School districts across the U.S. are experimenting with various reforms in an attempt to bridge the gap between secondary and postsecondary education and create greater access to postsecondary education for all students. One such reform initiative is the Early College High School (ECHS) model, which allows high school students to earn a diploma and two years of college credit. This qualitative study employed a narrative non-fiction approach, which enabled us to highlight students' voices and experiences in order to examine the social and academic experiences of ECHS graduates in post-secondary environments. Data sources included one-on-one interviews with participants. After the data collection, narrative texts were created from the stories collected so that readers can better identify with the lives of the participants. The narrative texts were then analyzed for common themes, including academic preparation, support services, costs of ECHS participation, and relationships with peers. Participants felt that ECHS attendance positively impacted their academic and social experiences at the post-secondary level and also attested to the sacrifice and determination the ECHS program demanded.
The High School Journal – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Nov 14, 2013