ECHS in Comprehensive High Schools – Impacts
Three projects (Rural Innovative Schools in NC, Early College Expansion Project in Texas, and STEM Early College Expansion Project in Michigan) have had impact studies completed. Two studies looked at a measure of college readiness (percentage of students successfully completing college preparatory courses) and all three looked at college-level coursetaking and dropouts. Key takeaways from the three studies with final results included:
- There were no impacts on the percentage of students successfully completing college preparatory English and Math courses.
- There were mixed impacts on dropout rates. Dropout rates were reduced in one setting (Texas) with a strong explicit focus on dropout interventions but increased in another setting (NC) that did not have that strong, explicit focus.
- All projects showed increases in overall college-level coursetaking. In some settings, there was an indication that dual enrollment courses were replacing Advanced Placement courses.
|Domain Summary||NC iRIS||ECEP–TX||SECEP||CCRE|
|On-Track in College Prep Courses|
|Staying in School – Dropout Rate|
|College Course Taking|
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Defined as: Percentage of 9th grade students who took and completed English I or Algebra I or higher.
NC iRIS: No significant difference: 84% of treatment students successfully completed Algebra I and English 1 compared to 84% of comparison students.
ECEP–TX: No significant difference in Texas: 96% of treatment students successfully completed Algebra I and English 1 compared to 96% of comparison students.
CCRE: 60.2% of 9th grade CCRE students were on track for high school graduation compared to 54.4% of comparison students, a statistically significant difference. 56.9% of CCRE 10th graders were on track compared to 50.4% of comparison students, a statistically significant difference.
Defined as: Percentage of high school students who dropped out in a given year (iRIS and SECEP), percentage of 9th graders who dropped out by the start of their third year in high school (ECEP).
NC iRIS: Treatment students were statistically significantly more likely to drop out than control students (1.9% in treatment group vs. 1.0% in comparison group).
ECEP–TX: In Texas, treatment students were less likely to dropout than comparison students. Overall there was a drop of 1.1 percentage points (2.7% dropout rate in treatment schools compared to 3.8% dropout in comparison schools). There was a large drop of 3.6 percentage points for English Language Learners.
SECEP: In Michigan, there was no significant difference in dropout rates between treatment and comparison groups. In CT, the trends were higher dropout rates for treatment students however the study design did not allow for true causal comparisons.
CCRE: There was no statistically significant difference in dropout rates between CCRE and comparison students.
Defined as: Percentage of 12th graders who enrolled in either dual enrollment or AP (all three projects). Number of college credits earned (iRIS and SECEP)
NC iRIS: When the program was in place, there was a large positive impact of 22 percentage points on college coursetaking. The treatment group was 53% compared to 21% for the comparison group. After the project stopped because of bankruptcy, the impact dropped to a non-significant 3 percentage points. The treatment group had double the number of college credits earned as the comparison group.
ECEP–TX: By the end of the project, 96% of treatment students in Texas had taken at least one college-level course, compared to 87% of comparison students, a difference that was not statistically significant because of the small sample size.
SECEP: In Michigan, by the end of the project, there was a 17 percentage point impact on college coursetaking. Across the entire project, treatment students earned double the number of college credits (3.5 vs. 1,8). Treatment students were much more likely to take dual enrollment courses where they earned college credit and comparison students were more likely to take AP courses, where they only infrequently passed the exam that would give them college credit.
CCRE: 30% of CCRE students took college-level courses compared to 23% of comparison students, a statistically significant difference. There was no difference in the average number of college credits earned, however.