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A Better 9th Grade: Early Results from an Experimental Study of the Early College High School Model


Authors:   Julie Edmunds

To increase the number of students graduating from high school prepared for college, North Carolina has established the largest number of Early College High Schools (ECHS) in the United States. According to 9th grade results from a rigorous, experimental study, North Carolina’s early college high schools are creating more positive school environments for students resulting in improved attendance, reduced suspensions, and increased numbers of students on-track for college. These schools are also successfully expanding the initial part of the college preparatory pipeline for students of all backgrounds.

For More Information Contact: Julie Edmunds

Product Specifics

Publisher: SERVE Center at UNCG
Number of pages: 8
Price: $0.00


Policymakers, Administrators, Teachers, Parents

Key Ideas:

  • Early college high schools are innovative small schools designed to blur the line between high school and college. They are targeted at students who are underrepresented in college, including low income students, first generation college-goers, and minority students.
  • A rigorous, independent study of North Carolina’s initiative have shown that these schools have substantial positive impacts on student 9th grade performance, including more students on-track for college, better attendance and behavior, and better school experiences.


Ways to use:

  • To understand the impact of the Early College High School model.
  • To understand what parents and students can expect from this model.

APA Citation:

Edmunds, J. A. (2010). A Better 9th Grade: Early Results from an Experimental Study of the Early College High School Model. A Policy Brief. Greensboro, NC: SERVE Center