As a born collaborator, there is nothing I love more than partnering with mission-driven organizations to accelerate impact. I enjoy the comradery, the escalation of great ideas and the ability to leverage the combined strengths of differing organizations toward a common goal. When it works really well, it can feel like magic – and that is exactly how I feel about our recent collaboration to establish the College in High School Alliance (CHSA).
For those who have yet to learn about CHSA, we are a group of more than sixty national and state organizations committed to policies that support high-quality dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment and early college high schools. We started in late 2016 as five Steering Committee organizations – Bard College, Jobs for the Future, KnowledgeWorks, Middle College National Consortium and the National Association of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships – and have now grown into a nationally-recognized coalition determined to leverage an incredible network and new resources to improve the secondary and postsecondary outcomes of students.
This week marks another great milestone of this adventure. We are thrilled to celebrate a $1.2 million award over a two-year period to help CHSA expand access to high-quality college in high school programs for students who are low-income, underrepresented in higher education or at risk of not completing postsecondary education. The refinement of our mission to one focused on equity is essential, and we are grateful to the Joyce Foundation, ECMC Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their confidence in our work.
Our Strategic Goals
These grant resources will help our coalition advance two of our three strategic goals:
- Create supportive state policy environments for college in high school programs that focus upon addressing equity gaps and promoting high quality
- Build a movement aligned with a common equity and quality ambition.
We continue to work hard on our third strategic goal as well:
- Inform federal policy discussions surrounding college in high school.
We look forward to deepening this collaboration over the next few years as we look to engage and expand our network of national and state organizations committed to this cause.