We All Go to College

NHCSB is the first “wall-to-wall” early college in Massachusetts.

That means that ALL of the students who attend NHCSB have the opportunity to earn college credit while enrolled in high school starting as early as the 10th grade. For FREE! NHCSB is partnered with Massasoit Community College to provide college courses to NHCSB students.

What is an Early College?

During his first term in office, President Obama issued a mandate to our country to increase college attendance rates by 2020. He went on to say, “Of the 30 fastest growing occupations in America, half require a Bachelor’s degree or more. By 2016, four out of every 10 new jobs will require at least some advanced education or training”. One solution to this problem is the Early College.

Early Colleges are small schools, developed through partnerships between school districts and colleges, that provide students with an opportunity to graduate high school with a year or more of college credit earned – or even an associate’s degree. Often located on college campuses, they allow traditionally underserved students to experience themselves as “college material” from the very beginning.

Early Colleges combine middle and high school along with college expectations, supported by strong community, private and education partnerships. The first early college opened its doors in New York City with the aim of providing struggling, at-risk students with an opportunity to complete high school and earn some college credit over 30 years ago! Today, Early College High Schools serve nearly 50,000 students at 230 schools in 28 districts and the District of Columbia with support from local, state, and national agencies.

Early College High School Outcomes:

According to Brandon Busteed and the Gallup organization, “caring and hope are crucial to success in college” Students enrolled in Early College High Schools are exposed early, and often, to a college culture, rigorous coursework, and high expectations. Here are some interesting statistics about early colleges:

  • Higher percentages of early college students are graduating compared with high school students nationally – rate is approximately 92% compared to estimated national graduation rates of 70-83%. In Texas, students enrolled in early college high schools are two times more likely to pass the Texas state examinations in all four core subject areas than a peer sample in non-early college high schools.
  • A higher proportion of early college graduates are enrolling in four-year colleges. Approximately 89% of early college graduates pursued postsecondary education, compared to approximately 66% nationally. The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District and the state of North Carolina both show promising results, including the belief that the “best way to prepare young people to succeed in college is to provide them with substantial college experience while still in high school”.
  • High School Graduation: Early College students were significantly more likely to graduate from high school than comparison students. Overall, graduation rates for both groups were high. However, 86 percent of Early College students graduated from high school, which was significantly higher than the 81 percent for comparison students.
  • College Enrollment: Early College students were significantly more likely to enroll in college than comparison students. During the study period, 80 percent of Early College students enrolled, compared with 71 percent of comparison students. In addition, Early College students were more likely than comparison students to enroll in both two-year and four-year colleges or universities. Although the gap in enrollment rates between the two groups decreased over time, comparison students’ college enrollments did not catch up to those of Early College students during the study period.
  • College Degree Attainment: Early College students were significantly more likely to earn a college degree than comparison students. During the study period, 22 percent of Early College students earned a college degree (typically an associate’s degree), as compared with only 2 percent of comparison students. In addition, Early College students earned college degrees far earlier than is typical: 20 percent of Early College students earned a degree by the time they graduated from high school.