Locating schools on or near a college campus has proven to improve high school students’ college course pass rates. However if that is impossible then putting in place a set of strategies to ensure that students get a real college experience has been helpful to student motivation and success. The organizational structure that is developed reflects the shared responsibility of the high school, college, and school district for student outcomes.

Middle and Early College High Schools, not located on the physical campus, maintain a transparent and robust interaction and access to college facilities, classes and faculty for the teachers and students of the high school. Relationships among administrators, faculty, and staff at the secondary and postsecondary levels, as well as business representatives, parents and members of the community contribute to increase student academic performance. Steps towards developing authentic college-high school collaborations include:

Developing a formal MOU that:

  • Specifies the target population
  • Defines the role of each partner considering contractual obligations
  • Ensures that all course offerings are transferable
  • Develops Data Sharing Agreements

Developing, supporting and recognizing informal interactions by:

  • Building on existing programs
  • Adapting to new personnel and circumstances
  • Providing consistent high levels of leadership
  • Working toward flexible course eligibility requirements as mutual trust develops

Sharing resources:

  • Appoint a college liaison
  • Ensure that the principal has a role in the college governance structure
  • Provide designated space on the college campus for high school students
  • Align student schedules and calendars

Ensure regular communications:

  • Hold regularly scheduled meetings
  • Connect theory with practice
  • Set up external communications agreements

Use data for continuous improvement