College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor

How We Can Improve College-Completion Rates

May 10, 2021 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The article “This Is Not a Good Time to Fall Off the College Track. Students Are Doing It Anyway” (March 8, 2021) shows the inadequacies of the many add-on programs in schools designed to increase minority and low-income students’ applications for college but fail to organize for college readiness at their core.

There is an alternative to these add-on programs: early- and middle-college high schools. These schools have automatic college acceptance and FAFSA completion as part of their process when students begin their college courses. These processes are guided by early- and middle-college counselors and teachers who interact with students daily.

Early- and middle-college high schools place college readiness at the center of their mission and integrate multiple college-going supports into students’ experiences throughout their four years. This includes having students take classes for college credit while in high school to help lead them to a degree or credential with no extra cost. These schools commit to serving students from low-income families and underrepresented backgrounds in higher education.

As the founding principal of one such high school in Buffalo, N.Y., I can report a 96 percent high school graduation rate for the class of 2020. The graduating students earn an average of 45 college credits at their partner colleges. The pandemic did not divert them from their academic course or from completing the necessary college applications and financial-aid forms. The design principles of the early- and middle-college model protect the most vulnerable students from disruptions such as the current pandemic. It would be wise for more districts to adopt this model for their students.

Susan M. Doyle
Founding Principal
Middle Early College High School
Buffalo, N.Y.

A version of this article appeared in the May 12, 2021 edition of Education Week as How We Can Improve College-Completion Rates


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Spotlight Spotlight on Inspiring Innovation through STEM Education
This Spotlight will empower you on ways to include more students of color, locate gifted students in unexpected places, and more.
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion The High School Network Providing Students With On-the-Job Training
Rick Hess speaks with Cristo Rey Network President Elizabeth Goettl about the network's innovative work-study program.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Class of COVID: 2021's Graduates Are Struggling More and Feeling the Stress
COVID-19 disrupted the class of 2020’s senior year. A year later, the transition to college has in some ways gotten worse.
7 min read
Conceptual illustration of young adults in limbo
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Helping Students Plan How to Pay for College Is More Important Than Ever: Schools Can Help
Fewer and fewer high school graduates have applied for federal financial aid for college since the pandemic hit.
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration of young person sitting on top of a financial trend line.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision<br/>