Momentum is building for what economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz have named the “third great educational transformation”i in the United States–a “new normal” that makes completion of the first two years of college as ubiquitous for today’s youth as a high school diploma was for their great grandparents.
This emphasis on the “college-credential-for-all-new normal” is the focus of this publication. The United States has been moving toward the notion of college credentials for 60 years. This publication discusses the range of strategies currently employed to integrate high school and college, with the goal of building the momentum for more students to complete a college credential in a shorter amount of time and at a lower cost to students and their families.
This paper ultimately makes the case for early college high schools as the most effective way to ensure low income, first-generation college-going, minority and “those students in the middle” achieve the goal of college completion for all. In making that case, this publication provides both the background knowledge and the language leaders might use to make the case for implementing “the-college-credential-for-all new normal” in their state, district or local community.