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New Alliance Works to Bring College into High School

Thirty-five organizations, from ACT to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, have banded together to promote the idea of bringing college into high school. Under an umbrella organization, College in High School Alliance (CHSA), the group will advocate for policies related to high-quality dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment and early college high school.

Dual and concurrent enrollment programs allow a high schooler to enroll in college courses and earn credit that's transferable to institutions of higher education. Early college high schools describe a program in which the district and a college team up in allowing students to pursue their high school diploma at the same time they earn 12 or more credits at no cost that can be transferred to college.

The overall mission of the new initiative is to spread those models at the federal, state and local levels to improve secondary and postsecondary outcomes for students, particularly those from low- and middle-income families. CHSA noted that students who participate in such programs are more likely than their peers to graduate high school, immediately enroll in a post-secondary institution and "persist" to completion.

CHSA has set four goals for itself:

  • To develop and promote a "shared federal policy platform" on early college and dual enrollment for the Trump administration and the current Congress;
  • To work with states in establishing an amenable atmosphere for policies on early college and dual enrollment;
  • To publicize research showing the positive impact on student achievement of dual enrollment and early college high school models; and
  • To promote success stories.

The organization, working with Jobs for the Future, has already issued a new report. "How to Scale College in High School," which provides guidance to states for implementing dual enrollment and early college programs.

The alliance will be led by a steering committee with five members: Bard College, Jobs for the Future, KnowledgeWorks, the Middle College National Consortium, and the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).

"The Alliance will serve an important role in coordinating and enhancing the work of the many organizations that are interested in strengthening quality dual and concurrent enrollment programs," said Adam Lowe, executive director of NACEP, in a prepared statement.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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