We’re wrapping up Early College High School Week 2016! Early college high schools have celebrated student access and success all over the country this week by highlighting data, opening their doors to community members, policy makers and others to witness the phenomenal teaching and learning, high expectations and successful student outcomes.
When we started this journey to change the way predominately low-income, minority and average students began thinking about attending college, we knew that it would take a mindset shift for everyone. And what a shift that has occurred after more than a decade.
There are countless stories of students whose lives are being saved because they are in a nurturing and safe high school environment. Parents who are attending college classes with their children because the college has made the campus inviting. Teachers are designing their classrooms to teach students how to problem solve, advocate for themselves, and engage in ways that weren’t always possible in traditional high school settings. Those early pioneers – parents, teachers, and students were excited about the possibilities because what was being proposed in these communities was kind of different.
As we close the door on Early College High School Week 2016 and prepare for finals, state assessments and high school and college graduations – let’s remember to celebrate with the students parents, and teachers because they are still the pioneers in this groundbreaking work. They have proven that high school students can and should be engaged in rigorous courses of study. Dually enrolled students have earned up to 60 hours of transferable college credit or Associate Degrees. Teachers have helped reduce the need for college remediation. Parents and students have saved thousands of dollars in the process. All of this was made possible because they believed that it could be achieved.
The successes of early college high schools – great reasons to celebrate year-round!
Andrea Mulkey, National Director of Early College for KnowledgeWorks, has assisted the State University of New York with the redesign and implementation of 23 Smart Scholars Early College High Schools with a grant from the New York State Education Department. Andrea also managed the Ohio Early College High School Network, an initiative of early college high schools launched by KnowledgeWorks.