Students attending middle college high schools are no more likely than their counterparts in traditional high school programs to stay in school or graduate, according to the latest What Works Clearinghouse review of that program.
Middle college high schools are alternative schools for academically at-risk students that are located on college campuses. Some offer four-year programs that feature interdisciplinary coursework, project-based learning, and special counseling. Others provide an accelerated five-year program through which students can earn an associate’s degree or two years of college credit. The clearinghouse’s review, which was posted online this month, focuses on the first type of middle college program.
Reviewers from the clearinghouse, which is financed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, based their conclusion on a 1998 study involving 394 Seattle students who applied to attend a middle college high school. Fourteen other studies that the reviewers found on middle college high schools fell short of the clearinghouse’s evidence standards
A version of this article appeared in the April 01, 2009 edition of Education Week