September 13, 2018, Washington, DC—The College in High School Alliance (CHSA) has been awarded $1.2 million over a two-year period to advance its goals of steering the expansion, equity, and quality focus of college in high school programs and policies nationwide. The final grant award is supported by three organizations, with $600,000 from the Joyce Foundation, $400,000 from ECMC Foundation, and $200,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
After years of informal partnerships, five leading national organizations—Bard College, JFF, KnowledgeWorks, the Middle College National Consortium, and the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships—successfully launched CHSA in 2017. Since that time, CHSA has grown to a coalition of 62 national and state organizations. These groups collaborate to make a positive impact on policies and to build broad support for programs that enable high school students to enroll in affordable college pathways leading to postsecondary degrees and credentials.
“The collective impact of pooling the expertise of the members of the coalition has already been demonstrated through the Alliance’s successes in creating supportive federal policy through the Every Student Succeeds Act, Perkins Career and Technical Education reauthorization, and the Pell Experimental Sites for Dual Enrollment,” remarked Adam Lowe, Executive Director of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). “Foundation support is critical to expanding the Alliance’s ability to guide the movement and policies at state and local levels to significantly improve the equity outcomes and quality of concurrent and dual enrollment programs nationwide.”
“College in high school strategies are growing and increasingly in demand. At this pivotal moment, the College in High School Alliance will activate the kind of national network that is needed to ensure practitioners and policymakers have the information and tools they need to support and scale up quality. JFF is excited and proud to be working with our Alliance partners who share a commitment to ensuring more students—particularly historically underserved groups—benefit from these approaches, complete a college degree or credential, and flourish in rewarding careers,” said Joel Vargas, Vice President, School and Learning Designs, JFF.
At a time when college in high school is expanding across the country, this project will enable CHSA to use policy tools to propel the college in high school field into a major education reform movement. This movement is focused on expanding, sustaining, and strengthening college in high school programs with equity as its central focus, so that more students can access, afford, and complete postsecondary education and be ready to contribute to the workforce and society.
“KnowledgeWorks is thrilled to see so many national, state, local, and philanthropic partners coming together to champion greater investment in high quality college in high school programs as a viable strategy for tackling the nation’s equity challenges,” said Lillian Pace, KnowledgeWorks’ Senior Director of National Policy. “As a founding member of the College in High School Alliance, KnowledgeWorks is excited to partner with these like-minded organizations to help policymakers and practitioners across the nation build the systems to support these opportunities at scale.”
“We are grateful to The Joyce Foundation, ECMC Foundation, and the Gates Foundation for their significant investments in the early college movement,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein. “For Bard, and the College in High School Alliance, this support bolsters our founding premise that many high-school-age students are eager and ready for the intellectual challenges of college. As we know from our 17 years of experience running public early college high schools, starting college earlier in a robust program significantly increases students’ likelihood of completing higher education. With this generous support, we look forward to working with our partners in the CHSA to promote the expansion of high-quality early college and dual enrollment programs nationwide.”
CHSA’s core belief is that strengthening and expanding college in high school programs will enhance secondary education and significantly improve college access, affordability, and completion for all students. This belief is backed by numerous studies that demonstrate the significant benefits to students of high-quality college in high school programs. In addition, research demonstrates that college in high school programs are most effective when they serve students who are low-income, underrepresented in higher education, or at risk of not completing postsecondary education.
“Middle College National Consortium is very excited to be part of CHSA that will work to ensure that the future of middle and early colleges will be secured for all of our students,” said Cecilia Cunningham, director of the consortium.
However, given that low-income and minority students are participating in dual enrollment courses at disproportionately lower rates than their more advantaged peers, there is significant work to be done to address equity gaps. CHSA, through the support of the three funding organizations, will advance its leadership role in the field to ensure that policies are aligned to serve these students.
“ECMC Foundation is excited to participate with our colleagues at the Joyce Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in funding the work of the College in High School Alliance,” said Sarah Belnick, Program Director for College Success at ECMC Foundation. “With the ongoing expansion of dual enrollment and early college opportunities, we must ensure that those opportunities are available for low-income and underrepresented students whom research has shown can get the most benefit. CHSA has laid out an ambitious set of goals to develop policy solutions and build a movement to promote equity and quality in college in high school programs, and we are excited to support their work to the benefit of students nationwide.”
The College in High School Alliance (CHSA) is a coalition of 62 national and state organizations collaborating to positively impact policies and build broad support for programs that enable high school students to enroll in authentic, affordable college pathways toward postsecondary degrees and credentials offered with appropriate support. Their core belief is that strengthening and expanding college in high school programs will improve secondary education and significantly increase college access, affordability, and completion for all students. This belief is backed by numerous studies that demonstrate the significant benefits to students of high-quality college in high school programs. College in high school programs are most effective when they serve students who are low-income, underrepresented in higher education or at risk of not completing postsecondary education.
About Bard College
A pioneer in the early college field since 2001, Bard College now serves over 2,600 students in public early college campuses in five states (in NY, NJ, OH, MD, and LA). Through these campuses, operated through innovative partnerships between Bard College and public school systems, students have the opportunity to earn up to 60 transferable college credits and an Associate in Arts degree from Bard College, free of charge and concurrently with a high school diploma. In addition to operating its network of schools, Bard works to support the conditions in which early college education can thrive and expand to serve more students across the country.
JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. Join us as we build a future that works. www.jff.org
With nearly 20 years of experience as a leader in strategic foresight and education transformation, KnowledgeWorks’ passionate team partners with K-12 educators, policymakers and education stakeholders to prepare each child for success through personalized learning, including a strong focus on early college.
About Middle College National Consortium
A school-based, data driven practitioner network of approximately 40 middle/early college high schools nationwide, Middle College National Consortium has successfully pioneered innovation in programs that serve districts, community colleges, universities, both public and charter; around the country for over three decades.
The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) is the leading membership organization supporting programs that successfully transition students from high school to college through college credit-bearing courses. We promote quality programming through national standards, accreditation, and professional development. Our members offer college courses to high school students through a variety of delivery methods and use a range of terms such as concurrent enrollment, dual enrollment, dual credit, and early college. NACEP’s national network of over 400 colleges and universities, 60 high schools and school districts and 30 state agencies and system offices actively share the latest knowledge about best practices, research, and advocacy.