JFF Early College Designs

At a Glance

National Office: 
88 Broad Street 8th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617-728-4446

Marlene B. Seltzer
People Served: 
77,000
Tax ID: 
06-1164568

Focus area(s):

K-12 Reform
College Access
Mentoring

Description

Early College Designs is a bold approach, based on the principle that academic rigor, combined with the opportunity to save time and money, is a powerful motivator for students to work hard and meet serious intellectual challenges. Early College high schools blend high school and college in a rigorous yet supportive program, compressing the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college.

Jobs For the Future’s (JFF) expansion of Early College Designs has a vision to double the number of low-income youth and adults who earn postsecondary credentials by the year 2020. To achieve this, JFF strives toward four key goals: 1) graduating all high school students college- and career-ready; 2) increasing post-secondary completion rates, especially among low-income and underrepresented populations; 3) increasing career advancement opportunities for low-income workers and job seekers; and 4) scaling-up educational and career advancement opportunity through state and federal policy solutions.

Impact and Outcomes

92% of Early College High School students earn a diploma in four years, as compared to 69% nationally.
78% of Early College graduates earned college credits while still in high school.
37% of Early College graduates earned more than one year of college credit and 22% earned two years of college credit or an Associate’s degree.
86% of Early College High School students go on to some form of post-secondary education, as compared to 66% of all high school graduates nationally.

Matching Gift

JFF has been designated for a US Department of Education Invest in Innovation (i3) Award, which requires them to raise $1,500,000 in order to receive the 9:1 match in federal dollars.

Mission & Goals

Jobs For the Future’s (JFF) expansion of Early College Designs – secondary schools that partner with post-secondary institutions to implement challenging curriculum and offer underserved students the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school – are a core part of its mission.  Early Colleges increase the number of students who graduate from high school college- and career-ready and ensure they are prepared for post-secondary success.

JFF’s mission is to accelerate the educational and economic advancement of historically underrepresented and low-income youth and adults. By working with national, state, and local partners, we aim to double the number of low-income youth and adults who earn postsecondary credentials by the year 2020. To achieve this vision, JFF strives toward four key goals: 1) graduating all high school students college- and career-ready; 2) increasing post-secondary completion rates, especially among low-income and underrepresented populations; 3) increasing career advancement opportunities for low-income workers and job seekers; and 4) scaling-up educational and career advancement opportunity through state and federal policy solutions.

Program

Early College Designs are based on a radical concept: challenge, not remediation, will motivate educationally underserved young people to complete high school in significantly higher numbers.  An accelerated program of study – one that combines substantial college-level work while earning a high school diploma – not only will motivate greater numbers of students to excel in high school, but will also graduate them “college-ready,” prepared for the rigors of post-secondary education.

Early College Designs are flexible to meet local circumstances and best serve the local student population, but the pioneering, universal features are:

  • Students’ completion of college credits by graduation;
  • An explicit focus on ensuring the success of low-income and other underrepresented students;
  • A rigorous, untracked academic program;
  • A culture of continuous instructional improvement led by school-based coaches and teacher leaders;
  • Strong post-secondary partnerships;
  • Significant exposure to the culture and norms of college; and
  • Student-centered environments that promote personalization, close relationships between students and teachers, and explicit instruction on successful academic and social college behaviors.

JFF ensures high quality local implementation through:  Up-front design consultation to school development organizations and districts; delivery of an Early College comprehensive professional development program; state-level technical assistance to assure resources and policies that support local implementation; and a common data system that captures and analyzes school data to inform improvements.

Impact

Currently, there are 267 Early College High Schools in 28 states and the District of Columbia serving over 77,000 students. Ongoing research by JFF and external evaluators confirms strong outcomes for students attending Early Colleges.

Longitudinal data from the Early College Student Information System confirms that:

  • Early College students fare better than national averages in four-year high school graduation rates (92% versus 69%)
  • Early College graduates achieve higher college-going rates than their peers (86% versus 66%).
  • 78% of Early College graduates earned college credits, indicating that students are gaining concrete knowledge about what it takes to succeed in postsecondary education.
  • At Early College schools open for four or more years, 37% of graduates earned at least one year of college credit, and 22% of graduates earned two years of college credit or an Associate’s degree.

Early Colleges’ impact on student achievement is also supported by rigorous evaluation research. Findings from an experimental study with random assignment to examine the impact of Early College implementation in North Carolina include:

  • By ninth grade, 83% of Early College students had completed at least one college preparatory math course, compared to 67% of control group students.
  • There is less than a 1% gap in Algebra I and English I course progression rates between minority and non-minority Early College ninth-graders, compared to a more than 8.5% gap in the control group.
  • Early College students missed 1.2 fewer days of school per year than their non-Early College peers and much lower rates of suspension (13% lower rates).

Statistically significant results from a quasi-experimental impact evaluation in Texas show that the Early College design is increasing the likelihood that students are on-track for graduation and prepared for college. Specifically:

  • Early College 10th graders were two times more likely to pass the state assessment in all four core subject areas than their peers in comparison schools.
  • Early College students were 2.2 times more likely to pass geometry or algebra II, the next courses in the college prep math sequence.
     

Growth Plan

Economic Model

Early College core and sustaining costs are typically funded through local, state and federal educational funding streams that flow through school districts and public colleges.  Start-up and expansion costs at new and existing Early Colleges are typically funded by a combination of philanthropic, state, and federal grants. JFF fixed costs for national Early College project staff are primarily funded by philanthropy, with additional support through state or district contracts.

Start-up costs, averaging $143,000 over three years per school, include JFF costs and state and local partner expenses for launching of new early colleges.  This includes: JFF design, technical assistance, and professional development services; training of state-level school development organizations, district, and school staff; school-based instructional coaches; and local professional development costs.  JFF’s three-year engagement model for new schools assumes declining costs over time and reflects an intentional strategy to transfer knowledge and build capacity for Early College implementation to state and local partners. 

JFF’s scaling plan also includes expanding existing Early College schools to full enrollment.  This involves a more streamlined and concentrated engagement of design, technical assistance and professional development efforts by JFF, state, and local partners, averaging $24,000 per school. 

JFF national fixed costs include replication management, state-level consultation and policy assistance, model tools and development, instructional design, data systems development and consultation, and evaluation management.  Such fixed costs are approximately $800,000 per year, which translate into a very limited per-school cost across the national network at current and projected levels.  

Growth Plan

In order to scale impact, JFF has set an ambitious growth target of tripling the level of Early College enrollments, increasing the number of students served annually from just over 50,000 today to 150,000 in five years. To achieve this, JFF will partner with state-level school development organizations and local districts to launch 150 new Early Colleges, increasing the number from 247 currently to almost 400 schools, and expanding enrollments at existing Early Colleges to full capacity. 

JFF’s has adopted a two-part scaling strategy to achieve these goals. 

  • First, JFF will accelerate Early College expansion in states where supportive financing and educational policies, combined with a critical mass of Early Colleges already in existence, provide a favorable climate and firm roots for growth.  For example, North Carolina, Texas,  California and Georgia, states with many Early College schools, have favorable policy conditions to support Early Colleges, including policies to promote and fund college course-taking by high school students.
  • Second, JFF will provide technical assistance, policy support, and professional development services in states that, encouraged by the success of leading states, are making new investments to initiate Early College designs.  Massachusetts and Kentucky, for example, are starting a number of Early College schools, and because of the national success of Early College designs, they have become an integral part of the state strategy to raise college readiness and success rates.

 

To implement its growth plan, JFF and its state and local partners require $40.3 million over five years in expansion capital.  JFF and its partners plan to raise this amount from national foundations that have supported the early college effort to date, and from regional and local foundations.  JFF plans to raise the remaining $20 million from private philanthropists, and is therefore seeking a 1:1 match by new funders to resources from Early College’s traditional funders.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
88 Broad Street 8th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617-728-4446
List of locations

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Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2014

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$0
Government Funding: 
$0
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Other Revenue (Description): 
Honoraria
Total Revenue: 
$0

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$0
Occupancy: 
$0
Travel & Entertainment: 
$0
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$0
Telephone & Communications: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$0
Other Expenses (Description): 

FY 11 Current year consists of 6 months revenue and expenditures. Other expenses include Insurance costs, depreciation expense, and board costs.

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$0

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$0

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2013

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$13,068,551
Government Funding: 
$1,067,206
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$5,900,332
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$370,490
Other Revenue: 
$135,669
Other Revenue (Description): 
Honoraria
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$20,542,248

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$11,292,149
Occupancy: 
$633,577
Travel & Entertainment: 
$1,127,473
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$298,413
Telephone & Communication: 
$134,204
Payments to Affiliates: 
$11,433,022
Other Expenses: 
$4,795,459
Other Expenses (Description): 

Other expenses include Insurance costs, depreciation expense, and board costs.

Total Expenses: 
$29,714,297

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$-9,172,049

Major Funders

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Open Society Foundations

Communities Foundation of Texas

Texas Education Agency