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Our Data


For the past 10 years, NCREST has supported MEMCA by collecting and analyzing data on their schools and programs that allow MEMCA and participating sites to better understand the designs and features of the EMC model, the college course-taking experiences of EMC students during their high school years, and key student outcomes. NCREST has also helped to build the data use capacity of EMC leaders and their school teams.


Findings from NCREST’s MEMCA Data Project indicate that Michigan EMC students graduating from participating schools in 2019 had earned an average of 54.5 college credits and had passed 93% of their college courses with a grade of C- or higher. Postsecondary data for all 2016 EMC graduates in Michigan indicate that they enrolled and persisted in college at a higher rate than high school graduates statewide and earned more college credits in the first two years of college. The outcomes were especially positive for EMC students from ethnic/racial minority groups and economically disadvantaged students when compared to their peers across the state. 


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This report was prepared by the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST) at Teachers College, Columbia University for the Middle College National Consortium. Since 2002, NCREST has been involved in research and development projects related to Middle and Early College schools. We have worked with a range of schools and intermediary organizations, but the majority of our work in this area has been carried out in partnership with the Middle College National Consortium. NCREST is particularly known for our collaborative work with school systems, districts, school networks, and non-profit organizations. Our work to make research a meaningful contributor to practice is best expressed in our role as a research partner with several school development organizations. At NCREST, we assert that research can become relevant, which we take to mean actionable, when a trusting, respectful, and credible practitioner-researcher partnership is in place.


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Michigan stands out among US states as especially innovative and thoughtful about developing and supporting early and middle college (E/MC)1 high schools and programs. While early and middle colleges exist throughout the country, there are few states that offer a policy environment that encourages them in such a profound and active way. Michigan is also a leader in the diversity of early and middle college models that have emerged to increase college access and success for a range of students. This report provides an overview of Michigan’s early and middle college initiative, describes how the state has emerged to be a uniquely hospitable environment for these schools, and shares the evidence of effectiveness currently available. In addition, the report highlights three Michigan-based organizations that are working together to support and nurture early colleges. These three comprise a unique collaboration—A state office, a college-based center, and a peer-run association of member schools—all working for the same purpose: to improve student experiences and outcomes, with a focus on meeting the needs of underserved students. They are supported by a research and development partner, the authors of this report.

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