Early Colleges/Middle Colleges - All State Profiles
Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 • www.ecs.org

Early Colleges/Middle Colleges - All State Profiles

Early college high schools and middle college high schools, frequently targeted at traditionally underserved youth (low-income, minority, first-generation college-goers, at-risk of dropping out, etc.), offer students the opportunity to earn substantial amounts of postsecondary credit while still in high school. While programs may vary in design, generally speaking:

Early college high schools start ninth-grade students in a combined curriculum of high school and postsecondary credit, so that five years after entering high school, a student is expected to earn a high school diploma as well as technical certification, an associate's degree, or enough credit to enter a four-year postsecondary program as a junior. Programs may be housed at a high school, on a two- or four-year postsecondary campus, or at a third-party location.

Middle college high schools are typically housed on a postsecondary campus and offer at-risk students the opportunity to earn postsecondary credit, but not necessarily toward the goal of completing an associate's degree or technical certification.

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.

This database provides information on:

1. Brief profiles of state policies: Seven states have state-level policies providing a comprehensive structure for the creation and administration of early and/or middle college high schools. Six states have explicit policies to administer early college high schools, while four states have explicit policies to administer middle college programs.

Why does it matter?
  • Students who might not fit in at a comprehensive high school tend to gain a sense of belonging and self-confidence at a more focused program.


2. Who may establish (charter, LEA, etc.): In seven states, a district or LEA may establish an early or middle college high school. In Colorado, only certain districts with pre-existing agreements or graduation rates below 75% in 2004-2005 are authorized to establish an early college high school. In Pennsylvania, an area vocational-technical school may serve as the K-12 partner to establish an early or middle college high school.

Why does it matter?

3. Unique characteristics: ECS identified unique components of state early college and middle college high school policies that do not fit into existing data points, but are worthy of consideration by state policymakers.

Why does it matter?

4. Funding mechanisms: Six of the states provide funding to early/middle colleges equal to the funding amounts provided to traditional high schools in every circumstance. Five of the states provide an equal amount of funding for students enrolled in an early/middle college program and for students enrolled in a traditional higher education program. Four states mandate that early/middle college students not be charged for tuition costs.

Why does it matter?

5. Student eligibility requirements: Five states specify that students may enter programs beginning in grade 9. Two states specify academic conditions students must meet, either to enter or to continue in early and middle college programs.

Why does it matter?

6. Whether early/middle colleges target specific programs or student groups: North Carolina and Tennessee require early college high school programs to lead to advanced programs or employment opportunities in engineering, health sciences, or teaching, while Michigan provides state grant support for programs focused on health sciences. California, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas specify that programs must target students who are at risk of dropping out.

Why does it matter?

7. Whether programs must offer student counseling/support: Five states require early/middle college high school programs to provide students with guidance and/or mentoring.

Why does it matter?

8. Whether students/parents must be notified of early/middle college opportunities: Two states require districts to notify students and/or parents of the availability of local early or middle college high school programs.

Why does it matter?

9. Whether college partners can be two-year/four-year institutions/both: Six states allow two- and four-year institutions to serve as postsecondary partners in early/middle college high school programs. Three states authorize private postsecondary institutions to participate in early/middle college partnerships.

Why does it matter?

10. Where courses are provided: Two states allow early college high school programs to be based at a school within a school, a technical high school, or on a postsecondary campus. One state specifies that only community college campuses may host middle college programs. One state offers early college high school courses online. Four states do not specify locations at which early and middle college programs may be established.

Why does it matter?

11. Whether programs may award associate's degrees: Five states authorize early or middle college programs to grant associate's degrees. Four states allow early or middle college programs to offer students the opportunity to complete technical certification programs.

Why does it matter?

12. Whether public postsecondary institutions are required to accept credits: Two states require all public two- and four-year institutions in the state to accept credits earned through an early college high school program.

Why does it matter?

13. Special teacher/faculty preparation requirements: No state has established in policy that all early/middle college high school instructors must complete specialized preparation requirements. In practice, however, some programs may require instructors to undergo such training.

Why does it matter?

14. Evaluative components: Five states have evaluation requirements in place for early/middle colleges.

Why does it matter?

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: July 31, 2008

This database was primarily compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org. Finance data compiled by Michael Griffith, senior policy analyst. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3619 or mgriffith@ecs.org.

California
Early Colleges/Middle Colleges
Brief profile of state policy Middle College High Schools. After two successful middle college high schools were established in 1989 through a grant from the California Community Colleges, legislation was enacted in 1997 to encourage the expansion of middle college high schools throughout the state.
Who may establish (charter, LEA, etc.) Local school district. A charter school in some cases acts as an LEA and as such, could establish a middle college high school, but to date no charter has established a charter middle college high school.
Unique characteristics Legislation specifies that in addition to a college/career preparatory curriculum and reduced student-adult ratio, middle college high schools must offer "[f]lexible scheduling to allow for work internships, community service experience, ... interaction with community college student role models [,] [o]pportunities for experiential internships, work apprenticeships, and community service."
Funding mechanism(s) State funding for secondary schools: If the student is enrolled in the secondary school for at least 240 minutes (for students in 9th and 10th grades) or 180 minutes (for students in 11th and 12th grades), the school receives full state funding for that student.

Tuition: The community college has the right but is not required to waive the cost of tuition to students. Students must pay any tuition costs that are not waived.

State funding for postsecondary schools: Students in a middle college high school at a community college are treated no differently from traditional students for state funding purposes.
Student eligibility requirements Grade level: Not set in state policy. In practice, the grade level for the MCHS model was grades 9-12, or commencing with the first year of high school. However, some MCHS have been established to start with grade 10 or 11, by local decision.
Academic: Not set in state policy
Other: Not set in state policy
Targets specific programs or student groups Programmatic: Not set in state policy
Student groups: Middle college high schools are to serve "at-risk high school students who are performing below their academic potential" so as to reduce the likelihood they will drop out of high school.
Student counseling/support component Yes. Middle college high schools must offer students "support and motivational activities," including "interaction with community college student role models." In practice, start-up funding from California Community Colleges has explicitly covered the cost of staffing to provide student counseling/support.
Students/parents must be notified of early college/middle college opportunities Not set in state policy
College partners can be two-year/four-year/both Two-year
Where courses provided On community college campus
Program may award associate's degrees

No

Public postsecondary institutions required to accept credits State policy unclear
Special teacher/faculty preparation requirements Not set in state policy
Evaluative component 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.
Sources Brief profile: Preamble to 1997 A.B. 1106 (Chapter 948)
Who may establish: CAL. EDUC. CODE § 11300, 11301; Lynn Hartzler, California Department of Education
Unique characteristics: CAL. EDUC. CODE § 11300
Funding mechanism: Secondary schools: CAL. EDUC. CODE § 48802; Tuition: CAL. EDUC. CODE § 76300(f); Postsecondary funding: CAL. EDUC. CODE § 48800.5(e) and § 76001(c)
Eligibility requirements: Lynn Hartzler, California Department of Education
Population targeted: CAL. EDUC. CODE § 11300
Counseling/support: CAL. EDUC. CODE § 11300; Lynn Hartzler, California Department of Education
College partners: CAL. EDUC. CODE § 11300
Where courses provided: CAL. EDUC. CODE § 11300
Postsecondary institutions required to accept credits:
Evaluative component: CAL. EDUC. CODE § 11301; Lynn Hartzler, California Department of Education

Colorado
Early Colleges/Middle Colleges
Brief profile of state policy The Fast College Fast Jobs Education Program is a pilot program established by the legislature in 2007. To participate in the pilot, districts (and "target high schools" in those districts) must meet at least one of the following criteria:

(1) Have contracted with a community college to implement a dual degree program within the two years prior to the effective date of the 2007 legislation.
(2) Had a graduation rate below 75% for the 2004-2005 school year, as reported by the state department of education.

A board of cooperative services in which at least half the members are districts meeting one of the criteria above is also eligible to participate in the pilot.

To participate in the pilot, an eligible district must enter into a contract with one or more two-year colleges, area vocational schools, or junior colleges in a junior college district to provide a fast college fast jobs education program.
Who may establish (charter, LEA, etc.) Eligible district in cooperation with at least one two-year institution, area vocational school, or junior college that is part of a junior college district.
Unique characteristics The contract between the district and the institution of higher education must specify:
(1) Any limits on the number of students who may enroll in postsecondary courses through the program
(2) Any limits on the number of postsecondary courses a participating student may enroll in per semester
(3) The associate's degree programs or career and technical education programs available to students through the program.

The contract must also be approved by the institution's governing board and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

In addition, the district must design the program "to include courses with a sufficient level of rigor to ensure that a student who participates in the fast college fast jobs program does not need skills remediation, but develops a sufficiently high level of skills to successfully complete postsecondary-level course work."
Funding mechanism(s) The contract between a district and institution(s) of higher education must specify the "financial provisions for funding each student's enrollment in higher education courses" through the program.

State funding for secondary schools: A school receives full state funding for all participating students taking fewer than 11 college credits. If a student takes 12 or more credits, the school receives 85% of state funding.

Tuition: Student tuition costs are paid by the school district. The district may negotiate with the postsecondary institution for a lower tuition rate for their students.

State funding for postsecondary schools: Students enrolled in the "Fast College Fast Jobs" program are treated no differently from traditional community college students for state funding purposes.
Student eligibility requirements Grade level: Must begin program in grade 9
Academic: Must maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average each semester in the program. The contract between a district and postsecondary institution must establish the level of academic readiness a student must meet to enroll in postsecondary courses.
Other: School district may establish additional participation requirements, including requiring year-round classes and requiring a specified level of participation from students' parents.
Targets specific programs or student groups Programmatic: Not set in state policy. A contract between an eligible school district and a postsecondary institution must specify the associate's degrees or career and technical education programs available to students through the local Fast College Fast Jobs program.
Student groups: Students in target high schools in eligible school districts. Target high schools and eligible school districts must meet at least one of the following criteria:
(1) Having had a contract with a community college to implement a dual degree program within the two years prior to the 2007 enabling legislation's effective date OR
(2) Having had a graduation rate below 75% in the 2004-2005 school year.
Student counseling/support component Yes. Participating districts must ensure that students receive regularly scheduled counseling and other appropriate student support services throughout the five years they participate in the program.
Students/parents must be notified of early college/middle college opportunities Yes, but only those students/parents in districts eligible to host an early college program. An eligible district is one that either contracted with a community college to implement a dual degree program within two years of enactment of the 2007 enabling legislation, or had a graduation rate below 75% for the 2004-2005 school year.
College partners can be two-year/four-year/both Both (four-year institutions offering a two-year degree program, area vocational schools, and junior colleges that are part of a junior college district)
Where courses provided Not set in state policy
Program may award associate's degrees

Yes

Notes/Citation: Or career and technical education certificate

Public postsecondary institutions required to accept credits Yes. Courses from the "state guaranteed general education list of courses" and completed with a "C" or higher at a public institution offering an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science must be accepted. "Since 1988 Colorado has had an operating two-plus-two transfer agreement that ensures a student who completes an A.A. or A.S. degree with a grade of "C" or better in all courses, will have junior standing at the receiving institution -i.e., transfer 60 credit hours."

Credits earned in relevant courses at an area vocational school will be recognized at two- and four-year public institutions. "The relevancy of credits earned at area vocational colleges will be determined through transcript evaluations administered by receiving institutions unless the credits were earned in courses carrying the guaranteed statewide transfer designation, in which case the credits will be guaranteed for transfer[.]"
Special teacher/faculty preparation requirements No. In addition, an individual providing instruction in a postsecondary course is not required to be certified as a teacher, regardless of whether the course will count as credit toward a student's high school diploma.
Evaluative component 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.
Sources Brief profile: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-103, -104
Who may establish: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-104
Unique characteristics: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-105(2), -106
Funding mechanism: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-106, -107; Secondary schools: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-107(1); Tuition: § 22-35.5-107(2); Postsecondary funding: 1 COLO. CODE REGS. § 2254-R-5.19
Eligibility requirements: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-104 through -10
Population targeted: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-106 (1)(d), 22-35.5-103(7)
Counseling/support: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-105
Notification: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-105
College partners: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-103
Associate's degrees: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-104
Postsecondary institutions required to accept credits: Colorado Department of Higher Education Policies and Procedures, Section I, Part L, Paragraphs 5.01 and 5.03
Teacher/faculty requirements: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-106
Evaluative component: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-35.5-108

Michigan
Early Colleges/Middle Colleges
Brief profile of state policy Legislation provides for fifth-year high school students, who may enroll in early or middle college high schools to earn a high school diploma and an associate's degree or up to two years of transferable postsecondary credit. (In Michigan, the terms "early college" and "middle college" are used interchangeably.)

Legislation enacted in 2006 provides start-up funds for middle colleges focused on health sciences. 2008 S.B. 1107, which the governor signed in August 2008, provides an additional $15 million for the creation of smaller, more personalized high schools providing real-world learning to at-risk students. Early/middle college high schools will qualify for these funds.
Who may establish (charter, LEA, etc.) School district, intermediate school district, or charter school ("public school academy")
Unique characteristics The health sciences-focused middle colleges created through MICH. COMP. LAWS § 388.1664 must include a hospital or health care organization as a partner (in addition to a K-12 and a postsecondary partner). These programs must provide:
(1) Outreach programs to provide middle and high school students with information on career opportunities in health sciences.
(2) An individualized education plan for each student (this predates the requirement that all students, effective with the Class of 2011, have an "educational development plan" to guide their high school course taking).
(3) Clinical rotations that provide opportunities for students to observe careers in health sciences.

In practice, students in the health sciences middle colleges may have access to immediate employment upon program completion.
Student eligibility requirements Grade level: Min. grade 9
Academic: Not set in state policy
Other: Not set in state policy
Targets specific programs or student groups Programmatic: While state grants are available to support the creation of middle colleges focused on health sciences, programs not using these funds may select other areas of concentration
Student groups: Not set in state policy
Student counseling/support component Not set in state policy, but in practice, programs provide college-level background services and systems of support. Special classes in many programs teach study skills and offer other types of supports.
Students/parents must be notified of early college/middle college opportunities No
College partners can be two-year/four-year/both Not set in policy, but in practice, college partners are public two- and four-year institutions. A postsecondary partner receiving a grant to implement a middle college focused on health sciences must be a community college or state public university.
Where courses provided Not set in state policy. In practice, most courses are provided on postsecondary campuses.
Program may award associate's degrees

Yes

Notes/Citation: In practice, students may choose to earn technical certification

Public postsecondary institutions required to accept credits No, although in practice, most public postsecondary institutions in the state do accept early/middle college credits.
Special teacher/faculty preparation requirements No
Evaluative component No
Sources Brief profile: MICH. COMP. LAWS § 388.1664; MICH. ADMIN. CODE r. 388.152; Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education
Who may establish: MICH. ADMIN. CODE r. 388.152; Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education; MICH. COMP. LAWS § 380.501
Unique characteristics: MICH. COMP. LAWS § 388.1664; Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education
Funding mechanism:
Eligibility requirements: Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education
Population targeted: MICH. COMP. LAWS § 388.1664; Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education
Counseling/support: Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education
College partners: MICH. COMP. LAWS § 388.1664; Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education
Where courses provided: Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education
Associate's degrees: MICH. COMP. LAWS § 388.1664; MICH. ADMIN. CODE r. 388.152; Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education
Postsecondary institutions required to accept credits: Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education
Teacher/faculty requirements: Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education
Evaluative component: Jan Ellis and MaryAlice Galloway, Michigan Department of Education

North Carolina
Early Colleges/Middle Colleges
Brief profile of state policy Governor Mike Easley's Learn and Earn Early College High School Initiative, launched in 2004, offers students the opportunity to begin working toward earning a high school diploma and associate's degree (or two years of college credit) in five years, beginning in grade 9. The legislation for these programs refers to "cooperative innovative high school programs." The North Carolina New Schools Project, created in August 2003 by the governor's cabinet and the Public School Forum with financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, assists local sites in developing and implementing early college high schools.
Who may establish (charter, LEA, etc.) LEA and at least one local board of trustees (of a community college, "constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, or private college located in North Carolina.")
Unique characteristics Economic development: State policy makes clear that early college programs must further state and/or regional economic development efforts, not just student achievement. Programs must:
(1) Provide students with the opportunity to gain skills needed to secure high-skilled employment.
(2) Allow students to complete a technical or academic program in a high-demand field that offers high wages.
(3) Enable students completing the program to pass employer exams, if applicable.

An application to establish an early college high school must include a "statement of how the program relates to the Economic Vision Plan adopted for the economic development region in which the program is to be located." In approving an application, the state board of education and the postsecondary institution's governing board must give priority to applications that, among other characteristics, "address the economic development needs of the economic development regions in which they are located[.]"

A private business or organization and/or the county board of commissioners in the county in which the program is located may participate in the development of an early college high school program. Such additional partners must jointly apply with the district and the postsecondary institution's board of trustees to establish an early college program.

Online early college: Beginning in the 2007-2008 school year, students in participating high schools who meet college-set prerequisites may take Learn and Earn courses online. (A student's high school does not need to be a Learn and Earn high school.) Students may access these courses during the regular school day. An "online course facilitator will assist students in the classroom." According to the state department of education Web site, about 277 high schools were participating in the online initiative as of fall 2007.

EARN grants: Two-year EARN grants allow qualifying Learn and Earn and other students to graduate from college with no debt obligations. Candidates must have graduated from a North Carolina high school within seven months of receiving a grant, be a full-time student at an eligible North Carolina postsecondary institution, a community college or University of North Carolina campus, be a dependent of a parent whose household income does not exceed 200% of the federal poverty level, and remain in good academic standing.
Funding mechanism(s)

State funding for secondary schools: Each program is treated as an individual high school for funding purposes, even if it is located at another high school, or at a two- or four-year institution.

Tuition: Community colleges must waive tuition for early college high school students. Early college students at a four-year institution are responsible for their own tuition and fees.

State funding for postsecondary schools:

Taught in Association with a Community College: If a community college has contracted with a school district to operate a cooperative innovative high school program (CIHS) and uses community college faculty to teach a dual credit course, the community college receives full state funding for the course. If the community college uses high school teachers to teach the course, the community college receives a state reimbursement equal to the direct cost of the course plus 15%.

Taught in Association with a Public Four-Year Institution: If a University of North Carolina (UNC) professor teaches the course, the institution may claim funding from the state. If the course is taught by a high school teacher, the institution does not receive state funding.
 
In addition, programs are to "[e]ffectively utilize existing funding sources for high school, college, university and vocational programs and actively pursue new funding from other sources." Likewise, the local board of education and the local board of trustees "are strongly encouraged to seek funds from sources other than state, federal and local appropriations," and are "strongly encouraged to seek funds the Education Cabinet identifies or obtains under G.S. 116C-4." A program "may use state, federal or local funds allocated to the local school unit, to the applicable governing board, and to the college or university to implement the program." If the program has the local county board of commissioners as an "education partner," "the program may use state, federal and local funds allocated to that body." Even if not an education partner, the local county board of commissioners may nevertheless appropriate funds to an early college high school program.

Student eligibility requirements Grade level: Min. grade 9
Academic: The selection committee for each University of North Carolina (UNC)-based early college program must base selection decisions on "academic credentials" and other factors (see "Other" below). In addition, before enrolling in a UNC university-level course, "students must demonstrate readiness to succeed in these courses." A standard measure of readiness is determined by each early college and university.
Other: Determined by the local district and the postsecondary partner's board of trustees. Selection of students for early colleges on UNC campuses is made by a selection committee that must include "local public school officials, university academic affairs officials, university student affairs officials and college officials. Selection must be based on academic credentials, disciplinary records, potential of successful completion of high school [and] university course requirements and potential for contribution to the intellectual and social strength of the college environment."
Targets specific programs or student groups Programmatic: Engineering, health sciences, teaching
Student groups: Must target students at risk of dropping out or students "who would benefit from accelerated academic instruction."
Student counseling/support component Yes. Programs must "provide consistent counseling, advising and parent conferencing so that parents and students can make responsible decisions regarding course taking and can track students' academic progress and success."
Students/parents must be notified of early college/middle college opportunities No. There is no requirement that all parents and prospective students must be notified, although programs must "develop methods for early identification of potential participating students in the middle grades and through high school." Programs must, as part of their proposal, develop a plan for student selection and recruitment; the North Carolina New Schools Project stresses the importance of recruitment in gaining the participation of first-generation college-goers and free- and reduced-lunch students.
College partners can be two-year/four-year/both Both (public and private four-year institutions, community colleges)
Where courses provided Programs may be provided in "a school within a school, a technical high school, or a high school or technical center located on the campus of a college or university." If the program includes a partnership with a private business or organization or the county board of commissioners in the county in which the program is located, the program may be operated there, as well.

If a University of North Carolina (UNC) system institution is the postsecondary partner, the early college must be located on the university campus.

In addition, the Learn and Earn Online program makes the program available to students in participating high schools. Learn and Earn Online high schools are in addition to those that have bricks-and-mortar Learn and Earn programs.
Program may award associate's degrees

Yes

Notes/Citation: Programs must allow students to earn "a high school diploma in less than four years, to begin or complete an associate degree program, to master a certificate or vocational program, or to earn up to two years of college credit."

Public postsecondary institutions required to accept credits Yes. Learn and Earn and Learn and Earn Online courses are covered by the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA). As such, academic core courses completed with a "C" or better through an associate's degree program will be recognized across the North Carolina Community College System and the 16 UNC institutions.
Special teacher/faculty preparation requirements No. However, programs must "[e]ncourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods." Program applications must describe the "qualifications required for individuals employed in the program."
Evaluative component 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.
Sources

Brief profile: North Carolina New Schools Project Web site
Who may establish: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.50A and 115C-238.51
Unique characteristics: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.51 and 115C-238.52; North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Learn and Earn Online Web page; EARN Grants Web page
Funding mechanism: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.50(a)(10), -238.53(e) and -238.54; Secondary schools: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.54(a); Tuition: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115D-5(b), UNC Policy 400.6.1[R]; Postsecondary funding: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115D-41, University of North Carolina "Student Credit Hour Enrollment Change Funding Model" manual
Eligibility requirements: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.50(f), University of North Carolina Policy Manual, section 400.6.1
Population targeted: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.50(a)(1) and (2) and (d)(3)
Counseling/support: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.50(b)(6)
Notification: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.50(b)(10); Carolyn White, Director, Learn and Earn, North Carolina New Schools Project
College partners: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.50A, 116-2(4)
Where courses provided: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.50(e); University of North Carolina Policy Manual, section 400.6.1; Learn and Earn Online Web site
Associate's degrees: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.50(d)(2) University of North Carolina Policy Manual, sections 400.6 and 400.6.1
Postsecondary institutions required to accept credits: Comprehensive Articulation Agreement Between the University of North Carolina and the North Carolina Community College System, revised June 2008
Teacher/faculty requirements: Carolyn White, Director, Learn and Earn, North Carolina New Schools Project; NC. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.50(b)(8), -238.51(b)(9)
Evaluative component: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-238.55


Pennsylvania
Early Colleges/Middle Colleges
Brief profile of state policy State policy addresses both early college and middle college high school programs.

Early college high school: A structured sequence of secondary and postsecondary credits offered over a 5- or 6-year period, allowing a program completer to earn both a high school diploma and postsecondary credits equivalent to an associate of arts degree or enough credits to enter a bachelor of arts program as a junior. Does not specify program location.

Middle college high school: A program that offers secondary and postsecondary coursework at an eligible postsecondary institution, allowing a program completer to earn both a high school diploma and the accumulation of postsecondary credits (but not necessarily an associate of arts degree or enough credits to enter a bachelor of arts program as a junior). An eligible postsecondary institution may be a nonprofit 2- or 4-year public or private college or university or an eligible private licensed school approved to operate in the state.
Who may establish (charter, LEA, etc.) District or an area vocational-technical school and at least one nonprofit two- or four-year public or private college or university, or an eligible private licensed school approved to operate in the state.

While charter, private, nonpublic or home schools may not enter into partnerships with postsecondary institutions to create early/middle college programs, a student enrolled in any of these options and who meets entry criteria may enroll in concurrent courses that are part of a concurrent enrollment program in the student's district of residence or the area vocational-technical school.
Unique characteristics Yes. In order to be eligible to receive state grant funds to support a concurrent enrollment program, including an early or middle college program, a school entity (district or area vocational-technical school) must form a concurrent enrollment committee of at least six members, of at which at least four must be appointed by the local board. The members must include:
(1) A parent of a high school student enrolled in the district or area vocational-technical school
(2) A teacher in and chosen by teachers in the district or area vocational-technical school
(3) An administrator in and chosen by the superintendent of the district or area vocational-technical school
(4) A member of the local board, who must also chair the committee.

At least two members must also be appointed by each participating postsecondary institution, and must include a faculty member representing a department with administrative authority over one or more approved concurrent courses. If three or more postsecondary institutions participate in the program, one member must be appointed by each institution.

The committee is responsible for developing a written agreement between the school entity and the postsecondary institution(s), which may contain separate, individual agreements with each institution, presenting the agreement to the local board for approval, meeting at least quarterly to review the program, recommending changes to the program to the local board, and establishing criteria to allow students who do not otherwise meet the eligiblity requirements set by the committee, to enroll in the program.

In addition, legislation specifies that upon request from a district or area vocational-technical school, the department of education must provide technical assistance in developing programs and agreements between secondary and postsecondary partners.

Charter school, nonpublic, private and home school students may enroll in programs approved in their school district of residence.

Early and middle college opportunities are limited by legislation that limits grants to these (plus Gateway to College, for returning dropouts) programs to 4% of all available funds.
Funding mechanism(s) State funding for secondary schools: A district receives full state funding for a student if the district pays the student's tuition and fees at the institution in which the student is enrolled. If the district does not pay the student's tuition and fees, the district receives a prorated amount of state funding based on the amount of time the student spent in the classroom.

Tuition: Schools may choose to pay students' postsecondary tuition and fees. If the school does not pay, it is the student's responsibility to pay his/her own tuition and fees. Students may qualify for a complete or partial reimbursement through the state's Opportunities for Educational Excellence Program.

State funding for postsecondary schools

Taught in association with a community college: Students enrolled in a middle or early college program are treated the same as traditional students for state funding purposes. The only exception is if a district enters into an agreement with a community college, that provides the community college with district funding for dual enrollment students that exceeds the additional cost of the program.

Taught in association with a four-year institution: Students enrolled in a middle or early college program are treated the same as traditional students for state funding purposes.
Student eligibility requirements Each district/postsecondary partnership agreement specifies the student eligibility criteria, but must include all of the following:
(1) Postsecondary placement test scores.
(2) The results of nationally available achievement tests or other standardized tests included in the high school partner's local assessment system.
(3) Satisfactory progress toward completing high school graduation requirements, as determined by the high school partner.
(4) Demonstrated readiness for college-level coursework, as determined by the postsecondary institution.
(5) Status as a high school junior or senior.

However, the program must also develop criteria to allow students who do not meet the criteria set forth in the agreement, to enroll in the program.

The agreement must also specify the minimum performance criteria, in both high school and postsecondary courses, students must meet to remain in the program.
Targets specific programs or student groups Programmatic: Postsecondary courses must either fulfill a graduation requirement or be identified as advanced coursework in a core academic subject as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Student groups: Not set in state policy
Student counseling/support component No
Students/parents must be notified of early college/middle college opportunities No, although the department of education must publish promotional materials on its Web site that schools may use to inform students and parents "about the requirements, features and opportunities of concurrent enrollment programs," including early college and middle college programs. These promotional materials must also be made available, on request, to any charter school, nonpublic or private school, or home education program.
College partners can be two-year/four-year/both Both (nonprofit two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities, and eligible private licensed schools approved to operate in the state)
Where courses provided Not set in state policy
Program may award associate's degrees

No

Public postsecondary institutions required to accept credits No — only the institution at which the student took the course is required to award credit for the course. Other postsecondary institutions may grant credit for the course. However, community colleges, member institutions of the State System of Higher Education and state-related institutions may not deny credit for an early or middle college course based on the fact that the credit was earned through an early or middle college program.
Special teacher/faculty preparation requirements No
Evaluative component 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.
Sources Brief profile: 24 PA. CONS. STAT. § 16-1602-B
Who may establish: 24 PA. CONS. STAT. § 16-1602-B, 16-1614-B(b)
Unique characteristics: 24 PA. CONS. STAT. § 16-1603-B(e), § 16-1612-B
Funding mechanism: Secondary schools: 22 PA. CODE § 11.5; Tuition: 24 PA. CONS. STAT. § 16-1603-B; Postsecondary funding: 22 PA. CODE § 35.61, review of 2007-2008 state budgets
Eligibility requirements: 24 PA. CONS. STAT. § 16-1613-B(b)(2), § 16-1612-B(b)(5)
Population targeted: 24 PA. CONS. STAT. § 16-1605-B
Notification: 24 PA. CONS. STAT. § 16-1603-B(b)
College partners: 24 PA. CONS. STAT. § 16-1602-B
Postsecondary institutions must accept credits: 24 PA. CONS. STAT. § 16-1615-B(d)
Evaluative component: 24 PA. CONS. STAT. § 16-1612-B(b), 16-1603-B(f), 16-1611-B(b)

Tennessee
Early Colleges/Middle Colleges
Brief profile of state policy With support from Governor Phil Bredesen, 2007 H.B. 99 (public chapter 459), modeled after North Carolina legislation, authorizes the creation of cooperative innovative high school programs, including early college high schools. The legislation also establishes the consortium for cooperative innovative education, a joint effort of the state board, department of education, Tennessee higher education commission, board of trustees of the University of Tennessee and the board of regents "to oversee cooperative innovative high school programs, to oversee articulation, alignment and curriculum development for such programs and to evaluate the success of students in the programs[.]"

Two or more districts in cooperation with one or more public postsecondary institutions may apply to establish a cooperative innovative high school programs. Legislation directs the consortium to "develop a plan for the rollout of new cooperative innovative programs in a staggered manner and as quickly as possible so that by the 2009-2010" school year, programs are available throughout the state.
Who may establish (charter, LEA, etc.) LEA in cooperation with at least one public postsecondary institution
Unique characteristics State policy makes clear that early college programs must further state and/or regional economic development efforts, not just student achievement. Programs must:
(1) Provide students with the opportunity to gain skills neeeded to secure high-skilled employment.
(2) Allow students to complete a technical or academic program in a high-demand field that offers high wages.
(3) Enable students completing the program to pass employer exams, if applicable.

An application to establish an early college high school must include a "statement of how the program relates to the economic development of the region in which the program is to be located. Priority must be given to applications that "address the economic development needs of the regions in which they are located[.]"

A private business or organization and/or the county legislative body (county board of commissioners) in the county in which the program is locatedmay participate in the development of an early college high school program. Such additional partners must jointly apply with the district and the postsecondary institution to establish an early college program.
Funding mechanism(s) State funding for secondary schools: Students in cooperative innovative high school programs are funded at the same level as students enrolled in traditional high schools.

Tuition: A participating student cannot be charged any tuition or fees.

State funding for postsecondary schools: Students in cooperative innovative high school programs are treated no differently from traditional postsecondary students for state funding purposes.

In addition, programs are to "[e]ffectively utilize existing funding sources for high school, college, university and career and technical programs and actively pursue new funding from other sources[.]" Likewise, "[t]he LEA and the cooperating public postsecondary institution are strongly encouraged to seek funds from sources other than state, federal and local appropriations.

If the program has the local county board of commissioners as an "education partner," the county board of commissioners may allocate state, federal and local funds toward the program. Even if not an education partner, the local county board of commissioners may nevertheless appropriate funds to an early college high school program.
Student eligibility requirements Grade level: Min. grade 9
Academic: Not set in state policy
Other: Determined by the LEAs and one or more public postsecondary institutions.
Targets specific programs or student groups Programmatic: Engineering, health sciences, teaching
Student groups: Must target students at risk of dropping out or students "who would benefit from accelerated academic instruction."
Student counseling/support component Yes. Programs must "provide consistent counseling, advising, and parent conferencing at the secondary level so that parents and students can make responsible decisions regarding course taking and can track the students' academic progress and success[.]"
Students/parents must be notified of early college/middle college opportunities No. There is no requirement that all parents and prospective students must be notified, although programs must "develop methods for early identification of potential participating students in the middle grades and through high school." Programs must, as part of their proposal, develop a plan for student selection.
College partners can be two-year/four-year/both Both (public and private colleges and universities, community colleges and technology centers)
Where courses provided Programs may be provided in "a school within a school, a technical high school, or a high school or technical center located on the campus of a postsecondary institution." If the program includes a partnership with a private business or organization or the county legislative body in which the program is located, the program may be operated there, as well.
Program may award associate's degrees

Yes

Notes/Citation: Programs must allow students to earn "a high school diploma in less than 4 years, to begin or complete an associate degree program, to master a certificate or diploma in a career or technical program, or to earn up to 2 years of postsecondary credit[.]"

Public postsecondary institutions required to accept credits State policy unclear
Special teacher/faculty preparation requirements No. However, programs must "[e]ncourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods[.]" Program applications must describe the "qualifications required for individuals employed in the program[.]"
Evaluative component 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.
Sources Brief profile: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101 through -104
Who may establish: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-104
Unique characteristics: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101, -104, -105
Funding mechanism: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101(b)(10), -107 Secondary schools: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-107(a); Tuition: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-107(f); Postsecondary funding: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-106(f)
Eligibility requirements: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101, -104
Population targeted: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101(a)(1) and (2), (d)(3)
Counseling/support component: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101(b)(6)
Notification: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101(b)(11), 49-15-104((b)(8)
College partners: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101(a), 49-15-105(a)(1) and (2)
Where courses provided: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101(e), -106(d)
Associate's degrees: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101(d)(2)
Postsecondary institutions required to accept credits:
Teacher/faculty requirements: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-101(b)(8), -104(b)(10)
Evaluative component: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-15-108

Texas
Early Colleges/Middle Colleges
Brief profile of state policy Early colleges and middle colleges are programs for students to simultaneously complete the Recommended or Advanced high school diploma and up to two years of college credit.

Early colleges must provide a course of study allowing students to combine high school and college courses in grades 9-12, and must provide students the opportunity to complete either an associate's degree or at least 60 credit hours toward a bachelor's degree within five years of high school entry.
Who may establish (charter, LEA, etc.) District or open-enrollment charter school
Unique characteristics Early college programs have flexibility in the number of hours a day or days a week a student attends, as long as courses meet the minimum number of instructional hours as required in state policy.

Administrative rules may provide for giving admissions preference in early college programs to students who are first-generation college-goers.
Funding mechanism(s) State funding for secondary schools: Students are funded at the same level as students enrolled in traditional high schools.

Tuition: A student participating in the program cannot be charged any tuition or fees. Tuition and fee cost is covered by the secondary school unless the postsecondary school is willing to waive or reduce these costs.

State funding for postsecondary schools: Students in an early college program are treated no differently from traditional postsecondary students for state funding purposes.
Student eligibility requirements Grade level: Min. grade 9
Academic: Each student must be assessed "for readiness to engage in any college-level curriculum offered for college credit prior to the student's enrollment" in college work. TAKS, ACT and SAT scores may be used for this purpose. The program must determine "what forms of assistance and remediation, if any, are necessary" before a student may enroll in college-level coursework, "based on the results of the assessment and other indicators of student readiness."
Other: Not set in state policy
Targets specific programs or student groups Programmatic: Not set in state policy
Student groups: Early college programs must target students "at risk of dropping out or who wish to accelerate completion of the high school program." Legislation authorizes administrative rules to give admissions preference in early college programs to students who are first-generation college goers.
Student counseling/support component Yes. Early college programs must provide academic mentoring.
Students/parents must be notified of early college/middle college opportunities Yes. Districts must annually notify all parents of students in grades 9-12 of the availability of programs in the district through which students may earn college credit.
College partners can be two-year/four-year/both Both (public two-year colleges and universities, and technical schools)
Where courses provided Not set in state policy
Program may award associate's degrees

Yes

Notes/Citation: Programs must allow students to complete an associate's degree or at least 60 semester credit hours toward a bachelor's degree.

Public postsecondary institutions required to accept credits No. While institutions of higher education must accept courses that fall within the 42-credit core curriculum, the state has not yet determined policies requiring courses outside the core to be accepted by other public postsecondary institutions.
Special teacher/faculty preparation requirements No. However, the postsecondary partner must select all teachers providing college-level instruction. Such instructors must be either regularly employed faculty members at the postsecondary institution or meet the same standards, including "minimal requirements of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools." Early and middle college staff providing college-level instruction must be supervised and evaluated "using the same or comparable procedures used for" regular faculty at the postsecondary institution.
Evaluative component 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.
Sources Brief profile: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 29.908(b); 19 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 4.153(5)
Who may establish: 19 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 4.154, 102.1091
Unique characteristics: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 29.0822, 29.908(d)
Funding mechanism: Secondary schools: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 29.908(c); Tuition: 19 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 102.1091(d)(3); Postsecondary funding: 19 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 4.160
Eligibility requirements: 19 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 4.155
Population targeted: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 29.908(a) and (d)
Counseling/support: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 29.908(b)(4)
Notification: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 28.010
College partners: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 29.908(b)(3); 19 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 4.153(3)
Associate's degrees: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 29.908(b)(2)
Postsecondary institutions required to accept credits: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 61.822(c) and (d); Evelyn Hiatt, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Teacher/faculty requirements: 19 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 4.156
Evaluative component: 19 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 4.159, 102.1091

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