Teachers College, Columbia University

Pathways to College Access and Success

By Katherine L. Hughes, Melinda Mechur Karp & Baranda Fermin

In the past, credit-based transition programs, such as Tech-Prep, dual or concurrent enrollment, International Baccalaureate (IB), and Middle College High School, enrolled primarily academically proficient and high-achieving students. Today, a growing number of policymakers, education reform groups, and researchers argue that middle- and even low-achieving high school students may benefit from participation in these programs. Yet research on the effectiveness of credit-based transition programs remains limited, particularly for those programs serving a broad range of students.

This report presents findings from CCRC's Accelerating Student Success Through Credit-Based Transition Programs study, which undertook case studies of two dual enrollment programs, a Middle College High School, an International Baccalaureate program, and a Tech-Prep program. The report describes the sites, examines some of the ways in which contextual features influence program implementation, and highlights findings regarding four key program features: student recruitment and selection processes, curriculum, support services, and data collection and use.