Instruction Across the High School—College Divide (2009)
In this report for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AIR and its partner, SRI International, systematically examine how Early College Schools (ECS) can best prepare high school students for college success.
The report presents findings from high school and college instructional data collected during site visits to ECS classrooms in the 2008–09 academic year, as part of the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI). ECSs are intended to encourage high school graduation, college enrollment, and college persistence by enabling students to earn college credits while they are still in high school.
Generally, ECSs in the ECHSI are expected to adhere to a set of Core Principles. Although none of the Core Principles explicitly addresses quality instruction, underlying two of the Core Principles is an assumption that the instruction students receive in high school will prepare them for success in college. These principles suggest that ECSs and their higher education partners should jointly develop an “integrated academic program” that leads to transferable college credit and that students should be provided with a comprehensive support system that “develops academic and social skills as well as the behaviors and conditions necessary for college completion.”