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Early College High School Initiative Impact Study: A Social and Academic Success Story

“I felt that being able to start taking college courses at (Early College) while still in high school made it much easier to adapt from high school to full- time college student after graduation.”

Early College Alum

 The most recent long-term study released in June 2013 finds that Early College High Schools have had a sustained positive impact on traditionally underserved students nationwide. Reports published by AIR(American Institute for Research) and SRI International point to the unequivocal success of Early College High Schools. The study conducted by Andrea Berger (Project Director), Lori Turk-Bicakci (Deputy Project Director), Michael Garet (Principal Investigator), Mengli Song, Joal Knudson, Clarisse Haxton, Kristina Zeiser, Gur Hoshen, Jennifer Ford, Jennifer Stephan and Kaeli Keating and Lauren Cassidy of SRI, found strong evidence to answer the study’s two questions:

1. Do Early College students have better outcomes than they would have had at other high schools?

2. Does the impact of Early Colleges vary by student background characteristics (e.g., gender and family income)?

The study compared outcomes for students from 10 ECHS (Early College High School) where admission was conducted by lottery with similar schools in the districts where students did not have access to structured, tuition free college courses and academic support. Students in non-ECHS institutions had participated in the lotteries, but had not been accepted into the ECHS programs. The study included 2,458 students in five states. It assessed both quantitative data (2004-2012) and qualitative data, obtained from student and grantee interviews. The latter included only 1,294 Early College students. Subjects were approximately ½ female, ½ low-income, ½ minority and 1/3 first generation college attendees.

Early College High Schools were initiated by funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2002, for development of Early Colleges to give students traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education the opportunity to enroll in college courses and receive credit while pursuing a high school diploma.

“My time at (the Early College) has prepared me for schoolwork at a higher level because I was basically performing the same level of work throughout high school. The environment pushed me to take every opportunity offered to me…I am a better student for having attended (EC).”
-Early College Alum

 

Early Colleges are structured around core principles which have demonstrated success in challenging assumptions about age and academic experience necessary for high quality performance. These are:

• A commitment to serving students underrepresented in higher education

• Created and sustained by a local education agency, a higher education institution and the community, all of whom are jointly accountable for student success.

• Schools and their higher education partners and community jointly develop an integrated academic program so that all students earn one to two years of transferable college credit leading to college completion.

• EC schools engage all students in a comprehensive support system that develops academic and social skills as well as the behaviors and conditions necessary for college completion.

• EC schools and their higher education and community partners work with intermediaries to create conditions and advocate for supportive policies that advance the early college partners.

“[The Early College] allowed me to receive my associate’s degree nearly for free. Without [the Early College] I would not have my competitive edge that I have now at [college]; and I wouldn’t have the same confidence, college smarts, or goals.”

-Early College Alum

 

The 10 year AIR/SRI Study confirmed the success of these programs. The study found that EC students were more likely to graduate from high school than comparison students. 86% of incoming cohort from EC schools graduated on time, vs 81% from the comparison schools. In addition EC students had higher English language arts assessment scores than the comparison group.

EC students were more likely (63%) to enroll in college during their high school career than comparison students (23%). One year after graduation the majority of both groups 77% (EC) vs 67% (Comp) were enrolled in college. EC Students and graduates were more likely to enroll in both two and four year colleges than their comparison peers (59% vs 38% in 2 year colleges and 54% vs 47% in four year colleges).

Finally EC students were more likely to earn a college degree than comparison students. By the end of high school, the study found 20% of EC students had earned an A.A. degree as opposed to 1% of the comparison group. At the end of the first year after high school 21% of EC students had earned a degree, while comparison students earning a degree remained 1%.

The study found that EC impacts on high school graduation and college enrollment were similar regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, family income, achievement before high school and whether they were first generation in family to attend college. Surveys and interviews demonstrated higher ratings among EC students than comparison groups regarding:

• Academic rigor

• College-going culture

• Level of instructor support

• Quality of support completing college and financial aid applications.

This summary was adapted from the complete 2013 report, Early College, Early Success: Early College High School Initiative Impact Study, available at http://www.air.org/earlycollegeimpact. Inquiries about the evaluation may be sent to Andrea Berger at aberger (at) air.org

For more information about the Early College High School Initiative, visit

www.earlycolleges.org

www.mcnc.us

 

 

 

 

 

The “Newman” on Campus: Michael Newman, New Principal at MCNC Member, Western ECHS.

Principal Michael Newman

Principal Michael Newman of Western Early College High School

Western Early College High School is a new member of Middle College National Consortium. Partnered with Jefferson Community and Technical College, WECHS was a struggling comprehensive high school in Louisville, KY when, with the support of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, it ventured into offering high school students an early college experience. Former principal, David Mike, made radical changes in student behavior, while opening the door to college for its students. Now, with the guidance and support of Middle College National Consortium and JCTC, Western Early College and its new principal, Michael Newman, are taking its program to new heights. Newman is combining educational experience, business savvy, and the love of a good challenge to address the needs and aspirations of underserved first generation college-bound students who need to meet today’s high standards to make their dreams come true. Recently Newman took some time to share with us his philosophy, experience, and plans for the future of Western ECHS.

 

What was your journey to Western ECHS? Was there any particular experience or personality trait that made you a good fit for this position?

I grew up in Louisville. From an early age I was always goal driven. I went to a large high school, where kids didn’t get a lot of counseling, because it was always assumed everyone would do well. I loved and participated in sports and I always knew I’d go to college. Even during high school, I was climbing into leadership positions. I was captain of sports teams, etc. When I did enter college, I intended to be an environmental engineer.

Once there, I realized that wasn’t the path for me. I made a one hundred eighty degree turn and became an English major. While I was in college, I also worked as a business manager and loved the opportunity to implement systems to structure an organization. When I graduated, I became a teacher in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The population was the opposite of my own experience in Louisville. I saw the void in my students’ experiences, their lack of skills, and sought from the beginning to address this. As a teacher, I sought out leadership roles and my principal counseled me to become an administrator. He pointed out that I could impact more kids than just the ones in my classes, if I could lead an entire school.

Later, I moved to Knoxville and started graduate school. There, I worked with a totally different demographic population. Again, both administrators and principals counseled me towards educational leadership. After receiving my degree, I came home to Louisville to work at Western. After a year as a teacher, I became an Assistant Principal at the school. Then, under the tutelage of Principal David Mike, I saw how effective systems could impact the behavior of students, taking the school from chaos back to order. He fostered the ideas that teachers were autonomous and that students had to be held to a model of behavior. Together, using our mutually beneficial partnership, we turned the behavioral component of a low achieving school around; I learned from him and he sought my advice on the academic life of students. The result of our efforts was that Western was able to move out of the NCLB “doghouse.” Then the state changed its accountability standards, and with the adoption of the Common Core, we fell back below again.

Western’s Early College was a program in a large comprehensive high school and not sustainable, because it targeted only a small select group of students. Over the last 3 years, representatives from the school, Woodrow Wilson, and JCTC worked as a team to redefine what the model should look like. Now, as principal, I can take my passion for young people and the lessons I learned from my turn-around work under David Mike to transform our Early College to a whole school model that gives our population tangible goals and a clear pathway to realizing them.

 

What elements of ECHS attracted you to the program?

When Western was selected to be an Early College, many people considered merge of the design of an EC program into a comprehensive public high school as a nearly impossible challenge. Because of my business background and love for logistics, I viewed it as I a start-up “company.” The program meshed with my passion for kids. Working through the EC model, I was able to offer socially disadvantaged, underserved populations a sure reality and a way to improve the conditions in their lives.

 

What changes or new directions to Western ECHS do you hope to implement?

The school has a clear goal: All Western Warriors will leave college ready, career experienced, goal driven, and reality certain. We are redesigning our Early College based on six programs of study. In this way, all coursework will be directly related to the career a student wants to pursue. For example, when a young person says he has an interest in medicine, we will set him on a pathway that feeds into the medical training available at JCTC and gives the student the knowledge that will allow him to transfer later to a four- year university.

Our plan is based on the concept of Career Academies, but takes it one step further. We will be aligning our pathways to include not only career experience, but also college experience. The six areas of study that we have outlined with Jefferson Community and Technical College are:

• Medicine

• General Arts and Humanities

• Culinary Arts

• Business, Communications and Tech

• Education

• Career- Tech

JCTC offers courses in each of these pathways, so we are in talks with these departments to further develop our ideas. For example, the chair of the Education Department wants to offer an educational theory course for our freshmen and sophomores. Later in their junior and senior years, students on the Education Pathway will take courses half-time and then full time on the college campus. We plan to follow the MCNC model of student support for college success by offering a side by side advisory program (University 111). Through this program, we will teach study skills and resume building, provide metacognitive supports and mentorships which include local business professionals. Some local businesses have already offered shadowing, internships and summer jobs to our students. One group has offered Western ECHS graduates with Associates in Arts degrees hiring priority. I see it as my mission to make sure that a career-college experience in one of these strands is available for each and every one of our students. This will make their reality certain.

 

How close is this vision to implementation?

The school district is in talks with superintendent to get approval for this plan. It makes sense to use this model to change the accountability measure of success to long-term criteria rather than the current practices of using a single test.

When the program is in full implementation, we envision limiting seats in each college pathway to 25 per grade or 150 per class. We understand the difficulties that our population comes to us with– low skills and negative academic experiences, so we are exploring extending the EC program to a fifth year to ensure greater success. We are hoping that the planning and discussions between academic, district, and business partners will be complete soon, so we can start next year with 30 students in each Pathway.

Ultimately, I see this model as benefitting more than just Western kids.

 

What opportunities and benefits to students and staff are currently available through your partnership with the college?

Students have full access to all college resources from their freshman year. JCTC, our college partner, has allowed the on-campus experience to expand to 150 students over the next 3 years.

We have another partner as well, the Louisville Rotarians, who have offered the Louisville Promise Rotary Scholarship for any student completing 60 credits. In order to qualify, our students must maintain a 2.5 GPA, have a 90% attendance rate, and have no major behavioral incidents during their high school career. The Rotarians will pay up to full tuition towards a third year at JCTC for our students. That’s the equivalent of $10,000.

 

How have you been able to maintain, expand and nurture the relationship with the college?

We honestly believe the reason the relationship is so successful is the communication between the stakeholders. We meet monthly as a board of directors to discuss programming needs, where student skills lie, and how to strengthen them. There are monthly meetings between dual credit professors and our teachers to steward the vision and expand the reach of the program to more young people.

 

Any last thoughts?

During my time here with the ECHS, we have recognized the need to be flexible and ever- changing. When problems present themselves, we see them not as obstacles, but as challenges to overcome to help more students.

 

Consortium Matters: The Future

Dr. Cecilia Cunningham | Director of MCNCAcademic landscapes are changing quickly and organizations need to make adaptations that keep them vital, growing and attractive to old and new members alike. Most importantly, they must remain relevant. With these thoughts in mind the Executive Board met at the Summer Conference 2013 and came to some difficult, but we feel exciting decisions about the Consortium’s future.

We discussed that we need to broaden our outreach to schools and programs that have a dual enrollment component, i.e. Middle Colleges, Early Colleges and High School Dual Enrollment programs. Our mission will be to support dual enrollment as a strategy for high school reform and as a major college and career readiness strategy. To get the word out we will be revising our logo, our web site and our membership requirements.

We have decided to reframe our Design Principles by simplifying them to four pillars for student success in college classes in high school:

• Deep Sustained Collaboration with college partners

• Aligned Academic Programs from the 9th grade through 60 credits

• Student Support appropriate to the needs of the subtends and the demands of the college

• Professional Development focused on the boundary spanning roles of high school and college staff who sustain the collaboration

These four pillars are supported and informed by student data on college success and student perceptions of their experience in Middle/Early Colleges and Dual Enrollment Programs.

We will be working on streamlining our membership application process that will include faculty ratification and college support so that it will survive changes in leadership.

Institutional collaboration is our niche and our strength and we will put that front and center in all of our work. It will be reflected in our communications and in our conference agendas.

To kick off our new focus, NCREST will look at the 8 years of data that we have and align it with our four pillars and provide a mechanism for emerging knowledge about our pillars at our Winter Leadership Conference. We will not have a traditional TA conference but use our aggregate data to inform our work more closely. The 2012-13 data will still be available for your schools at the winter conference

 

And with that in mind we share our new MCNC MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Middle College National Consortium is to increase the number of students nationally who have access to supported dual enrollment in Early Colleges, Middle Colleges and Dual Enrollment Programs.

By

• Providing leadership and Support for Continuous improvement in member schools and programs

• Providing Technical Assistance for new Early Colleges and Dual Enrollment Programs

• Collecting and Analyzing Data for School and Program Improvement and to validate the positive outcomes for students

• Providing cross-city and cross institutional learning opportunities about practices that result in increased college completion rates

• Ensuring that Student Voice informs school and program design through the use of student surveys and the Annual National Student Leadership Initiative

 

So that member schools and programs can develop and sustain a successful model of collaborative education that expands students’ future opportunities.

CEC Middle College: Where College and Career Readiness Go Hand in Hand

MCNC CEC Denver

High school graduation is a time of celebration and completion, but one laced with the shadow of “What next?” Behind the happy faces of graduates tossing mortarboards and parents beaming with pride for their children’s accomplishment are questions about the future. Career Education Center students standing on the stage of Community College of Denver last Spring had clear answers and no doubts. They claimed tangible real world skills along with discipline and skills to succeed in college. This class was a landmark one for the school, with accomplishments exceeding even the highest expectations of faculty, parents, peers and the graduates themselves.

CEC Middle College has a lot to be proud of. One of the Consortium’s oldest members, it has the unique mission of offering students high school requirements, college course credits and certificate bearing classes and internships that get students college and career ready.

In September CEC was acknowledged in Denver’s Magazine, 5280 as one of the top 20 high schools on the Front Range of Colorado. But that was only one of several accolades for principal, Scott Springer who says his school is riding a wave of growing success.

“We had our largest graduating class last year of just under 100 students,” said Springer. “The 2013 class had the highest ACT scores ever. Graduates earned more than $1.7 million in scholarships and all graduates were accepted to CCD (Community College of Denver). Moreover, 87 students got offers from two colleges or more.”

CEC Middle College offers hands-on, versatile, relevant and rigorous classes for students who are earning college credits at the Denver school. Currently the school has 400 full and 320 part-time students enrolled. Part time for CEC Denver refers to students who do half days at CEC and half at their home high schools. All students are enrolled in one of eighteen career programs.

College success for these students means time saved and dollars earned. These dollars translate into savings for their families, savings for the institutions, which will not have to remediate college ready-college performing-graduates, and to graduates who are trained in fields that are waiting to hire career ready youth. Last year’s students earned more than 1,500 semester hours of college credit which adds up to more than $180,000 in college tuition. 67 students graduated with 12 college credits or more; and three graduated with more than 40 hours. Students were awarded $1,795,000 in scholarships ($900,000 by the Denver Scholarship Foundation). An unprecedented three students earned the prestigious Daniels Fund Scholarship which covers full tuition, lodging and travel for four years.

CEC graduates were also exemplary in their academics. Nineteen seniors qualified for Phi Theta Kappa, Community College of Denver’s honor organization, earning a minimum of 12 college credits and a college GPA of 3.5 or higher. This year was the first year in the history of CEC, the school brought home a school Championship. CEC’s Robotics team won the National competition, which earned them a spot to represent the school in the World Competition in St. Louis in April. Many of the team members were seniors.

MCNC and its members all congratulate CEC Denver and their principal, Scott Springer on these accomplishments and wish them nothing but mile high honors in the future.

CEC Denver Graduation

 

 

 

 

If your school has great stories to share, please share them with our readers.  Contact MCNC Newsletter

tborn39396 (at) aol.com.

 

Fulfulling Promises: Winter 2014

Fulfulling Promises: Winter 2014

 

 

 

Consortium Matters

Early College and the Common Core

My column in the last issue may have led the reader to think that I was not in agreement with the Common Core.  The opposite is true. I think the Common Core can, if thoughtfully implemented, provide a very different educational experience for the high school students of this country that would lead to college readiness.

The Common Core with its emphasis on critical literacies, application and extension of knowledge, and the demand for multipleDr. Cecilia Cunninghamrevisions will not be easily measured by a set of tests. England’s development of multiple performance based assessments system in the 80’s was cumbersome, expensive and ultimately not scalable.  They abandoned it in 2005 for the high school level and reverted back to their original testing system.  We could waste decades and a generation or two trying to find the perfect measurement. I am suggesting instead that we use an extensive college/high school curriculum alignment process that strengthens the pathway from one segment of learning to another.  An alignment process has the advantage of tapping the expertise of existing teachers and providing them the time to engage in professional developme nt activities.  It also strengthens the local relationships between school districts and institutions of higher education, especially when teachers and professors who live in the community and will continue to live in the community jointly share responsibility for student success. Finally if there are any private or federal grant monies, they get poured into strengthening the existing system not creating a new testing business. After a rigorous alignment process, all students should be required to pass a core set of college level courses before they graduate from high school.  If there is local determination in the number and type of college courses, then students could have opportunities to strengthen academic or technical areas, aim for a certificate or degree, and demonstrate levels of preparation. Finally, requiring at least one college course for high school graduation can reduce the cost of public education by reducing overlap and eliminating wasted time and the need for remediation. Starting college early has the added benefit of the possibility of breaking apart the age based progression used in our schools.  As we have learned more about brain development, we have not integrated these learnings in any serious way into our educational system. Countless youth are failing unnecessarily because they do not meet arbitrary age grade progressions. At our Winter Leadership Conference we will continue our conversation on Early College and the Common Core.

New Publication by Researchers from Teachers College and Rutgers University Outlines the Benefits of Dual Enrollment Programs like MCNC

“Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for Educational Advancement of All Students” is a thoroughly researched publication of the Blackboard Institute that rigorously documents the benefits of dual enrollment, the name given to programs like those offered by the Middle College National Consortium that allow high school students to enroll in both high school and college courses simultaneously. Middle College National Consortium’s dual enrollment program not only allows students to experience college early, and take more challenging courses, but also is a way to assist students to go to college who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Read more

Article on Successful College Retention Practices to Be Published in Community College Week

Five Lessons on College Retention from Early Colleges, an article laying out the practices used in early college high schools that lead to student success in college, will be published today in Community College Week. The authors, Dr. Cecilia Cunningham and Dr. Roberta Matthews have a twenty-five year history of working together on high school/college collaborations.

Quote startThe intentional links between secondary and post secondary education found in Middle College National Consortium and Woodrow Wilson early college high schools help students not only get to college but to stay in collegeQuote end

New York, NY (Vocus/PRWEB) April 12, 2011

Dr. Cecilia L. Cunningham, founder and president of the Middle College National Consortium (MCNC) , and Dr. Roberta Matthews, former Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Brooklyn College in New York City, announced that their article, Five Lessons on College Retention from Early Colleges, will be published in Community College Week this week. The article describes lessons learned on effective tactics to keep students in college by two organizations, The Middle College National Consortium (MCNC) and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. “The intentional links between secondary and post secondary education found in Middle College National Consortium and Woodrow Wilson early college high schools help students not only get to college but to stay in college” notes MCNC president, Dr. Cecilia Cunningham.

The Middle College National Consortium and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation have opened, and supported, over fifty small early college high schools. Their high school students’ record of college GPA average, college course credit accumulation and college perseverance exceeds those of students from other schools with similar demographics. According to the article by Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Matthews, the five early college practices that have had the most influence on student success are:

  • Being on a college campus rather than transitioning onto one

    Dr. Cecilia L. Cunningham, President MCNC

  • Wraparound support and advocacy for students
  • No interruptions or diversions between graduating from high school and entering college
  • Building realistic understandings and expectations in students’ families
  • Strong alignment between high schools and colleges is seen as a given, not simply a goal

Dr. Matthews concludes by noting “Early Colleges succeed because they create an environment based on the presence of all the design features we have described. They promote the difficult dialogue among practitioners, on all levels, that result in substantive changes in education.”

Middle College National Consortium, headquartered in New York City, is a leader in the movement to establish and sustain high school/college dual enrollment as a viable and necessary educational model. Middle College National Consortium’s mission is to develop small schools in which high school students, especially those who have been previously underserved by their former schools, can earn both a high school diploma and either an Associate’s Degree or transferable college credits upon graduation.

To learn more about the Middle College National Consortium, visit us at (http://www.mcnc.us/) for a comprehensive overview of our history, design principles, current work and achievements.

Contact information
Tony Hoffmann
Middle College National Consortium
http://mcnc.us
718-361-1981 X6
thoffmann(at)mcnc(dot)us

Professor Eric Nadelstern to Give Keynote Address at Middle College National Consortium’s 18th Annual Summer Institute

The Middle College National Consortium will hold its annual Summer PD Institute from July 7-July 10 at the Hyatt Regency, in Jersey City, NJ. Professor Eric Nadelstern, former Deputy Chancellor for School Support and Instruction at the New York City Department of Education, and leader of its Small School Initiative, will give the keynote address.

Quote startProfessor Nadelstern’s deep understanding and extensive history with school reform and preparing underserved students for college make him a must hear for anybody working to improve schoolsQuote end

New York, NY (Vocus/PRWEB) March 29, 2011

The Middle College National Consortium (MCNC), a pioneer in the Early College/Dual Enrollment school movement, is pleased to announce that renowned educator Professor Eric Nadelstern will be the keynote speaker at its annual conference in July. The theme of this year’s conference will be “How Do You Become a College Ready School”.

Professor Eric Nadelstern

Professor Nadelstern, who was the founding principal of International High School, a MCNC member, will trace the origins of his school reform efforts starting with his work with new arrivals at International HS and concluding with his leadership at The New York City’s Department of Education’s Small School Initiative. Additionally, there will be workshops and panel discussions on issues related to College Readiness-Key Cognitive Skills that students need in college; College Knowledge-what do students need to know in order to succeed in college; and Communities of Practice that lead to success. Dr. Cecilia L. Cunningham, founder and President of MCNC, stated that “Professor Nadelstern’s deep understanding and extensive history with school reform and preparing underserved students for college make him a must hear for anybody working to improve schools.”

Professor Nadelstern is presently a Professor of Practice in Educational Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University; Visiting Senior Fellow at The Woodrow Wilson Foundation; and a Transition Team Member for the newly appointed New Jersey Commissioner of Education. Prior to his present positions Professor Nadelstern was the Deputy Chancellor for School Support and Instruction with the New York City Department of Education where he led the Department’s Small School Initiative.

The Middle College National Consortium, headquartered in New York City, is a leader in the movement to establish and sustain high school/college dual enrollment as a viable and necessary educational model. Middle College National Consortium’s mission is to develop small schools in which high school students, especially those who have been previously underserved by their former schools, can earn both a high school diploma and either an Associate’s Degree or transferable college credits upon graduation.

The MCNC Summer Professional Development Institute will be held from July 7-July 10, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency on the Hudson in Jersey City, New Jersey. To learn more about this event, or register, please click here.

To learn more about the Middle College National Consortium, visit us at (http://www.mcnc.us/) for a comprehensive overview of our history, design principles, current work and achievements.

Contact information
Tony Hoffmann
Middle College National Consortium
http://mcnc.us
718-361-1981 X6
thoffmann(at)mcnc(dot)us

Professor Larry Cuban Featured at MCNC’s 17th Annual Winter Principal’s Leadership Conference

Middle College National Consortium, a leader in the movement to establish and sustain high school/college dual enrollment, held its 17th annual Winter Conference in Newport Beach, CA. Dr. Larry Cuban, Professor Emeritus of Education at Stanford University, and Dr. Cecilia Cunningham, founder and president of the Middle College National Consortium, lead the conference with presentations and workshops on the roles of a principal, managing change and instructional leadership and improving instruction within schools. Read more