Star ting a Middle College Program

   
A manual to help develop a Middle College Program A rationale behind the implementation of the Middle College Model A definition of terms Example curricular pathways for students in the Middle College Program Policies and procedures for the successful implementation of a Middle College Program

Section 1: Introduction: A rationale behind the implementation of the Middle College Model
Although greater numbers of high school students are enrolling in colleges and universities today than 20 years ago, the number of students dropping out of college is alarming. In one study of 200,000 incoming freshmen in public universities in 1999, Balfanz and Legters (2004) found that after four years of enrollment in college only 49% of all students graduated. Even after 6 years of enrollment, the number of students graduating only increased to 77%. Perhaps even more alarming, only 61% of high school students graduated in 2006 and then directly enrolled in college (Academic Pathways, 2006). What this tells us as teachers and administrators is we must find a way to help provide our students with a smooth transition from high school to college that empowers them with the skills and mindset necessary to be successful at that level. High school administrators and teachers have the responsibility to prepare students to be successful at the collegiate level (Balfanz &Legters, 2004). High school faculties and administrators must find ways to rise above the challenges of the current comprehensive high school model and help provide students with the necessary academic and skill sets to successfully complete a college degree. One possible tool high school administrators may use is the Middle College High School approach. However many administrators lack the knowledge base to successfully implement a Middle College High School approach. This manual provides high
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One of the most innovative programs developed has been the Middle College Model (Gehring.d. More importantly. The Middle College High School is a form of dual enrollment. 2006). 1998). 2004).). Why Middle College? Even though demands upon the American public high school have changed in the last 20 years. and (c) providing strong support systems for students both academically and socially. Although the approach of the Middle College is sometimes reduced to dual enrollment. Middle College.school administrators with the research based rationale of the benefits of a Midd College High School Model and a step by step approach to implement the necessary policies and procedures for a Middle College High School Model. and (c) self-pacing to help improve students· connection to the school (Antonio & Bersola. (b) cooperation among schools and community organizations. They can provide a sense of the future as well as create success where failure was previously the norm (Lieberman. Since the early 2000s. 2001a). These aspects create a holistic model that can raise aspirations and reduce fear. n. Proponents of the Middle College High School movement use: (a) interdisciplinary curricula. The purpose of the Middle College High School is to increase college access for at-risk students by providing extensive academic and social support (Balfanz & Legters. 1998. By enrolling in a college environment as they develop future plans. the model can support and prepare traditionally underrepresented students for college by: (a) providing multiple points for students to become engaged in the curriculum. administrators have used numerous strategies to varying levels of success in order to help provide high school students with the academic and psychosocial skills necessary to be successful at the collegiate level (Bragg. many are ill prepared to handle the rigors of postsecondary education. 2001). High school students need a program that helps them to successfully transition from secondary to postsecondary schools (Martinez & Klopott). (b) allowing students to make academic gains at their own pace. high school students gain access to both sources of information. Dual enrollment allows high school students to enroll in college courses and offers them the opportunity to experience academically rigorous curricula while earning college level credit at the same time. 2004). educators and curriculum developers have not adapted the core structure of the high schools to meet specific needs for all students (Martinez & Klopott. More students are enrolling in college today than 20 years ago. it can be a far more comprehensive approach to increase student achievement (Lieberman. a critical component that Page 2 Starting a Middle College Program . but among these students who enroll.

McDonough. An impressive 96% of the Early College students were retained in the college courses they took (Kleiman). Students who attend Middle College High Schools also benefit from closely aligned high school and college curricula. Nearly all of the Early College High Schools associated with the Middle College National Consortium had either all or most students enrolled in at least one college course during both semesters of their initial year or two of implementation. 2001). n. The overlap between high school and the beginning of college allows students to give time and money by not taking the same courses in both institutions. However.d. 2000b. An evaluation of 10 Early College High School sites that started with the Early College High School Initiative or redesigned Middle College High Schools showed high school student enrollment in college courses was common (Kleiman.enables students to gain academic success in college (Cabrera & Le Nasa. Success Rates of the Middle College Model At this time. overwhelming evidence exists to show the positive impact that Middle College High Schools are having on a case by case basis. 2000a. only a limited number of empirical research studies exist revealing the scope and impact of Middle College or Early College High Schools. Page 3 Starting a Middle College Program .). It is becoming more apparent that students enrolled in Middle College programs benefit from the closer personal interaction of instructors who help them develop a plan for postsecondary success (Middle College. 1997).

Dual enrollment programs vary greatly. 2001). but they are generally based on the belief that education is a continuum in which the basics must be learned in order to proceed and that courses offered through the programs should support.Section 2: Vocabulary Three specific Middle College Models have been used in recent years. Dual Enrollment Program Administrators in schools in most states use Dual Enrollment to encourage college preparedness and to help reduce the cost of higher education and the number of remedial enrollments in state university systems (Sommerville & Yi. a form of dual enrollment. and it is important that an administrator who plans to build a Middle College Program in his or her high school be familiar with the similarities and differences among the three models. and that programs should provide financial support when necessary (Robertson et al. Students in dual enrollment courses frequently receive instruction from either college accredited teachers based at the high school or from college faculty on the college campus (Gehring. Page 4 Starting a Middle College Program . The three specific models are: (a) the Dual Enrollment Program. builds on the goals of Dual Enrollment Programs and aims to increase college access for atrisk students and provides extensive academic and social support. Administrators and staff members of Middle College Programs (a) create curriculum options that accelerate high school students through the secondary level. 2003). Students participating in Dual Enrollment Programs enroll in college courses which provide them with the opportunity to experience academically rigorous curricula while earning college level credit at the same time. 2001b). They also believe that programs are most effective when they are physically accessible to students. (b) the Middle College Program.. (b) expedite their entry into and through the first two years of college. 2002). and (c) encourage transfer to the baccalaureate level. high school curricula. Middle College Programs often are located on the college campus of the college with which the high school has formed a partnership (Barth. and (c) the Early College Initiative. Middle College Program The Middle College High School. not replace.

the Middle College National Consortium. 2000). Page 5 Starting a Middle College Program . More than 25 Middle College High Schools have existed nationally for a number of years (Carnevale. 2003) Both the Middle College and Early College High School Models emphasize small courses and peer mentoring. This small group of schools has been supported since 1993 by a national organization. that was formed to provide professional development for secondary and postsecondary public sector educators. The programs can also provide academic and support services such as counseling to enable students to access high school and college level courses and move from high school through the twoyear associate degree at an accelerated pace. Early College Programs graduate students with both a high school and an associate degree in a 5-year period (Barth. Members of the Consortium provide technical assistance to existing and new Middle College High Schools that are actively implementing school reforms conducive to enhancing student success and offering professional activities to help underachieving students meet high academic standards. & Fry.Early College Program Early College Programs build on the Middle College Program by requiring more course work at the college level and encouraging students to earn an associate degree or the equivalent of two years of college credit toward a bachelor·s degree while still in high school.

In this program. Front Range Community College.Section 3: Example Curricular Pathways for Students in the Middle College Program General Overview of the Program The following charts map out the example curricular pathways recommended for students in a Middle College Program. Academic Lab runs opposite the morning college courses and gives students a supervised place to be when they are not attending their college courses. flexibility. Our rationale for choosing this college centered on accessibility. number of guaranteed transfer courses (courses which are guaranteed to fully transfer to state colleges or universities). Academic Lab is a course designed for two purposes: to provide students with a supervised study hall to keep up with the increased academic work load and to provide flexibility for scheduling purposes. and social studies) academic courses taught by high school faculty for their grade levels Explore and create career path goals Develop Individual Strategic College Plans (ISCPs) to foster transition into a college or university Take the Accuplacer test to determine readiness for specific college level courses Tour college campuses in Colorado y y y y y y Grades 11-12 Enroll in college courses at Front Range Community College Utilize Academic Lab to keep up with increased work load including college courses. and cost. Complete ISCPs and declare a preliminary major field of study Apply to at least one college or university. freshmen and sophomores may take college courses for dual enrollment. Grades 9-10 y Complete all core (math. Please note that the recommended pathway assumes that the majority of students taking dual credit college courses will be juniors and seniors. science. Note also that the college this program chose to partner with is a local community college. but their pathways will be developed on a case by case scenario. y y Educational Design Page 6 Starting a Middle College Program . English.

and which courses are available in a given semester. which courses would best serve the student·s academic pursuits. 9th-10th Grade Course Outline Course Work 2 Units Language Arts/English 9th Grade Freshman English (Survey) 10th Grade Sophomore English (World Literature) or Honors College English I. (b) taking college courses taught by high school instructors qualified to teach college courses on the high school campus. or III World History Algebra I. Algebra I. Page 7 Starting a Middle College Program . 9th and 10th grade students may enroll in dual-credit college courses on a case by case basis. each student will be advised in determining his or her career pathway and educational goals. Those students will follow an individualized academic pathway. Students will be given the opportunity to develop partnerships with Front Range Community College by: (a) taking college courses taught by college instructors on the high school campus. or Trigonometry Biology or Ecology Student choice 1 year foreign language recommended 2 Units Social Studies 2 Units Mathematics Geography Pre-Algebra. The specific courses a student takes depends on a variety of criteria. or (c) taking college courses taught by college instructors on the college campus. Each unit listed below is equivalent to one academic year. At the end of the sophomore year. Geometry. As stated previously. assuming they pass the minimum academic and testing requirements. Students will attend Discovery (advisory) courses for academic support. Students will attend Discovery (advisory) courses and Academic Lab for necessary academic support. II. or Geometry Earth Science Student choice 1 year foreign language recommended 2 Units Science 4 Units Electives (2 each academic year) 11th and 12th grade students will transition from the secondary to postsecondary education programs.9th and 10th grade students will complete academic courses that are required for a high school diploma while preparing for the Middle College program. including which courses that student needs to graduate.

II. or Honors Precalculus Chemistry.11th and 12th Grade Course Outline Course Work 2 Units Language Arts/English 11th Grade American Literature or Honors College Literature I. or III Psychology. Trigonometry. Economics. or III US History 12th Grade British Literature or Honors College Literature I. or Ecology Student choice Foreign language recommended if not taken yet 2 Units Social Studies 2 Units Math Geometry. or Honors Calculus Chemistry. II. or Ecology Student choice Foreign language recommended if not taken yet 2 Units Science 4 Units Electives (2 each academic year) Page 8 Starting a Middle College Program . Marine Biology. Sociology. Honors Precalculus. Physics. Physics. Foreign Affairs Trigonometry. Marine Biology.

The college preparatory courses are listed in the charts above.0. If the student earns a grade of D or F in a college course. which means that students earn one grade point more than they would for a normally weighted course. Placement and Course Weighting By enrolling in the Middle College Program. A grade of D or F in a college course will not transfer to any postsecondary institution and is therefore a failing grade and cannot be weighted. B. Credits earned in a college course will be weighted on the student·s high school transcript according to the above system if the student has earned a grade of A.Section 4: Program Policies and Requirements The following policies and requirements are meant to serve as an example upon which an administrator can base his or her own program policies and requirements. Enrollment Enrollment in the Middle College Program is open to all students in grades 912 who have an interest in earning college credits while in high school. Students must meet the minimum academic and testing requirements in order to be accepted into the program. The Middle College Administrator is the faculty member responsible for overseeing the Middle College Program. Students who are not willing to consider taking the college preparatory courses offered by the high school are not permitted to enroll in the Middle College Program. In order to be accepted into the program. students must meet the following requirements: y Students must have earned only A·s and B·s for all of their courses for two consecutive semesters prior to their enrollment in the Middle Page 9 Starting a Middle College Program . a student who earns a B in a normally weighted course earns a 3. For example. College courses are weighted a little differently. College courses will not be weighted on the student·s college transcript.0. the grade will not be weighted. students agree to take the college preparatory courses offered by the high school concurrently with the college courses that they take at Front Range Community College. while a student who earns a B in an honors weighted course earns a 4. Honors courses are weighted if a student earns a passing grade. Honors courses are weighted. Getting Into the Middle College Program Students who would like to enroll in the Middle College Program should meet with the Middle College Administrator to indicate their interest in the program. or C.

Please note that 9th grade students will use their 8th grade transcripts to verify this requirement. The test determines whether a student is capable of college level work. Minimum score requirements may be higher for specific courses within the Middle College Program. Please see the section entitle ´Academic Probationµ for more information. Parents and/or students are responsible for paying the COF portion if the student does not qualify for the COF stipend or does not authorize the funds. y Students must have their parents· or guardians· permission to participate in the program. Students must complete FRCC·s Application for Admission. Underage students have different requirements for admission and will be considered on a case by case basis for enrollment. Students who do not pass any portion of the exam may retake that portion. Students register for COF once and authorize the funds each semester. Depending on his or her age. Students must enroll in the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF) in order to receive the state-sponsored stipend which will reduce tuition rates. The State of Colorado pays a portion of resident student tuition. Also note that underage students must score higher on the exam than juniors or seniors in order to verify they are truly capable of collegiate work. Students must take and pass the Accuplacer exam. Fees are determined by FRCC. Students must receive the following minimum scores on these sections of the Accuplacer to be eligible for the Middle College Program: Sentence Skills: 70 Reading Comprehension: 62 The first time students take the exam will be free of charge. Page 10 Starting a Middle College Program . a student may need to fill out the Statewide Agreement/Contract Between A Colorado School District and a Colorado College High School Concurrent Enrollment Form to participate in the Concurrent Enrollment (CE) program or an application for underage college students. but they will be responsible for any fees associated with retaking the exam. a standardized college readiness test offered through Front Range Community College. Note: Any student who has not earned A·s and B·s throughout the past two consecutive semesters may still be accepted into the Middle College Program on a probationary basis. Underage students are students who are not juniors and have not yet turned 16 by the time they enroll in college courses. Each portion of the exam may be taken no more than 3 times.y y y y y y y College Program. Students must express a willingness to take the college preparatory courses offered by the high school concurrently with their college courses. but students must register to receive their stipends.

or attendance records. Parents will not be permitted to request progress reports. The Middle College Administrator will request that the faculty at FRCC communicate at least once during the semester general information regarding overall student attendance and course progress. Students who do not pass the college course will need to be aware that they will likely be off track to graduate high school and may need to take the necessary steps to recover those credits. the high school will not cover those costs. College courses will be worth 0. These credits are college credits and are guaranteed to transfer to all of Colorado public institutions of higher education and are guaranteed to meet general education core requirements for any liberal arts or science associate·s or bachelor·s degree. students are responsible for authorizing the COF stipend for each course they enroll in. Privacy Laws Front Range Community College and the high school are bound by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended that all institutions of higher learning are bound to. Students who do not qualify for the COF will be responsible for paying that amount to FRCC. The high school will cover the cost of tuition at enrollment. students must earn a grade of C or higher Page 11 Starting a Middle College Program . these courses will transfer to other accredited colleges and universities nationwide. Tuition and Fees Students who enroll in the Middle College Program have the benefit of taking college courses essentially tuition-free. and they will be responsible for paying for any textbooks and supplies associated with the course. either. As a result. Students must be aware that a grade of D or lower constitutes failure in a college course. In addition to earning these credits. parents need to be aware that a student is the only one who will have direct access to his or her progress or attendance in the course while he or she is enrolled at FRCC. students who take a college course through the Middle College Program will earn high school credits toward their graduation. assignment or test grades. As mentioned above. Credits Earned Courses offered by FRCC are typically 3-credit courses. Additionally. Students (or their families) are responsible for any fees associated with the course. In order for the high school to pay for tuition costs. but he or she will not be given access to specific grades and attendance records.5 high school credits per semester.y Students must be willing to pay all additional costs associated with the program (see Tuition and Fees section for more information).

in their college courses. Students who earn a D or lower in a college course or who fail a course offered by BCHS in a semester will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. Continuation in the Middle College Program / Academic Probation Continuation in the Middle College Program is determined by student academic performance throughout their participation in the program. they may be required to take summer courses offered by the high school to make up for any credit deficiencies that may result. Page 12 Starting a Middle College Program y y . It is important to know that a grade of D or F in a college course is considered by the high school as a failing grade and will be considered as such on a student·s high school transcripts. Generally speaking. If a student does not earn a grade of C or higher. and students must not fail any course offered by the high school in any given semester while they are enrolled in the program. In addition. Students must submit a copy of his or her unofficial transcripts from the college courses they took within one week of completing the courses or as determined by the Middle College Administrator. Students will be expected to bring a progress report from the college instructor to this meeting. he or she must reimburse the high school for the costs of tuition of the course. as well. Financial Aid Students whose families may be experiencing financial hardship may make application to have tuition costs subsidized or covered by the high school. students must earn a C or higher in all college courses. as well. Contact the Middle College Administrator if you feel that you need financial assistance in order to enroll in the Middle College Program. Students who have not met the minimum academic requirements for acceptance into the program may be accepted under academic probation. These transcripts may be printed from the FRCC website. Students who do not submit the transcripts will be fined the cost of tuition for the courses. Students who earn a D or F in a college course may be required to repeat that course either on campus or online at their own expense. Students who earn a D or F in a college course may also need to attend a mandatory meeting with the Middle College Administrator and the high school liaison from FRCC or a designated representative. y Students on academic probation will be required to meet at least once a week with the Middle College Administrator to discuss their academic progress in all courses (including college courses offered by FRCC) throughout the semester they are on academic probation.

and if they wish to reapply for enrollment in the program. Page 13 Starting a Middle College Program . Only the student can formally initiate the withdrawal steps.y y y Students enrolled in the Middle College Program who earn a D or F in two consecutive college courses or who earn an F in two consecutive semesters for any course offered by the high school will be disenrolled from the Middle College Program for two semesters. this results in a failing grade. This option is not refundable and must again be upon the action of the student as outlined above. they must follow the above listed requirements. Dropping Out of the Middle College Program The Middle College Program has many benefits to offer those students enrolled in it. students on academic probation will be required to earn a C or higher in all courses for the semester. 2. it will appear on the student·s college transcripts. A grade of W will be issued. Students who do not meet these requirements will be disenrolled from the Middle College Program for two semesters. A course that is dropped does not show up on official college transcripts and does not impact a student·s college GPA. While the grade is grade point neutral. b. The procedure must be upon the action of the student either online or with a Schedule Adjustment Form. Students who wish to drop or withdraw from a college course must follow the steps for withdrawal as laid out by FRCC. Drop: must be done within the first two weeks. If the student chooses to drop out of the program after FRCC·s withdrawal date. However. FRCC provides two ways to exit a course: a. Students who wish to reapply for enrollment in the program must maintain grades of A·s and B·s in all courses for two consecutive semesters before reapplying. The student and his or her parent/guardian must speak with the Middle College Administrator and another representative from the administration to indicate their reasons for wanting to drop out of the program. 3. Withdraw: must be done within the first 4/5ths of the course. In addition. should a student decide at some point that he or she does not wish to continue in the program. the student acknowledges that he or she will not be refunded any tuition costs. This is the only option that is refundable. Students may appeal their disenrollment from the program by submitting a request in writing to the Middle College Administrator within one week of notification of disenrollment. he or she must be aware of the following: 1. Courses that have not been properly dropped or withdrawn from will be issued a grade ² generally.

The program does not currently offer courses in math or science. AP Program The Middle College Program generally offers courses in English and the social sciences through FRCC. and physics. 6. Students who take those courses on their own are not eligible for reimbursement of tuition. partly because of scheduling conflicts and partly due to the incremental nature of math and science learning. but at this point and for the foreseeable future. except as deemed necessary for graduation by the high school counselor. However. Students who wish to earn college credit for math and science courses are invited to participate in the AP program offered by the high school. he or she may no longer be enrolled in any of the college preparatory courses. The student must be aware that by dropping out of the Middle College Program. the high school reserves the right to allow individual students to take these courses on a case-by-case basis. chemistry. 5. we anticipate offering science and math courses. those courses are not available to students unless they wish to take them on their own.4. Students who take the AP exam and earn a grade of 3 or higher are eligible for reimbursement of the cost of the exam. Students who wish to take these exams must get written permission from their instructors and the Middle College Administrator. Currently. it is important to note that he or she may be off track to graduate. If a student drops out of the program. the high school has AP opportunities in calculus. since his or her schedule has been built around the fact that he or she would be earning high school credits concurrently with college credits. Page 14 Starting a Middle College Program . The student will no longer be enrolled in Academic Lab. At some point. and he or she will be enrolled in a course during the free period that many Middle College students are given in order to compensate for loss of credits.

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. & S. No. April). Center for the Study of Higher Education. Martinez. HI: Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. from www. Understanding the college choice process. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. New directions for community colleges. Middle College. 113. S.lagcc. from www. (2001a). A. How is school reform tied to increasing college access and success for low-income and minority youth? Honolulu. 2009. Albany: State University of New York (SUNY) Press. 20(32).ets. Cabrera. 103.. 19. (1997). M. McDonough.htm Robertson. P. The International Baccalaureate: ¶Cadillac· of college-prep programs [Electronic version]. (2000).). June). J.org/ research/dload/CrossingDivide. New York: The Center for an Urban Future.edu/lpp/MiddleCollege. & Klopott. Retrieved October 10. New Directions for Community Colleges.. 5-22). J. S. Education Week. B. DC: ETS Public Leadership Office. Lieberman. P. Retrieved August 25. (2001). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.d.). Building a highway to higher ed: How collaborative efforts are changing education in America. 20(32).).. (2001b. Choosing colleges: How social course and schools structure opportunity. (2006). Gerhring. Systems for offering concurrent enrollment at high schools and community colleges. University Park. 2009. (2001. Understanding the college choice of disadvantaged students: New directions for institutional research. 107 (pp. (n. J. N. Dual enrollment programs spreading [Electronic version]. Crossing the great divide: Can we achieve equality when Generation Y goes to college? Washington. In A. 17-18. Creating structural change: Best practices. F. No. La Nasa (Eds. Kleiman. Education Week. 13-19. & Fry. A.cuny.State University. Cabrera.pdf. R. Gerhring. Chapman. PA: The Pennsylvania State University. (1998). & La Nasa. Page 16 Starting a Middle College Program .. & Gaskin. Carnevale. (Eds. (2000b).

spelling. What information would you omit in order to make this manual an effective tool? 3. and usage. What specific ideas do you have for further research regarding this topic? 4. Page 17 Starting a Middle College Program . What additional information do you feel would be necessary to make this manual an effective tool for administrators? 2.Evaluation Form After reading the manual titled ´Starting a Middle College Program. 1.µ please provide your honest answers to the following questions. Please provide any feedback regarding errors in grammar.

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