Early College High School Initiative: Evaluation Year End Report: 2003–2004 (2005)
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI) seeks to create a network of small schools that blend high school and college experiences. Early College High Schools (ECHSs) are designed to provide students with the opportunity to earn 2 years of college credit in a compressed time frame at public expense while simultaneously earning a high school diploma. The ECHSI is intended to serve students from groups traditionally under-served and underrepresented in higher education and is targeted to first-generation, low-income, English language learner, and minority students.
Structurally, the ECHSI can be viewed as a network of supportive relationships funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The nonprofit organization Jobs for the Future (JFF) oversees and facilitates the work of the initiative overall. The foundation and JFF work directly with intermediaries, who receive grant money from the foundation. These intermediaries represent a mixture of higher education institutions, philanthropic foundations, and education- or community- based organizations located across the United States. Intermediaries work with local partnerships, which must include an institution of higher education (IHE) and a provider of secondary education (e.g., a public school district or other entity), to create ECHSs. Once the initial partnership is established, the intermediaries oversee the relationship, provide or arrange technical assistance to the local partnerships and the ECHSs, and facilitate the development of a learning network among all the schools connected to a given intermediary.
This first annual evaluation report on the ECHSI is based on surveys, interviews, and site visit data collected during the 2002–2003 and 2003–2004 academic years. It includes the first 10 intermediaries funded through this initiative.