WWC review of this study

Early College, Continued Success: Longer-Term Impact of Early College High Schools.

Song, M., & Zeiser, K. (2019). American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED602451

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    2,458
     Students
    , grades
    9-12

Reviewed: April 2020

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
College enrollment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

college enrollment within 1 year of high school graduaton

Early College High Schools vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
2,458 students

63.80

23.00

Yes

 
 
36
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Enrollment in a two-year college within 1 year of high school graduaton

Early College High Schools vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
2,458 students

48.90

11.30

Yes

 
 
39

Enrollment in a four-year college within 1 year of high school graduaton

Early College High Schools vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
2,458 students

22.30

9.10

No

--

enrolled in 2-year college

Early College High Schools vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Full sample;
2,458 students

65.80

46.80

Yes

 
 
18

enrolled in college

Early College High Schools vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Full sample;
2,458 students

84.20

77.00

Yes

 
 
11

enrolled in 4-year college

Early College High Schools vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Full sample;
2,458 students

57.60

56.70

No

--
Postsecondary degree attainment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

postsecondary degree attainment within 6 years after high school graduation

Early College High Schools vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Full sample;
2,458 students

45.40

33.50

Yes

 
 
12
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

completion of an associate's degree or certificate 6 years after high school graduation

Early College High Schools vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Full sample;
2,458 students

29.30

11.10

Yes

 
 
27

completion of a bachelor's degree within 6 years after high school graduation

Early College High Schools vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Full sample;
2,458 students

30.10

24.90

Yes

 
 
6

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 52%
    Male: 48%

  • Rural, Urban
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    North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah

Setting

An Early College is a program through which high school students can take college-level courses and obtain credit at both the secondary and postsecondary levels. This study involved 10 Early Colleges located in five states: North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Five of these Early Colleges were located in urban areas, two were in midsized cities, and three were in small towns. Eight of the Early Colleges in this study partnered with 2-year colleges, and two partnered with 4-year colleges.

Study sample

The study sample included 2,458 students who were randomly assigned to an Early College or a typical high school when they were in grades 9-12. Approximately half of the sample was female, half was non-White, and half was eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Less than a quarter of the study participants were first-generation college students.

Intervention Group

The Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI) is a dual enrollment program, which aims to help underrepresented students by offering them the opportunity to take college-level courses and have associated credits counted both at the high school and postsecondary levels. To implement the program, Early Colleges partner with postsecondary institutions and arrange for all tuition costs to be covered. The intervention includes providing academic and social supports to ensure that students earn one or two years of college credit and thereby improve their chances of completing college.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison condition attended different high schools after participating in lotteries used to determine if they could attend an Early College.

Support for implementation

Early Colleges are meant to be sustained by a postsecondary institution, a local education agency, and community supports.

 

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