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Early Colleges/Middle Colleges: Evaluative Component

This database indicates the states that require early or middle college programs to be evaluated through the reporting of data on student graduation rates, postsecondary completion rates, and other factors.

Why does it matter?
  • Even good policy and programs can improve when leaders insist on monitoring of outcomes, recalibration and improving alignment.

    Highlights
  • Five states — California, North Carolina, PennsylvaniaTennessee and Texas — have evaluation requirements in place for early/middle colleges.
  • One state — Colorado — has reporting requirements but does not appear to require early/middle colleges to undergo explicit evaluation.
  • North Carolina and Tennessee require early college high school program evaluations to include the employer satisfaction of employees who graduated from early college programs.
  • Tennessee requires program evaluations to be used in establishing best practices and providing technical assistance by replicating or adapting successful practices.


  • What's not included in this database:
  • While partnerships between districts and postsecondary institutions make early and middle college high schools available in many states, the state policies governing these partnerships are often either intended for dual enrollment, charter or alternative programs. Such policies are not usually a good fit with the unique characteristics of early and middle colleges. State policies included here are specifically designed to provide a comprehensive structure for early and middle college high schools.
  • State policies that address early college or middle college in piecemeal fashion but do not address the overall structure or functioning of programs.
  • State programs that allow high school students to earn substantial amounts of postsecondary credit but do not appear to fully align with the early or middle college model (i.e., West Virginia EDGE).

    As of August 2008, seven states have explicit state-level policies governing the creation of local early and/or middle college high school partnerships. States whose local early/middle college programs are governed by dual enrollment or charter school policies are not included in this database.


  • Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Last updated: August 20, 2008

    This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.

    Evaluative component
    California Yes. California Community Colleges and the department of education must collaborate to "monitor the ongoing viability of the programs, ... and track specific outcomes for students and schools, including attendance rates, graduation rates, college entrance and attendance rates, and employment rates for those students who do not attend college."

    In addition, evaluations that apply to all high schools apply to a middle college high school. A middle college high school established as an Alternative School of Choice is subject to the annual evaluation set forth in CAL. EDUC. CODE § 58510. As of July 2008, six middle college high schools have been established as Alternative Schools of Choice.
    Colorado No, although each participating school district is required to submit to the department a report each December on the implementation of the program. The report must indicate, for each target high school with a fast college fast jobs education program:
    (1) The number of students in grades 9-12 and the fifth year who are participating in the program
    (2) The number of students who left the program in the previous school year, and the reasons for leaving the program
    (3) The number of students who completed the program in the previous school year, the area in which each student earned an associate's degree or career and technical education certificate, and the number of these students who are employed and where they are employed, if known.

    The department must submit by March 1, 2009, and each year thereafter, a report to the house and senate education and finance committees and to the governor's office, summarizing the information received from eligible districts.
    Michigan No
    North Carolina Yes. The state board of education and postsecondary governing boards (the state board of community colleges, the board of governors of the University of North Carolina, board of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities) must evaluate the success of students in early college high schools, as measured by:
    (1) High school retention rates
    (2) High school completion rates
    (3) High school dropout rates
    (4) Certification and associate degree completion
    (5) Admission to four-year institutions
    (6) Postgraduation employment in career or study-related fields
    (7) Employer satisfaction of employees who participated in and graduated from programs.

    The boards must jointly report each year to the joint legislative education oversight committee on the evaluation of these programs.
    Pennsylvania Yes. Each district or area vocational-technical school offering a concurrent enrollment program (including an early or middle college program) must form a concurrent enrollment committee comprised, at a minimum, of a parent, teacher, administrator, local board member and postsecondary representatives. Among other duties, the committee must meet at least quarterly to review the concurrent enrollment program and recommend any changes to the program to the local board.

    In addition, a district or area vocational-technical school offering an early or middle college program must annually report to the department of education:
    (1) The postsecondary institution(s) with which the school entity has established a program.
    (2) The number of students participating in a concurrent enrollment program (including early/middle college).
    (3) The number of students participating in an early or middle college program.
    (4) The approved courses offered through the early or middle college program.
    (5) The total approved cost for each course.
    (6) The total amount of state grant funds received to support the program.
    (7) The number of participating students enrolled in charter schools, nonpublic schools, private schools or home education programs.

    The department of education must publish an annual report on concurrent enrollment programs (including early college and middle college), using the information submitted by districts and area vocational-technical schools. The report must be provided to the chairman and minority chairman of the house and senate appropriations committees and of the house and senate education committees. The report must also be available on the department Web site.
    Tennessee Yes. Program success must be measured by:
    (1) High school retention rates
    (2) High school completion rates
    (3) High school dropout rates
    (4) Certification and associate and baccalaureate degree completion
    (5) Admission to four-year institutions
    (6) Post-graduation employment in career or study-related fields
    (7) Employer satisfaction of employees who participated in and graduated from the programs
    (8) Other measures as deemed appropriate.

    The consortium for cooperative innovative education must "evaluate programs for success, ... establish best practices and lessons learned from successful programs and ... provide assistance to LEAs and postsecondary institutions seeking to implement a program by replicating or adapting a successful program designed elsewhere or through creation of a new program."

    The consortium must report annually to the house and senate education committees. "The report [must] include a description of each program and an evaluation of its success ... The progress of the plan for state-wide implementation of cooperative innovative high school programs and the plan's" implementation must be included in the report due by February 15, 2009.
    Texas Yes. Each early or middle college and sponsoring postsecondary institution must develop and implement an evaluation process to determine the program's effectiveness. Measures of effectiveness must include student results on high school accountability assessments (e.g., TAKS)" and public postsecondary success indicators such as:
    (1) Participation rates
    (2) Grade point average
    (3) Retention rates
    (4) Graduation rates

    In addition, the commissioner of education "will establish specific evaluation procedures prior to the beginning of each school year [to evaluate early college high schools]. ... Beginning in 2008-2009, the commissioner [must] adopt measures, performance standards, and an appeals process. Failure to meet the standards may result in sanctions ..., including closure of the program. ... Beginning in 2009-2010, each approved ECHS will be required to submit information and required data to the [SEA] each year in a manner and with a deadline specified by the commissioner."

    ECHS agreements are approved for one year at a time. To renew an ECHS, a district must submit a separate application for each approved campus. ECHS program authorization may be denied or revoked based on the following:
    (1) Noncompliance with application assurances and/or provisions set forth in 19 TAC § 102.1091
    (2) Lack of program success as evidenced by progress reports and program data
    (3) Failure to meet performance standards specified in the application
    (4) Failure to provide accurate, timely and complete information as required by the SEA to evaluate program effectiveness.


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