Fast Track: Graduates of Ohio’s Early College High Schools

Topics: Early College High School, Overcoming Challenges

Meet graduates of Ohio’s Early College High Schools and learn more about how they are progressing on the fast track to realizing their dreams. Across Ohio, early college high schools are changing what it means to be a college student. These schools take the young  teenagers who are least likely to attend college and most likely to be performing below grade level, then put them in an atmosphere with high levels of support and high expectations. They allow students to start taking college courses in grade 9 or 10 and earn up to 60 hours of college credit by the time they graduate from high school.

The nine Ohio early college high schools in the KnowledgeWorks network are showing remarkable results. They report an average graduation rate of 91 percent and more than one in three ECHS students graduate with a high school diploma and two years of college credit or an associate’s degree. Others earn substantial college credits that speed their journey toward a degree.
More than 90 percent of ECHS 10th graders scored proficient or higher on the Ohio Graduation Test in reading, writing, mathematics and social studies, outperforming the state average. Greater percentages of students from ECHS schools scored accelerated or advanced on Ohio state achievement tests than students at comparable high schools, suggesting that they are more
college ready.

What happens when these young adults – almost all of them the first in their families to attend college or students who likely would not continue their education without the boost of ECHS – move beyond the carefully structured and nurturing environments of their high schools? Research shows that they are more likely to enroll in and complete college.

But research data is only part of the answer. Each of the remarkable young adults who has graduated from an early college high school has a unique story of accomplishment and challenge. Each has a dream as individual as his or her journey.

We invite you to meet a few graduates of Ohio’s early college high schools and learn more about how they are progressing on the fast track to realizing their dreams.