WWC review of this study

Early college, early success: Early college high school initiative impact study.

Berger, A., Garet, M., Hoshen, G., Knudson, J., & Turk-Bicakci, L. (2014). Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    2,458
     Students
    , grades
    9-12
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: February 2017

Access and enrollment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

College enrollment

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Full sample;
2,458 students

80.9

72.2

Yes

 
 
12
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Ever enrolled in postsecondary education

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Male high school students;
1,193 students

78

66

Yes

 
 
14

Ever enrolled in postsecondary education

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

White high school students;
851 students

83

73

Yes

 
 
14

Ever enrolled in postsecondary education

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Not low-income high school students;
1,004 students

85

76

Yes

 
 
14

Ever enrolled in postsecondary education

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Low-income high school students;
1,187 students

75

64

Yes

 
 
12

Ever enrolled in postsecondary education

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Minority high school students;
960 students

80

72

Yes

 
 
11

Ever enrolled in postsecondary education

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Female high school students;
1,263 students

81

75

Yes

 
 
8
Attainment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

College degree attainment

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Full sample;
2,458 students

24.9

4.7

Yes

 
 
38
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

College degree attainment

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Minority high school students;
960 students

65

1

Yes

 
 
50

College degree attainment

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Female high school students;
1,263 students

23

1

Yes

 
 
48

College degree attainment

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Low-income high school students;
1,187 students

20

1

Yes

 
 
47

College degree attainment

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Not low-income high school students;
1,004 students

25

3

Yes

 
 
43

College degree attainment

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

White high school students;
851 students

23

3

Yes

 
 
42

College degree attainment

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Male high school students;
1,193 students

22

3

Yes

 
 
41
Completing school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

High school graduation

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Full sample;
2,458 students

86

81

Yes

 
 
9
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

High school graduation (%)

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Male high school students;
1,193 students

87

78

Yes

 
 
15

High school graduation (%)

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Low-income high school students;
1,187 students

83

74

Yes

 
 
13

High school graduation (%)

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

4 Years

White high school students;
851 students

89

83

Yes

 
 
12

High school graduation (%)

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Minority high school students;
960 students

87

82

Yes

 
 
9

High school graduation (%)

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Not low-income high school students;
1,004 students

89

87

No

--

High school graduation (%)

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Female high school students;
1,263 students

85

83

No

--
General academic achievement - college outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

College GPA

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

College students;
455 students

3.07

3.09

No

--
General academic achievement (high school) outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Achievement in English language arts

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
2,141 students

0.37

0.23

Yes

 
 
6
More Outcomes

Achievement in mathematics

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
1,628 students

0.28

0.23

No

--

Final high school GPA

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
1,273 students

2.98

2.98

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 54%
    Male: 46%
  • Race
    Not specified
    100%

  • Rural, Suburban, Urban

Setting

The early college high schools were located in five states throughout the country: five in urban areas, three in small towns, and two in mid-sized cities. Eight of the 10 early colleges were located on college campuses. Seven had a 2-year public college partner, two had a 4-year public college partner, and one had both.

Study sample

The sample consisted of general education high school students. About half (52%) of the early college group was female versus 55% of the comparison group. Minority students comprised 52% and 54% of the intervention and comparison groups, respectively. In addition, 31% of the intervention group was first-generation college students, versus 34% of the comparison group. Low-income students comprised 47% of the intervention group and 42% of the comparison group.

Intervention Group

Six early colleges were district-run schools, and the remaining four were charter schools. Most of the schools also had a subject matter focus in addition to providing opportunities to earn college credit: five had a STEM focus, and two had a teacher preparation focus. The early colleges offered a wide array of supports, with all ten early colleges providing tutoring, college preparatory information, and college access assistance that highlighted scholarships and other financial aid information. In addition, some of the early colleges offered advisories; summer, evening, and weekend classes; extended school days; and/or block scheduling. In terms of the college coursework, seven early colleges had course sequences that allowed students to earn at least 2 years of college credit, two early colleges allowed students to earn up to 1 year of college credit, and one early college allowed students to earn at least some college credit.

Comparison Group

The comparison students in the study attended 272 different high schools. The comparison schools were generally much larger than the early college high schools. At the comparison schools, Advanced Placement (AP) courses were more prevalent than dual enrollment as a strategy for students to earn college credit. The majority of the students who did not attend early colleges enrolled in larger high schools with larger minority and low-income student populations. Those schools provided fewer academic supports (e.g., tutoring) and a less direct focus on college readiness for all students.

Support for implementation

All but one of the early colleges had college instructors, rather than qualified high school instructors, teaching college courses. No other support for implementation was reported.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Berger, A., Cassidy, L., Ford, J., Garet, M., Haxton, C., Hoshen, G., ...Zeiser, K. (2013). Early college, early success: Early college high school initiative impact study. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research.

 

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