Kaniuka, Theodore S.*
Fayetteville State University, North Carolina, USA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In 2002, the first early college high schools opened in North Carolina in an attempt to improve the performance of traditionally underserved students. Students of color, economic disadvantage, or having family histories of little or no post secondary attainment were targeted by this school reform initiative. Students attending these schools are exposed to rigorous high school curricula, experience a small school environment, and have access to post secondary education at the community college or university level. This study examined the academic performance of early college students compared to traditional high school students in North Carolina using non-parametric methods to determine whether the early college students have different passing rates on select North Carolina high school exams. The results indicate that for the selected end-of-course exams, many of the early college students have significantly greater rates of passing and in several instances that the gap between white and traditionally under represented students is narrower than traditional schools. These results suggest the North Carolina early college model may be a viable school reform initiative in assisting students to graduate high school and prepare students for life beyond high school.
Keywords: achievement gap; school reform; student achievement; high schools; evaluation; database; gender analysis