Stand Alone ECHS – Key Findings

Study of the Impact of North Carolina’s Early College Model

Since 2006, SERVE Center has been leading a team of researchers that included members from RAND Corporation, RTI International, and Abt Associates in conducting a longitudinal experimental study of the impact of the early college model as implemented in North Carolina.

Click here to read more about our latest findings

More early college students earned post-secondary credentials.
By six years after 12th grade, 44.3% of early college students had earned some sort of post-secondary credential compared to 33.0% of the control group.

  • Early college students were three times as likely to get associate degrees as control students. 32.8% of early college students earned an associate degree, compared to 11.0% of control students.
  • Despite the higher rate of associate degree attainment, early college students were not being steered away from bachelor’s degrees. There was no significant impact on bachelor’s degree attainment for the full sample. Among economically disadvantaged students, early college students were 4.5 percentage points more likely to earn bachelor’s degrees than their control group counterparts.
  • Early college students earned their degrees more rapidly. The early college model shortened students’ time to degree by two years for associate degrees and by six months for bachelor’s degrees.
  • Despite the shortened time in school, early college students did equally well in college. Both groups had essentially the same post-secondary GPA.

A note about our findings: We are following students in real time and we also have multiple cohorts of students including students who were 9th graders in 2005-2006 all the way to students who were 9th graders in 2010-2011. Therefore, we are constantly updating our findings as more students get to specific time points (such as graduating from college). This is why the numbers you see here may change or may be different in different reports or presentations; however, we don’t expect the story to change much.

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