The College Puzzle Blog
Prior PostingsAbout
Dr. Michael W. Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969.
Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining the Stanford University faculty, Dr. Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published by Jossey Bass in 2004.

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My blog discusses the important and complex subjects of college completion, college success, student risk factors (for failing), college readiness, and academic preparation. I will explore the pieces of the college puzzle that heavily influence, if not determine, college success rates.

Early College High School Has Promise

I attended a conference on early college high schools that enable
average students to take college courses in high school up to 60
credits. These schools are spreading through Gates foundation grants,
and are impressive. They utilize lots of innovative practices
starting in the middle grades to prepare and nurture students for
college. Most of them are in low income areas and admit by lottery.
But they require students to attend longer hours, and to pursue a
college prep curriculum. But early college high schools have many
supports for students such as mentors, counselors, parent outreach,
and stimulating curriculum. They are smaller and more personalized
than typical big city high schools.

The costs are higher for early college schools and I wonder what
will happen after the foundation money runs out. However, the results
may be worth the extra money, and I was impressed with the energetic
staff and some preliminary outcomes for students. gates is evaluating
these schools so we will know more in a few years. For an overview,
check the major technical assistance provider for early college - www.jff.org

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