (TX; #97 overall)
Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy (CA); Middle College High School at Los Angeles Southwest College (CA); Middle College High School at Santa Ana College (CA); Village Academy High School (CA); Challenge Early College High School (TX); Hostos Lincoln Academy (NY).
Alameda Science and Technology Institute (CA); Benjamin Holt College Prep Academy (CA); Middle College High School at San Joaquin Delta College (CA); Middle College High School at Contra Costa College (CA); Nova Academy (CA); Dolores Huerta Preparatory High School (CO); University High School of Science and Engineering (CT); Wayne Early/Middle College High School (NC); Brooklyn College Academy (NY); Manhattan/Hunter College High School for Science (NY); Youngstown Early College (OH); Greenville Technical Charter High School (SC); Middle College High School @ El Centro College (TX); Northern Utah Academy for Math Engineering and Science (UT).
To learn more about the methodology used to select the U.S. News & World Report annual list of America's Best High Schools, visit www.usnews.com/sections/education.
The philosophy behind the early college approach is grounded in the expectation that most students have the ability to succeed in college. Many students lack college expectations, meaningful college exposure, academic rigor in their K-12 classes, and the habits of mind required for college success -- particularly students whose parents did not go to college. Early college schools provide these missing ingredients through a challenging educational program that includes significant college coursework and access to comprehensive student supports.
The University Park Campus School in Worcester, MA, which received a Bronze Medal in this year's rankings, is a national model for the high student expectations and college connections that underlie the Early College High School Initiative. It is the catalyst for Jobs for the Future's UPCS Institute for Student Success. The Institute trains school developers, school leaders, and teachers in instructional and leadership practices for ensuring that all young people will attend and succeed in college, particularly youth who are underrepresented in higher education.
About Early College High School Initiative
Since 2002, the 13 partner organizations of the Early College High School Initiative have started or redesigned more than 200 schools in 24 states and the District of Columbia. The schools are designed so that low-income youth, first-generation college goers, English language learners, students of color, and other young people underrepresented in higher education can simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an Associate's degree or up to two years of credit toward a Bachelor's degree -- tuition free. Jobs for the Future coordinates the Early College High School Initiative, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other national and local foundations.
About Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future identifies, develops, and promotes new education and workforce strategies that help communities, states, and the nation compete in a global economy. In over 200 communities in 41 states, JFF improves the pathways leading from high school to college to family-sustaining careers.
SOURCE Jobs for the Future