College in High School Alliance Awarded $1.2 Million To Enhance Support for Equitable and High-Quality Dual Enrollment, Concurrent Enrollment, and Early College High School

September 13, 2018, Washington, DCThe 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 CollegeJFF, 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.”

About CHSA

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.

About JFF

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

About KnowledgeWorks

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.

About NACEP

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.

New Funding Opportunity :Student Centered Learning

Student-Centered Learning Practices: Investigating the Outcomes for Underserved Student Populations

The Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative is excited to announce its newest funded research opportunity that will build, apply, and share a robust evidence base for student-centered learning. Funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the goal of this opportunity is to investigate the extent to which specific student-centered learning practices advance equity in public secondary education. Grantees will become members of the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative and contribute to its ongoing efforts to build the evidence base, inform policy and practice, and scale effective approaches.

The full RFP and submission information can be found on the Research Collaborative website. We expect to make up to three grants of $400,000. Proposals should be submitted through our online portal and are due by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 4, 2018.

Access the RFP

Bidders Conference

If you are interested in learning more, join us for the Research Collaborative Bidders Conference on April 26, 2018, 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET where participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the RFP and learn more about what it means to be part of a Research Collaborative.
Register Now
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US Dept of Education Announces Pilot Expansion of PELL Grants for Dual Enrollment Programs

It is with great excitement and optimism that we share this hard won opportunity for Middle and Early college high schools to tap into a new Federal opportunity to support more college for more of your students. We have worked tirelessly over the last four years in partnership with Jobs for the Future, National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, and Bard Early College to move legislation to this end. Dr. Cecilia Cunningham, Dr. Chery Wagonlander and Dr. Scott Jenkins have made multiple testimony in Washington to make this possible on our behalf. Please meet with representatives from your college as soon as possible to avail yourselves of these important resources. For specific information contact at: (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov

 

The Department of Education is announcing the launch of an experiment that will expand access to college coursework for high school students from low-income backgrounds. For the first time, high school students will have the opportunity to access Federal Pell Grants to take college courses through dual enrollment. Dual enrollment, in which students enroll in postsecondary coursework while also enrolled in high school, is a promising approach to improve academic outcomes for students from low-income backgrounds.

The Department of Education has taken into consideration that earning a college degree is an increasingly important step towards entering the middle class. By 2020, approximately 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree, and another 30 percent will require at least an associate’s degree or some college. [  1  ] However, many high school students—especially those from low-income backgrounds—lack access to the rigorous coursework and support services that help prepare students for success in college.

A Federal Register Notice invites postsecondary institutions, in partnership with public secondary schools or local education agencies, to apply to participate in the dual enrollment experiment. The Department will invest up to $20 million in the 2016-17 award year, benefiting up to 10,000 students from low-income backgrounds across the country. As you read from their statement, below, you will recognize their findings rest, in great part, on the work we have been doing for years.

Promoting College Access and Success Through Dual Enrollment

More than 1.4 million high school students took courses offered by a college or university for credit through dual enrollment. [  2  ] A growing body of research suggests that participation in dual enrollment can lead to improved academic outcomes, especially for students from low-income backgrounds and first-generation college students. [  3  ] Research suggests that participation in dual enrollment can lead to better grades in high school, increased enrollment in college following high school, higher rates of persistence in college, greater credit accumulation, and increased rates of credential attainment.[  4  ] [  5  ]

Early college high schools, a type of highly structured dual enrollment program, have been shown to significantly increase the chances of high school completion, college enrollment, and degree attainment for students from low-income backgrounds. [  6  ] [  7  ] [  8  ] [  9  ]

While dual enrollment models have shown promising academic outcomes for students, cost can be a barrier: at nearly half of institutions with dual enrollment programs, most students pay out of pocket for tuition. [  10  ] Under the experimental site authority of section 487A(b) of the Higher Education Act, which allows the Department to test the effectiveness of statutory and regulatory flexibility for postsecondary institutions that disburse federal financial aid, the Secretary will waive existing financial aid restrictions that prohibit high school students from accessing Federal Pell Grants. Through this experiment, the Department hopes to learn about the impact of Federal Pell Grants on low-income students’ participation and academic success in dual enrollment programs.

Candidates for Participation

Title IV-eligible institutions of higher education, in partnership with one or more public secondary schools or local education agencies, are encouraged to apply. Promising candidates for this experiment would:

  • Require dually enrolled students to enroll in a title IV eligible postsecondary program as regular students
  • Provide that students will receive Federal Pell Grants only for coursework that applies towards completion of a postsecondary credential at the participating institution. Such coursework may, but is not required to, apply towards a secondary school diploma. Participating institutions should ensure that dual enrollment arrangements do not impede participating students’ academic progress and persistence in secondary school
  • Offer students the opportunity to earn the equivalent of at least 12 postsecondary credit hours while also enrolled in a public secondary school.
  • Ensure that students are adequately prepared academically for postsecondary-level coursework. This may include ensuring that students meet any relevant requirements that may apply for enrollment, such as grade point average, placement tests, and course prerequisite requirements.
  • Prohibit the use of Federal Pell Grant funds for remedial coursework taken by students who are enrolled in a public secondary school.
  • Provide appropriate student support services, such as academic tutoring, high school to college transition support, guidance counseling, or other comparable services designed to increase student preparation for and success in postsecondary education. These services may be provided by the public secondary school, the institution, the LEA, or by another entity.
  • Provide assistance completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This assistance may be provided by the public secondary school, the institution, the LEA, or by another entity.

Building on Efforts to Make College More Affordable

Supporting Community Colleges

By allowing students to take college courses for credit to cut costs and time-to-completion, the dual enrollment experimental site builds on President Obama’s efforts to make higher education more affordable and to support community colleges to ensure they are gateways to economic prosperity and educational opportunities for American families. Community colleges offer over 70 percent of dual enrollment courses taken by high school students nationwide, and the Administration continues to place a strong emphasis on offering responsible students the opportunity to pursue an education and training at community colleges for free. [  11  ] By offering Federal Pell Grants to eligible public high school students enrolling in college courses, the Administration is expanding opportunities for students to enroll in high-quality dual enrollment programs with robust systems of student support.

Over just the past four years, this Administration has invested approximately $2 billion for 700 community colleges to partner with employers to design education and training programs that prepare workers for jobs in-demand in their regional economies, such as health care, information technology, and energy. These programs are promising—by the end of 2014, more than 1,900 new or modified training programs had been launched. In addition, 85 percent of the more than 176,000 individuals who had enrolled in these programs either completed a program or continued the program into a second year.

Building on Evidence to Expand Access, Keep Costs Down, and Strengthen Quality

The dual enrollment experimental site also builds on the Administration’s efforts to support innovative solutions while building the evidence base to identify and promote promising strategies that improve educational outcomes.

The Department’s First in the World program and the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund support grantees working to develop, validate, and scale innovative, evidence-based solutions in both postsecondary and PK-12 education. Through this experimental site, the Department hopes to better understand which types of dual enrollment programs are most beneficial to students from low-income backgrounds, and how best to help students in these programs succeed.

Investing in Pell Grants

This experimental site builds on the Obama Administration’s efforts to increase college graduation rates of students from low-income backgrounds with the support of Federal Pell Grants. Since 2008, the Administration has increased Federal Pell Grant funding by 70 percent, and has increased the maximum award by $1,000. As of the 2015-16 school year, Federal Pell Grants will have helped more than 2 million additional students each year since the President took office.

Application Guidelines

To be considered for participation, interested postsecondary institutions must submit a letter of interest to the Department of Education, following the procedures outlined in the Federal Register Notice. The Federal Register Notice will provide detailed information about the experiment, including application procedures.

Footnotes:

  1. Anthony P. Carnevale, Nicole Smith and Jeff Strohl. “Recovery, Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020.” Georgetown Public Policy Institute Center on Education and the Workforce (2014). Available at: https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Recovery2020.FR_.Web_.pdf.
  2. Marken, Stephanie et al. (2013). Dual Enrollment Programs and Courses for High School Students at Postsecondary Institutions: 2010—11. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013002.pdf
  3. Karp, M, and Hughes, K. (2008). Study: Dual Enrollment Can Benefit a Broad Range of Students. Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers (J1) 83.7, 14-17.
  4. An, B. P. (2012). “The Impact of Dual Enrollment on College Degree Attainment: Do Low-SES Students Benefit? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 35, 57—75.
  5. Karp, M. M., Calcagno, J. C., Hughes, K. L., Jeong, D. W., & Bailey, T. R. (2007). The Achievement of Participants in Dual Enrollment: An Analysis of Student Outcomes in Two States. Saint Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, National Research Center for Career and Technical Education.
  6. http://www.jff.org/initiatives/early-college-designs
  7. American Institutes for Research & SRI. (2013). Early college, early success: Early College High School Initiative impact study. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from http://www.air.org. http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/singlestudyreview.aspx?sid=20006
  8. American Institutes for Research & SRI. (2013). Early college, early success: Early College High School Initiative impact study. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from http://www.air.org. http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/singlestudyreview.aspx?sid=20006
  9. An, B. P. (2012). The impact of dual enrollment on college degree attainment: Do low-SES students benefit? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 35, 57—75. doi: 10.3102/0162373712461933.
  10. Marken, Stephanie et al. (2013). Dual Enrollment Programs and Courses for High School Students at Postsecondary Institutions: 2010—11. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013002.pdf
  11. Marken, Stephanie et al. (2013). Dual Enrollment Programs and Courses for High School Students at Postsecondary Institutions: 2010—11. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013002.pdf