New Report High School to College transition programs

Posted by on November 14, 2003

[posted from Public Education Network newsletter]


An increasing national focus on the need for high academic standards, coupled with the growing importance of obtaining a postsecondary degree, has led to the expansion of programs that allow high school students to take college-level classes and earn college credit while still in high school. Proponents of credit-based transition programs contend that they smooth the transition into postsecondary education by providing students with the academic and social skills necessary for college success. Proponents also argue that although credit-based transition programs have typically targeted academically proficient and high-achieving students, a broader subset of high school students may benefit from participation. Are these contentions valid? Do credit-based transition programs live up to their promise and help middle- and low-achieving students enter and succeed in college? Despite their rapid growth and popularity, little is known about these programs, their impact on participants, and the reason why they might promote college access and success.

A new report from the Community College Research Center (CCRC), Teachers College, Columbia University, outlines what is known about these programs, what we still need to find out, and what practitioners and policymakers seeking to smooth the transition from high school to college for all students can learn from those programs already in existence.

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