Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why Every School Should Think About Early College

It’s pretty much common knowledge that higher education can get expensive, and with recent budget cuts, tuition is skyrocketing even higher, but the public schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma seem have part of that solution.

The “Early College” program is a partnership of Tulsa Public Schools and Tulsa Community College. Hey cater to individuals like 15-year-old Sandra Escalante who has a dream to go off to college in the future.

“I was going to go to Booker T. Washington but I got a call one week before school started. What drew me in is well; I want to be a lawyer. That we could leave here with two years’ of college credits would get me that much closer,” said Escalante, a high school freshman to Tulsa World News.

The Early College program hopes to bring the opportunity for students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree cutting out two years of tuition and focusing on the upper division courses after graduation.

A postsecondary education is pretty much essential for financial and personal freedom in today’s economy. A four-year college graduate earns two-thirds more than a high school graduate does, and an Associate’s degree translates into earnings significantly higher than those earned by an individual with a high school diploma alone.

For every 100 low-income students who start high school, only 65 will get a high school diploma and only 45 will enroll in college. Only 11 will complete a postsecondary degree according to a National Educational Longitudinal Study.

Such data calls for essential interventions to increase the number of low-income young people obtaining postsecondary credentials. A change in education policies and practices are needed to ensure that more young people earn the postsecondary credentials that are crucial to their individual economic security as well.

Why not guarantee a necessary education for the future of America, cut costs and save time for growth and progress in our society and ensure these students viability of our nation’s economy?

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