Press Release: Early college movement stronger than ever

Published mar. 25, 2013

246 schools boast 93% graduation rate, 76% college-going rate

BOSTON, MA (March 25, 2013) — More than 75,000 high school students nationwide—most from underserved populations—are learning college-level material and earning free college credit. All this week, early college supporters are celebrating the success of this movement and encouraging other districts to join in.

Ninety-three percent of early college students graduate high school (versus 75% nationally)—and 76 percent immediately enroll in college (versus 68% nationally).

Plus, early college grads earn an average 36 college credits for free—which brings them 30 percent of the way toward a Bachelor’s or 60 percent toward an Associate’s.

“What’s remarkable about the students early colleges serve is that, in less academically challenging schools, they may not have had the same success rates,” said Joel Vargas of Jobs for the Future (JFF), a nonprofit that helps districts nationwide adopt Early College Designs. “More than half of these students are from low-income families; 77 percent are minorities. They’re proving that all students can perform college-level work in high school and excel regardless of their background.” 

To help students tackle college coursework, early college schools provide aggressive supports and enable them to drive their own learning through group work and other interactive classroom strategies in all subjects. 

“Being an active part of class every day makes participation at early colleges a lot higher than other schools where I’ve taught,” said Cierra Swopes, graduate and now chemistry teacher at Dayton Early College Academy in Ohio. “Participation in class here is a lot higher.” 

“We encourage more group work and writing in every class to accelerate literacy skills,” said Sara Freedman, an instructional coach for JFF. “Suddenly the students are in charge of their own learning and the teacher becomes a helpful facilitator.”

Download our Early College High School fact sheet.

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.
Twitter: @JFFtweets