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Missing Academic Targets in Ninth Grade: Do Early College High Schools Give Students Second Chances for College?

Elizabeth Glennie (), Fatih Unlu, Julie Edmunds and Douglas Lauen
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Elizabeth Glennie: RTI International
Fatih Unlu: Rand Corporation
Julie Edmunds: SERVE – University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Douglas Lauen: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research in Higher Education, 2022, vol. 63, issue 7, No 1, 1095-1119

Abstract: Abstract Advancing in key courses in ninth grade is an early, crucial step in preparing for college. Students who miss academic targets early in high school may not be ready to go to college 4 years later. In the United States, when students fail key courses in ninth grade, they may struggle to catch up to their peers who successfully took and passed these required courses. Even if they graduate high school with a good GPA, if they have not taken all required courses, they will not be eligible to attend college. This paper explores whether a comprehensive high school reform model—early college high schools—can mitigate poor ninth grade performance. Early colleges couple a rigorous academic experience with extensive student supports. This study examines whether early colleges are more effective in having students advance in key ninth grade courses, and when students do not advance, whether these schools are more effective in helping those students recover. These analyses are part of a statewide quasi-experimental study of early colleges in North Carolina. We find that some students did miss the college-readiness target by failing to advance in ninth grade English or mathematics courses. In early colleges students who missed their target in ninth grade were more likely to recover by advancing in college preparatory classes, graduate, and enroll in college.

Keywords: College access; School reform; Disadvantaged students; Early college (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s11162-022-09680-0

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