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Is high school tough enough: Helpful resources for school boards

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) is a professional organization for high schools and colleges that advances seamless education through secondary and post-secondary collaborations. NACEP defines concurrent enrollment as transcripted college classes taught by trained high school teachers for both high school and college credit, at their high school, during the regular school day. Established in 1999 in response to the dramatic increase in concurrent enrollment courses throughout the country, NACEP fosters student success and achievement by supporting standards of excellence that promote program and professional development, accreditation, research and advocacy.  NACEP’s October 2010 report Promoting Quality: State Strategies for Overseeing Dual Enrollment Programs documents the strategies employed by six states to ensure that college courses offered to high school students are of the same high quality and rigor as courses offered to matriculated college students.  See http://nacep.org/

Academic Pathways to Access and Student Success (APASS) is a website developed by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with support from Lumina Foundation for Education, “to identify, examine, and disseminate information about new and emerging academic pathways that extend from high school to college and enhance college access for traditionally underserved students.” APASS defines these pathways broadly and includes among them: Advanced

Placement (AP), bridge programs, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), distance learning/virtual schools, dual credit/dual enrollment, early or middle college high schools, general educational development (GED) in college settings, International Baccalaureate (IB), and Tech-Prep. The APASS website displays state-by-state information on several accelerated options, along with fact sheets on each type of option.  See http://www.apass.uiuc.edu/.

Jobs for the Future has an extensive website devoted to the Early College High School Initiative with more than 30 resources and publications including research, promising practices, and different approaches to the issue. More information is at www.jff.org.

The College Board has extensive AP materials examining courses and what the research shows about AP participation. Its AP Central website includes information on its pre-AP program for grades 6-12 and pre-AP professional development for teachers. The College Board also is making research-based revisions in some AP courses during the next three years. The changes will take place gradually from 2011 through 2014 in history, science and world languages.

More information on all of these topics is at http://apcentral.collegeboard.com.

The Center has established a page with resources related to the Common Core State Standards, including links to the standards themselves and to state-led assessment consortia. http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Policies/Understanding-the-Common-Core

The National Student Clearinghouse offers data feedback reports to high schools through its StudentTracker for High Schools program, which is designed to help high school districts more accurately gauge the college success of their graduates. http://www.studentclearinghouse.org/highschools/default.htm



This report was prepared for the Center for Public Education by Eileen M. O’Brien and Chuck Dervarics. O’Brien is an independent education researcher and consultant in Alexandria, Virginia. Much of her work has focused on access to quality education for disadvantaged and minority populations. O’Brien has a Master of Public Administration from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Loyola University, Chicago. Chuck Dervarics is an education writer and former editor of Report on Preschool Programs, a national independent newsletter on pre-k, Head Start, and child care policy. As a writer and researcher, he has contributed to case studies and research projects of the Southern Education Foundation, the American Council on Education, and the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, often focusing on issues facing disadvantaged populations. Dervarics has a Bachelors degree from George Washington University.

Posted: March 2012

© Center for Public Education, 2012

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