By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ten years ago, the first early-college opened at Guilford College campus, in North Carolina. Conceived as an anti-dropout strategy to ensure more students on the path to college, the programs combine grades 9 and 10 taught by public school teachers. In the final two years, students take 60 credits taught by college professors and can earn an associate’s degree as well.

Now, with the 9th early-college opening this fall, Guilford County leads the nation and has increased its graduation rates, boasting 100% this past school year. There are about 240 applications for every 50 seats.

There have been complaints from communities that these programs are taking the cream of the crop from traditional high schools. But, schools are offering a second chance for students of color who come from low income families.

While 76% of students in traditional schools graduate, 93% complete these programs.


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