Early Colleges as a Model for Schooling advocates for early college high schools as an effective means of reducing academic, cultural, and financial obstacles to postsecondary education.
This perceptive work evaluates, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the impacts of early colleges—hybrids that blend elements of secondary and postsecondary education. It examines the strengths and challenges of early college models of different designs and explores their place in the greater education system.
Julie A. Edmunds, Fatih Unlu, Elizabeth J. Glennie, and Nina Arshavsky craft their narrative around the findings of one of the most ambitious studies to date on early college high schools, a fifteen-year longitudinal study involving more than four thousand students across nineteen secondary schools that have adopted the model. They offer insight into the student experience within early college high schools and beyond.
The authors demonstrate how the well-structured and supportive educational environment of early college not only prepares students academically for college-level coursework but also helps students navigate logistical challenges in applying for colleges and universities. They show how the positive outcomes of the early college experience can help tip the balance toward successful postsecondary educational experiences, especially for historically underserved students such as low-income students, minority students, and first-generation college students.
As the authors point out, a shift in the way the transition between secondary and postsecondary education is implemented provides an achievable approach to improving college readiness and lowering educational barriers. They argue persuasively that wider adoption of this educational model in high schools has great potential to improve overall access to higher education.
Julie A. Edmunds is Program Director for Secondary School Reform at SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Fatih Unlu is a senior economist and the director of the Labor, Workforce Development, and Postsecondary Education Program at the RAND Corporation. Elizabeth J. Glennie is a senior research analyst in RTI International’s Education Workforce Development division. Nina Arshavsky is a senior research specialist at the SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
“Early Colleges as a Model for Schooling represents an important contribution to the field of education policy and practice. The early college idea is poorly understood, minimally studied (compared to other significant concepts in education reform), and vastly underutilized (relative to the proven success of its outcomes). This book addresses all three in a serious and useful way.” —Stephen Tremaine, Vice President for Early Colleges, Bard College
“I have encountered early colleges before, but had no clear understanding of them until I read [this] remarkable new book.” —Jay Mathews, Washington Post