MCNC schools aim to serve students from traditionally underserved groups (ie., underrepresented racial minorities in higher education, low-income, and/or low academic achievement).
Sample data on MCNC 12th graders’ 8th grade test proficiency levels and their college coursework taken during high school show that students entering high school more academically prepared (those that met or exceeded 8th grade test standards) earned a higher average college GPA and more college credits than less academically prepared students (those that did not meet 8th grade state standards).
However, the latter group who entered high school at an academic disadvantage, still earned an average 2.35 college GPA and 30 college credits, a one-year equivalent of college coursework. Despite low academic proficiency prior to high school, when given the opportunity and appropriate academic and social supports, students of all academic ranges can experience college success during high school.
In addition, students’ college performance did not reflect an achievement gap. When using the students’ GPAs and college credits earned as indicators of college performance, these performance indicators:
- Did not differ by racial or ethnic group.
- Were the same for both males and females.
- Did not depend on whether there was a mother or father in the home.
- Were the same whether students were born in or out of the United States.
- Did not differ according to students’ eligibility for free lunch (a measure of family income).
Students from all backgrounds, including those sometimes classified as “at risk” performed well in their college classes. Further, the lowest performing students were no more likely to be poorer or from certain racial/ethnic groups.