1CELL Research SeriesSuccessful Schools: Ben Davis University High SchoolJill Bradley-LevineGina MosierTyonka Perkins
2TABLE OF CONTENTSLetter from Wendy Skibinski, Principal����������������������������2What Is an Early College High School?������������������������������3This is Ben Davis University�������������������������������������������������������������������� 3Lessons Learned from BDU������������������������������������������������4Core Principle 1 Findings ������������������������������������������������������������������������ 4What the Research Says About Early College���������������������������������������� 4Core Principle 2 Findings������������������������������������������������������������������������� 5Core Principle 3 Findings������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6Student Success Profile: Jessica Davis����������������������������������������������������� 7Core Principle 4 Findings������������������������������������������������������������������������� 8Core Principle 5 Findings������������������������������������������������������������������������� 9What It All Means������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 9Research Design���������������������������������������������������������������10References�������������������������������������������������������������������������10Letter from WendySkibinski, PrincipalNow that the inaugural class of2010 has graduated from BenDavis University High School(BDU), much has been learned.It was not until the students leftour program that we could trulyunderstand what additionalwork needed to occur on ourcampus. Here is what we havelearned since then.One of the most important discoveries for BDU was theneed to streamline the course pattern sheet. It becameabundantly clear that we needed to reduce the numberof dual credits our students earned during high schoolto ensure no problems with their qualification for highereducation financial aid. The goal is to stay as close to the required 62 hours for the associate degree as possible. Our work in thestreamlining process reduced the number of dual credit classes our students took, as well as ensured that a majority of our classes arelisted on the Core Transfer Library.A second step that was taken was to look at the specific majors that we were offering. It was determined that all four of our degreesneeded to be general studies degrees with an emphasis in liberal arts, health careers, information technology, or business management.By switching to the general studies degree, we could offer our students an introduction to their specific emphasis area while buildingtheir overall knowledge base.An additional step that was put in place was the audit process. The audit is a collaborative effort between the BDU counselor, theVincennes University Dean of Instruction and the student. The audit occurs at each grade level and keeps students informed of theirGPA, potential areas of concern, and future course loads. The audit process ensures that students own their learning and are awareof what needs to occur in order to obtain the Core 40 Diploma and associate degree. Both degree and diploma audits are reviewedsimultaneously.BDU prides itself on the variety of supports we offer our students. It is imperative that as a building we are addressing the diverse needsof our student body to ensure equal access for all. A few new supports that were added include part-time math and English tutors. Thetutors work individually with students or in small groups to address each student’s needs. This support mirrors a service that one canactually receive on a college campus. Recognizing that the postsecondary process is very new to our students and families, we nowwork collectively with our university partner to assist families with completing college applications and the FAFSA, and to provideACT/SAT study sessions.Further, BDU continues to embrace the authentic on-campus experience that has been coined “X-Mester.” The mandatory two-weekexperience between the junior and senior years is pivotal for our Early College students. The students have the opportunity to attendclass, manage their time, live in a dorm room, and access the full availability of the college campus. Many of our students have referredto X-Mester as the “best experience” of their life.In closing, the faculty and staff at BDU continue their work to ensure that our students are leaving the Early College with the skillsnecessary to succeed in the postsecondary setting. We acknowledge that much of our future work now needs to occur with the transferinstitutions. Our university partner further acknowledges the need for gradual release time for our students, which will facilitate theirbecoming independent learners. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that our students’ senior year looks and feels identical to the experienceof students on an actual college campus.
3The Early College High School Initiativewas started to serve students who areunderrepresented in higher educationand for whom society has traditionallyhad low expectations (Kisker, 2006). EarlyColleges cater to first-generation college-bound students from families of lowersocioeconomic status. These small schoolsenable students to earn a high schooldiploma and an associate degree, or upto two years of credit toward a bachelor’sdegree while still in high school. In thisway, Early College challenges student andteacher beliefs about who is capable ofdoing rigorous work during high schooland achieving success in higher education.The Five Early College Core Principles:(1) Commitment to serving studentsunderrepresented in higher education.(2) Collaboration with the local educationagency, a higher education institution,and the local community, all of whom arejointly accountable for student success.(3) Joint development of an integratedacademic plan by the Early College andthe postsecondary partner to ensureall students earn one or two years oftransferable college credit.(4) Provision of a comprehensive supportsystem that develops academic andsocial skills, as well as the behaviors andconditions necessary for postsecondarycompletion.(5) Collaboration with postsecondaryand community partners to work withintermediaries and advocate for supportivepolicies.What Is an Early College High School?This is Ben Davis UniversityBDU is a diverse high school located in an urban-fringe area of Indianapolis. Founded in 2007 as a partnership between the M.S.D. ofWayne Township and Vincennes University, BDU enables high school students to earn a high school diploma while simultaneouslyearning an associate degree or credits toward a bachelor’s degree. Through its partnership with Vincennes University, BDU offersdegrees in business management, health careers, information technology, and liberal arts. All dual credit courses are administeredby BDU teachers and adjunct faculty, or online. In May 2010, BDU graduated its first class of students, 92.4% of whom received anassociate degree.Demographic Profile of Seniors at BDU 2009-2010 Cohort 2010-2011 CohortBoth CohortsCombinedOverall Enrollment 79 104 183GenderMale 31 (39.2%) 44 (42.3%) 75 (41.0%)Female 48 (60.8%) 60 (57.7%) 108 (59.0%)Race/EthnicityAmerican Indian/Alaska Native 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%)Black (Not of Hispanic Origin) 31 (39.2%) 38 (36.5%) 69 (37.7%)Asian 2 (2.5%) 2 (1.9%) 4 (2.2%)Hispanic Ethnicity 3 (3.8%) 15 (14.4%) 18 (9.8%)White (Not of Hispanic Origin) 39 (49.4%) 45 (43.3%) 84 (45.9%)Multiracial (Two or More Races) 4 (5.1%) 4 (3.8%) 8 (4.4%)Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%)Special EducationSpecial Education 8 (10.1%) 6 (5.8%) 14 (7.7%)Not Special Education 71 (89.9%) 98 (94.2%) 169 (92.3%)Free/Reduced-price Meal/Milk StatusFree Meals/Milk 34 (43.0%) 57 (54.8%) 91 (49.7%)Reduced-price Meals/Milk 14 (17.7%) 15 (14.4%) 29 (15.8%)Paid Meals/Milk 31 (39.2%) 32 (30.8%) 63 (34.4%)English Language LearnerEnglish Language Learner 4 (5.1%) 14 (13.5%) 18 (9.8%)Not English Language Learner 75 (94.9%) 90 (86.5%) 165 (90.2%)
4Lessons Learned from BDUCore Principle 1 FindingsAt BDU, there is a concerted effortto serve underprivileged students,first-generation college-goers, EnglishLanguage Learners (ELLs), and students ofcolor: “[We are] targeting first-generationcollege students and demographics thatare underrepresented in postsecondary[education]. [We want] to get students thathave the ability and capability, but maybedon’t have the proper motivations andencouragement.”BDU has fulfilled this principle giventhat their student body is racially andethnically diverse; 54.1% were not white,non-Hispanic: a majority of students wereeligible for free or reduced-price meals/milk (65.6%): and a sizeable portion ofstudents are ELLs (9.8%).Approximately one-third (35.6%) ofsurvey respondents’ mothers and aboutone-quarter (23.4%) of respondents’fathers earned education beyond highschool. A high school diploma/GED wasthe most common response for highestlevel of education attained by bothmothers (43.9%) and fathers (51.4%),followed by some high school attainedby mothers (19.6%) and fathers (21.6%).Most respondents reported that theirolder siblings’ highest level of educationwas a high school/diploma/GED (43.9%),followed by some high school (33.7%),and an associate degree (8.0%). As such,BDU serves mostly first-generation collegestudents.BDU provides a supportive andcollege-going environment, enablingthese students, who are traditionallyunderrepresented in higher education, toprogress to college or university. From thesurvey responses and student-level data,minority students, ELLs, those not bornin the United States, and first-generationcollege goers perceived statisticallysignificantly more support, better collegepreparation and higher engagement atBDU than their white, non-Hispaniccounterparts.Student-level data suggests that attendingBDU is particularly beneficial for studentsof color. Compared to their white, non-Hispanic counterparts, minority seniorswere statistically significantly more likelyto earn a high school diploma with honorsand to plan to attend a two- or four-yearcollege or university. Specifically, the oddsof a minority student planning to attend atwo- or four-four year college or universitywere statistically significantly 3.56 timesgreater than the odds of a white, non-Hispanic student planning to do so whenall other demographic variables were heldconstant.Core Principle 1Early College high schoolsare committed to servingstudents underrepresentedin higher education.What the Research Says About Early CollegeAlthough research on the Early College model is still growing, some preliminary themes have emerged:• According to the Gates Foundation, Early College students have attendance and promotion rates above 90%(Early College High School Initiative, 2012).• Early College students typically earn a “C” or better in their college courses (Jacobson, 2005).• Early College students outperform their peers at the district and state levels in multiple subject areas(Godberger Haynes, 2005; Huebner Corbett, 2004).• Early College students are more interested in higher education than their peers (Jacobson, 2006).• The Early College model requires teachers and administrators to invest greater time and effort in fosteringpositive relationships with students (Wolk, 2005).• Early College High Schools are succeeding in serving the needs of students who have traditionally beenunderrepresented in higher education (Edmunds, Berstein, Unlu, Glennie, Willse, Yamaguchi, Dallas,2010).• Overall, Early College students experience increased rigor and relevance in their coursework, betterrelationships across the school community, and higher expectations with increased support from teachers(Edmunds, et al., 2010).
5Core Principle 2 FindingsBDU and Vincennes University haveestablished an intentional and authentichigh school-higher education partnership.The school employs the services of auniversity liaison whose sole focus is“keeping the university courses true to theuniversity standards.” Further, teachersmake it a priority to adhere to universityguidelines and standards: “My integritylevel on delivering the material…[is]making sure that it is administered thesame as at Vincennes.”Administrators and teachers employ manypractices to ensure that BDU’s dual creditcourses have the same level of authenticityand rigor as courses taught at Vincennes.For example, teachers strictly adhereto Vincennes syllabi: “They send us atemplate [and] they say, ‘This is what ourslooks like on campus. Yours should closelymirror it;’ and mine does.”However, partners can experiencechallenges in maintaining their EarlyCollege collaboration. For instance,adhering to such pre-formatted syllabisometimes limits what teachers can doin their classrooms even if it is beneficialfor students: “I couldn’t do PBL becauseit didn’t fit the syllabus.” Further, it canbe difficult for partners to work aroundone another’s schedules and academiccalendars.87.3% 69.8% 74.6% 57.1% 57.1% 52.4% 89.4% 76.5% 74.1% 60.0% 58.8% 50.6% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% Library Gym/pool/athle=c center Student center Advising oﬃce/advisers Financial aid services Health facility Comfort Using College ResourcesCollege Preparation Scale Questions2009-10(N=63)2010-11(N=85)Mean (Standard Deviation*I feel prepared for college/university.4.13(0.98)3.89(1.09)During high school, I was able to earn college credits thatwill transfer to the college/university I am attending.4.52(0.64)4.23(1.00)I feel the course requirements have helped me prepare forcollege/university.4.10(0.88)3.79(1.12)During high school, I learned how to be a successfulstudent in college.4.15(0.85)3.75(1.19)Core Principle 2Early College high schoolsare created and sustainedby a local educationagency, a higher educationinstitution, and thecommunity, all of whomare jointly accountable forstudent success.2010-11 School Year2009-10 School YearA majority of students reportedfeeling comfortable using college-level resources. Both years, morethan three-quarters of studentsexpressed comfort using thelibrary (87.3% in 2009-10 and89.4% in 2010-11), and almostthree-quarters felt comfortablevisiting the student center (74.6%in 2009-10 and 74.1% in 2010-11). The gym/pool/athletic centerwas another resource that morethan two-thirds of students feltcomfortable using (69.8% in2009-10 and 76.5% in 2010-11).Additionally, more than half ofall seniors felt comfortable usingthe advising office, financial aidservices and health facility bothyears.* 1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neutral; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree
6Core Principle 3 FindingsRather than just offering an assortmentof dual credit courses, BDU has outlinedspecific degree pathways that put studentson track to earn an associate degree orget a head start on a bachelor’s degree.This commitment has resulted in 92.4% ofstudents in its inaugural class graduatingwith associate degrees, and 96.8% earning22 or more college credits.Survey results indicated that while moststudents earned a large number of collegecredits, some were unsure whether thesecredits would transfer to the collegeor university they planned to attend.Nonetheless, students maintained highgrades in these courses. Student-level datashowed that they earned mostly “A’s” and“B’s” in Early College courses.The graduation rate of BDU studentswas also high. All students who wereenrolled for the entire year graduated fromthe school. Further, almost all of thesestudents (97.3%) graduated with a Core40 degree, with 24% (42/178) earning theAcademic Honors distinction.A majority of graduates were planning toattend a four-year college or university.More than two-thirds (69.4%) of bothcohorts of seniors planned to attend afour-year college or university. A largernumber of those graduating in 2011(71.2%) planned to attend a four-yearcollege or university than those graduatingin 2010 (67.1%), which demonstrates thatcollege-going culture is improving at BDU.Core Principle 3Early College highschools and their highereducation partners andcommunity jointly developan integrated academicprogram so all studentsearn one to two yearsof transferable collegecredit leading to collegecompletion.67.1% 25.3% 2.5% 3.8% 1.3% 71.2% 11.5% 5.8% 1.0% 9.6% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% Four-‐year college or university Two-‐year college or university VocaAonal or technical school Military Not pursing higher educaAon Postsecondary Pursuits of BDU Seniors5.1% 73.4% 0.0% 0.00% 21.5% 1.0% 75.0% 12.5% 7.7% 3.8% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% General Core 40 only Core 40 with Academic Honors Core 40 with Technical Honors Core 40 with Academic and Technical Honors Type of Diploma EarnedAlmost all BDU seniors graduated withat least a Core 40 degree. In 2010-11,12.5% of seniors earned AcademicHonors and 7.7% earned TechnicalHonors as well. In 2009-10, almost aquarter of graduates (21.5%) earnedboth Academic and Technical Honors.In 2010-11, 3.8% of seniors earned bothtypes of honors.More than two-thirds of both cohortsof seniors planned to attend a four-year college or university, with a largernumber of those graduating in 2011(71.2%) planning to attend a four-year college or university than thosegraduating in 2010 (67.1%).2010-11 School Year2009-10 School Year
7Transition to College2009-10(N=63)2010-11(N=85)College Credits Earned in HSNone 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%)1-6 0 (0.0%) 3 (3.5%)7-12 2 (3.2%) 0 (0.0%)13-21 0 (0.0%) 1 (1.2%)22-30 7 (11.1%) 3 (3.5%)30+ 54 (85.7%) 78 (91.8%)All Credits Earned will Transfer to College/UniversityYes 29 (46.0%) 32 (37.6%)No 5 (7.9%) 10 (11.8%)Not Applicable/Unsure 28 (44.5%) 42 (49.4%)Missing 1 (1.6%) 1 (1.2%)Average Grades in College CoursesA, B 40 (63.5%) 53 (62.4%)C, D 22 (34.9%) 31 (36.5%)F 0 (0.0%) 1 (1.2%)Missing 1 (1.6%) 0 (0.0%)100%100% of BDUstudents graduatedin 2010 and 2011.Student Success Profile: Jessica DavisPreliminary research on Early College highschools suggests the model is generatingpositive outcomes among students. Tobetter understand its specific impact,CELL followed up with one BDU studentduring her first year of college.After majoring in health careers andearning 102 college credits during highschool, Jessica Davis* matriculated to theUniversity of Indianapolis (UIndy) whereshe double majors in nursing and businessadministration, and minors in psychology.According to Davis, most of her creditstransferred as both elective and corerequirements, thus making for a smoothertransition to college: “The credits that Ihave actually helped me have an easiersemester.”Although she tackled 14 credit hoursduring her first two semesters ofcollege, Davis felt well prepared for thechallenge. The experience at BDU hadalready exposed her to the rigors andexpectations of college: “[At BDU], theyjust basically help us…get organized andget comfortable with [college], and how totalk to our professors and communicatewith them.” Davis further explained,“When I came to the University ofIndianapolis, I had no problems…learninghow [professors] grade or how to organizemy work.”This has enabled her to better connectwith the UIndy campus community aswell as her schoolwork: “[I] have all thisfree, extra time to get involved [in] stuff…[and] I have free time to concentrateon the work that I have.” After helpingstart a community service club at BDU,Davis developed a passion for helping thelocal community. Therefore, in additionto working with Circle K and the BlackStudent Association at UIndy, Davis usesher free time to mentor other students:“It’s just seeing them…stress out takingthe classes that I already took…I can helpthem better understand it and how tocommunicate with their professors.”Davis continues to utilize other skills shelearned at BDU: “I still use my plannerhere [to] schedule [and] write things out[like] what I need to work on, what’s duenext, when my quizzes and tests are.”Further, she has no trouble recalling anyof the high-level information she learnedduring her Early College experience: “Theteachers that I had, they made sure youremember…They make sure that youknow the information and you won’t forgetit.”In fact, Davis attributes much of hersuccess to the unwavering commitment ofBDU administrators and teachers:“Just being in a smaller setting with theteachers just always there to help you…it was more like a family. I could alwaysgo to our principal or our counselor andthey were there to help us with anythingwe needed. And if they couldn’t help us,they [would] always find someone else thatcould.”As Davis reflected on the Early Collegeprogram at BDU, she explained just howmuch the experience has impacted herlife: “I would be just like the kids thatare taking anatomy and stressed outand stuff, not knowing how to do thingsand communicate with my professors. Ithelps…It helps a lot.”* “Jessica Davis” is a pseudonym that was assigned tothe participant to ensure confidentiality.
8Core Principle 4 FindingsBDU has established an intricate networkof support structures. To scaffold studentsthrough the rigors of Early College,resource and advisory periods were usedto teach 21st-century and college-goingskills. Learning coaches, guest lecturers,and the two-week X-Mester experiencealso supported student learning.Consequently, survey results indicatedthat students felt supported at BDU,with respondents mostly agreeing withquestions related to support structures atthe school. Students also indicated theywere comfortable using college resources.Results from 2009-10 showed a statisticallysignificant difference among racial/ethnicgroups. Black students were statisticallysignificantly more comfortable usingcollege resources than white, non-Hispanicstudents.Further, BDU students reported feelingprepared for college and believed that theyhad earned transferable college credit. Onthe survey, the statement “During highschool I was able to earn college creditsthat will transfer to the college/universityI am attending” had the highest meanscores.Attendance rates at BDU for both cohortswere consistently high, ranging from93.6% to 96.6%. The 2010-11 graduatingcohort had an overall attendance ratethat was slightly higher than the previouscohort (95.8% vs. 94.5%).PSAT, SAT, and ACT scores were used asa measure of college readiness. For bothcohorts combined, the average PSATscores ranged from 40.9 to 45.0, SATscores ranged from 419.3 to 450.2, and themean ACT composite score was 17.4.Support Scale Questions2009-10(N=63)2010-11(N=85)Mean (Standard Deviation)*I feel supported to pursue goals during high school.4.11(1.05)4.00(1.10)My teachers helped me achieve my goals during highschool.4.14(0.97)4.04(1.09)My teachers and counselors helped me make decisionsabout what college courses I should take during highschool.3.40(1.23)3.55(1.23)My teachers and counselors helped me make decisionsabout college.3.82(1.05)3.60(1.13)My classmates supported my educational developmentduring high school.3.90(0.90)3.40(1.07)Engagement Scale Questions2009-10(N=63)2010-11(N=85)Mean (Standard Deviation)*I feel the course requirements allowed me to show myteachers what I had learned during high school.3.81(1.04)3.67(1.03)I was able to choose college courses that interested meduring high school.3.11(1.50)2.73(1.28)My high school experience met my expectations.3.11(1.34)3.29(1.21)The college classes I took during high school werechallenging.4.11(0.83)3.46(1.24)I feel I did well in the college classes I took during highschool.4.02(0.77)3.79(0.97)College Readiness2009-2010Cohort2010-2011CohortPSATAverage Critical Reading Score (Number of studentstaking)40.1 (76) 43.0 (100)Average Math Score (Number of students taking) 44.7 (76) 44.5 (100)Average Writing Skills Score (Number of students taking) 40.1 (76)Not applicable(0)SATAverage Critical Reading Score (Number of studentstaking)447.9 (53) 451.8 (76)Average Math Score (Number of students taking) 444.4 (52) 452.5 (76)Average Writing Skills Score (Number of students taking) 419.3 (53) 419.3 (76)ACTAverage Composite ACT Score (Number of studentstaking)17.9 (14) 17.3 (64)Core Principle 4Early College high schoolsengage all students in acomprehensive supportsystem that developsacademic and social skillsas well as the behaviorsand conditions necessaryfor college completion.* 1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neutral; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree* 1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neutral; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree
9What It All MeansThrough the strength of its partnershipwith Vincennes and its commitmentto supporting students and staff, BDUfulfilled the Early College Core Principles.It demonstrated commitment to servingunderrepresented students in a waythat yields few statistically significantdifferences based on demographicvariables. All students, regardless of race,gender and background, reported a desirefor higher education and some level ofcomfort with college resources. As otherschools work toward similar outcomes, itis important to keep a few things in mind:Teacher CredentialingAccording to BDU teachers, accreditationis “the number one problem that needsto be solved.” High school teachers whoteach dual credit courses are requiredto hold a master’s degree with at least18 content-specific credit hours. Manyteachers lack these credentials, makingit difficult to offer such courses. Whileadjunct professors and online courseshelp circumvent this issue, studentsreported difficulty with online coursesbecause there was no “instructor therefor help,” and adjunct faculty may need“additional training in how to teach highschool students.”Conflicting PoliciesSome teachers reported feeling “caughtin the middle” of contrasting district andhigher education policies. One teachercould not implement project-basedlearning because it was not a part of theuniversity curriculum. Other teachersreported difficulty maintaining anauthentic college environment whileproviding the appropriate amount ofscaffolding for high school students.Knowing Your StudentsWhile all students should be prepared forpostsecondary success, achievement looksdifferent for each student. It is importantto help students determine whether theirgoals would be better served by a two- orfour-year degree.Performance in CollegeThere is some concern that the EarlyCollege experience cannot fully preparestudents for the rigors of college. Onestudent explained it best: “[Early College]kind of helps, but I won’t fully [know]until I attend college.” In other words,Early College is crucial for introducingstudents to the essential processes andrigors of college. However, Early Collegestudents will still face many of thesame challenges as other high schoolstudents while adjusting to the collegeenvironment.Transfer of CreditsBDU students earned a large number ofcollege credits, but many were unsurewhether those credits would transfer tothe college of their choice. Therefore, itis important to help students determinewhich credits are most beneficial for themto pursue during high school. Further, it isimperative to ensure that students do nottake so many college courses during highschool that it impacts their eligibility forfinancial aid during college.BDU Attendance RatesCore Principle 5 FindingsTransitioning to such a rigorousmodel requires strong teacher support.According to BDU teachers, district andschool administrators worked to establishsupportive policies. For instance, oneteacher credited the success of the EarlyCollege program to the willingness ofadministrators to empower teachers: “Ihave been given the flexibility to, if I getsome wild hair idea in my head,…[know]it will be taken into consideration.”More specifically, teachers appreciatedhow administrators empowered them toget involved in all aspects of the program:“Administration always keeps us veryinformed of what is going on…[and]every teacher works on a committee tocontinue to work and grow the program.”Administrators also provided teachersconstant access to professionaldevelopment opportunities includingattendance at conferences and on-siteworkshops.94.5% 95.2% 94.6% 93.6% 95.8% 96.6% 96.0% 94.7% 90.0% 91.0% 92.0% 93.0% 94.0% 95.0% 96.0% 97.0% Overall A5endance Rate Sophomore year a5endance rate Junior year a5endance rate Senior year a5endance rate Core Principle 5Early College high schoolsand their higher educationand community partnerswork with intermediariesto create conditions andadvocate for supportivepolicies that advance theEarly College movement.Attendance rates at BDU for bothcohorts were consistently high,ranging from 93.6% to 96.6%. The2010-11 graduating cohort had anoverall attendance rate that wasslightly higher than the previouscohort (95.8% vs. 94.5%).2010-11 School Year2009-10 School Year
10Research DesignThis study utilized a mixed-methods casestudy approach (Creswell, 2005).Interviews with teachers probed theirperceptions of BDU’s implementation ofthe Early College Core Principles. Focusgroup discussions with students probedtheir perceptions of support, engagement,learning, rigor, and post-graduation plans.All discussions were audio recorded,transcribed and coded utilizing codesgenerated from the Core Principles.Document review of BDU pathways (i.e.,college majors, programs of study, pathsto graduation, etc.), lesson plans, rubrics,and school policy documents was alsoconducted. These documents were codedsimilarly to interviews and focus groupdiscussions.A student survey was distributed to allgraduating seniors at the end of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years to gatherinformation about their post-graduationplans and overall perceptions of the EarlyCollege model. The survey asked studentsto express their level of agreement on aseries of indicators probing the value andsuccess of the Core Principles, and the2010-11 survey included additional open-response questions. The response rate forthe 2009-10 survey was 79.7%, and 78.7%for the 2010-11 survey.Student-level data was collected from BDUfor the 2009-10 and 2010-11 graduatingcohorts of seniors. Information from 183seniors who were enrolled at BDU theentire year was combined and coded asdescribed below.Dependent VariablesTotal Overall Attendance Rate: The IndianaDepartment of Education’s formula wasused to calculate the attendance rate forstudents: (aggregated number of days inattendance)/(aggregated number of daysin attendance + aggregated number ofexcused absences + aggregated numberof unexcused absences). Attendance rateswere calculated for students’ sophomore,junior, and senior years. The mean of allthree years combined was used to calculatethe overall attendance rate.Total Number of Suspensions: In-schooland out-of-school suspensions werecombined into one variable called “totalnumber of suspensions.”College Readiness Assessments: PSAT,SAT and ACT scores were kept in theiroriginal form.Diploma Type: Seniors’ high schooldiploma types were categorized so that1=General Diploma, 2=Core 40 only,3=Core 40 with Technical or AcademicHonors, and 4=Core 40 with Academicand Technical Honors.Post-graduation Plans: Seniors’ plansto attend a two- or four-year college oruniversity were used as a measure ofstudents’ post-graduation plans. Ivy TechCommunity College was considered atwo-year college. This variable was codedso that 0=no plans to attend a two- orfour-year college or university and 1=plansto attend a two- or four-year college oruniversity.Independent VariablesGender: This variable was coded so that0=male and 1=female.Race/Ethnicity: All students who werenot white, non-Hispanic were groupedtogether and categorized as minority.This step was conducted to examine anydifferences between minority studentsas an aggregate compared to white, non-ReferencesCreswell, J. W. (2005). Educational research: Planning,conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitativeresearch (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: PearsonEducation.Early College High School Initiative (2012). Overview FAQ.Retrieved from http://www.earlycolleges.org/overview.htmlEdmunds, J. A., Berstein, L., Unlu, F., Glennie, E., Willse,J., Yamaguchi, R., Dallas, A. (2010). Expanding thecollege pipeline: Early results from an experimental studyof the impact of the Early College High School model.Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the AmericanEducational Research Association. Denver, CO.Edmunds, J. A., Willse, J., Dallas, A., Arshavsky, N., Berstein,L., Glennie, E., Unlu, F. (2010). Rigor, relevance andrelationships: The impact of the Early College HighSchool model on students’ experiences and attitudes.Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the AmericanEducational Research Association. Denver, CO.Glasser, B. Strauss, A. (1967) The Discovery of GroundedTheory. Chicago: Adeline.Godberger, S. Haynes, L. (2005). Designing and financingan integrated program of college study: Lessons for theCalifornia Academy of Liberal Studies. Boston: Jobs for theFuture. http://www.earlycolleges.org/Downloads/calsechs.pdfJacobson, J. (2005). The early-college experiment. Chronicle ofHigher Education, 51(27), A36.Kisker, C. B. (2006). Integrating high school and the communitycollege. Community College Review, 32(1), 68-86.Seastrom, M. M. (2002, October 1). NCES Statistical StandardsHandbook. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).Retrieved September 28, 2010, from http://nces.ed.gov/statprog/2002/stdtoc.aspWolk, R. A. (2005). It’s kind of different: Student experiences intwo early college high schools. Boston: Jobs for the Future.http://www.earlycolleges.org/Downloads/KindOfDifferent.pdf
11Hispanic students. The variable wascoded so that 0=white, non-Hispanic and1=minority.Eligibility for Free or Reduced-priceMeals/Milk: This variable was coded sothat 0=students not eligible for free orreduced-price meals/milk and 1= studentseligible for free or reduced-price meals/milk.Special Education Participation: Thisvariable was coded so that 0=not a specialeducation participant and 1=specialeducation participant.Limited English Proficiency: EnglishLanguage Learner status was coded so that0=not an ELL and 1=ELL.Advanced Math Course Taking: Thisvariable included courses such aspre-calculus, calculus, statistics, andtrigonometry. Geometry was notconsidered an advanced math course. Thisvariable was coded so that 0=student notenrolled in or has never taken an advancedmath course and 1=student is enrolledin or has completed an advanced mathcourse.AnalysisPASW Statistics 18 was utilized for thedata analysis, and a variety of statisticaltests were performed. For testing specificdifferences between two groups onthe survey and student-level data fordependent variables, independent t-testswere utilized. For analyzing differencesamong three or more groups, one-wayANOVA tests were computed. To test forsignificant differences in post-graduationplans when the student enrolled inand graduated from the Early Collegehigh school, a paired-sample t-test wasperformed.To better substantiate the test results,effect sizes (Cohen’s d) were calculated,which measure the size of the differencebetween means divided by the pooledstandard deviation. Effect sizes were alsoused to compare results from the 2009-10and 2010-11 administration of the EarlyCollege Graduation Survey, as well as tocompare groups in the student-level data.For both survey and student-level dataanalysis, linear regression was used forvariables that are continuous (e.g., ACTcomposite scores, Comfort in CollegeResources, etc.). Logistic regression wasutilized for binary results (e.g., likelihoodof attending a two- or four-year college/university, etc.).The National Center for EducationStatistics’ guidelines on effects sizesand statistical significance were utilized(Seastrom 2002). Only statisticallysignificant results that were practicallyrelevant were reported since statisticalsignificance can be found among variables,but provide no important or applicableevidence toward the research questions.For analysis of the interview, focus groupand document review data, the constant-comparative method (Glasser Strauss,1967) was employed to allow researchersto use the initial results of one qualitativemethod to extend or clarify the resultsfrom another. All data collected andanalyzed was shared with stakeholders,including participants, for memberchecking.