Press Release: Early College High Schools Improve Student Performance

Published mar. 23, 2011

2010 Graduates in Texas Average 24 College Credits at Graduation

BOSTON, MA (March 23, 2011) — By expecting every student to earn substantial college credits—up to an Associate’s degree—while in high school, early college high schools in Texas have seen 95 percent of the 900 students who graduated in 2010 earn some college credit and more than one-third earned an Associate’s degree. 

A new report issued today by Jobs for the Future (JFF), Making The Grade, examines what’s behind this successful formula by studying two early college high schools—Mission Early College High School in El Paso and Collegiate High School in Corpus Christi. Mission, with 483 students, is on the campus of El Paso Community College. Collegiate, with about 400 students, is at Del Mar College.

The release of Making the Grade is part of Early College High School Week, a national event celebrating the accomplishments of early college high schools. More than 50,000 students attend 230 early college high schools in 28 states.

“Texas, with the support of the Texas High School Project, is a national leader in reaching students through early college schools,” said Joel Vargas, vice president of High School through College at JFF. “Texas is working to increase the numbers of its workers with education or training beyond high school, and early college schools are a key part of this overall strategy.”

Key Findings from Making the Grade

  • Of the 900 students who graduated from early college schools in Texas in 2010, about 95
  • percent had already earned at least some college credits.
  • More than one-third (308) earned an Associate’s degree, which can reduce by half their
  • time to a Bachelor’s degree.
  • 87 percent of Mission Early College High School graduates and 86 percent of Collegiate
  • High School graduates enrolled immediately in college. In comparison, 57 percent of high school graduates statewide enrolled in college.
  • Graduates earned $5.6 million in college scholarships (about $6,220 per graduate).

About the Early College High School Initiative

Early college high school is a bold approach, based on the principle that academic rigor, combined with the opportunity to save time and money, is a powerful motivator for students to work hard and meet serious intellectual challenges. Early college high schools blend high school and college in a rigorous yet supportive program, compressing the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college.

About the Texas High School Project
The Texas High School Project is a unique public-private alliance dedicated to significantly improving the postsecondary readiness of low-income students with a focus on students in low-performing schools. Our partners include the Texas Education Agency; Office of the Governor; Texas Legislature; Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Michael & Susan Dell Foundation; Communities Foundation of Texas; National Instruments; Greater Texas Foundation; and the Meadows Foundation.

About Jobs for the Future

Jobs for the Future works with our partners to design and drive adoption of education and career pathways leading from college readiness to career advancement for those struggling to succeed in today’s economy.
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