Canton's Early College High School: Outpacing the National Average
The Early College High School Initiative began with a captivating, though radical, concept: challenge not remediation will make a difference for those young people who are least likely to attend college... - The Early College High School Initiative*
There are nearly 24,000 public high schools in the United States and nearly 7,000 colleges and universities, but there are only 160 early college high schools.**
In 2002, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched an initiative to create a new kind of school in which low income and first generation college-going students could potentially earn not only a diploma, but up to two years of college or an associate degree by high school graduation.
Canton's Early College High School came on line during the summer of 2005 as a partnership between the Canton City Schools, Stark State College of Technology, the Canton Professional Educators Association, and the Stark Education Partnership, Inc. Partial funding was provided by the Gates Foundation through KnowledgeWorks and by the Ohio Department of Education.
This fall, Canton's Early College High School reached an important milestone with its first senior class. What has become clear as the school approaches its fourth year is that Canton students are far outperforming the national average for early colleges. Cumulative results from spring and summer of 2008 show that students have amassed over 5,000 hours of
earned college credit at an average GPA of 2.54.
Part of Canton's success is a unique team teaching approach by both high school teachers and college professors. This provides additional support to enable students at all levels to meet the challenge and rigor of college coursework. In Canton, 100% of students take college courses starting in their freshman year. Nationally, only 36% of early college 9th graders ever take a college course; only 52% of all students are enrolled in at least one college course.***
* The Early College High School Initiative: Overview and Facts at: http://www.earlycolleges.
** U.S. Dept. of Education NCES data on public high school and Title IV higher education
*** AIR &SRI (2008). Emerging Patterns and Relationships: A Summary of the Early College High School Initiative Evaluation Report. Arlington, Va.: Authors.