Early College Programs are closing the Gap for Low-Income Students


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In early November 2016, the White House released the statistics on the country’s high school graduation rates; the numbers showed the highest graduation rate in history, 83.2% and students of all races and ethnicities showed gains in graduation rates.

Many minorities, especially Latinos, showed that they have closed the gap between themselves and their white peers; over the last four years, the number of Latinos graduating from high school has improved from 71% to nearly 78%.

Despite several harsh realities in terms of what schools can do, including limited access to “rigorous coursework, individualized support, and high-quality guidance services” as well as there being inequitable funding amongst districts, there are plenty of reasons to be positive, The Undefeated reports.

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While Latino students still “underperform” in comparison with their white peers and the dropout rate for Latinos is still significantly higher than for whites, there are examples of positive and concrete actions being taken to alleviate these instances.

There has long been determined to be a strong connection between education and health. Individuals with four-year degrees have been shown to have significantly higher incomes and longer lifespans than those who have a high school diploma only and those rates are even starker when compared to high school dropouts. Education levels have been linked to poverty, unemployment, and chronic health concerns.

The Guilford County Schools system in North Carolina (8.7% Latino population), nine early college and middle college high school campuses were established in the area; seven of the nine high schools have a 100% graduation rate, while the other two are at 97% and 98%.

Many other school districts across the country have worked diligently to increase their students’ college readiness by developing successful partnerships with colleges and universities. This has helped close the “opportunity gap” for many low-income students.

Read more about what the Guilford County Schools system is doing here

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