About Jobs for the Future

The Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund provides funding to support applicants with a record of improving student achievement and attainment in order to expand the implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices that are demonstrated to have an impact on improving student achievement or student growth, closing achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or increasing college enrollment and completion rates.

These grants will (1) allow eligible entities to expand and develop innovative practices that can serve as models of best practices, (2) allow eligible entities to work in partnership with the private sector and the philanthropic community, and (3) identify and document best practices that can be shared and taken to scale based on demonstrated success.

The Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund supports the scale up of Early College High Schools (ECHS) in school districts throughout the U.S.  ECHS seamlessly integrates high school and college and propels under-represented student populations to success in an academically rigorous program that includes college courses. For JFF and EdTX, implementing and scaling early college designs has been an integral part of this mission for 10 and seven years, respectively. Each LEA partner has committed to scaling early colleges district-wide by the end of the grant period while establishing the platform for further in-district expansion and scaling across their respective regions.

ECHS is a proven design for preparing high-need students to complete demanding college preparatory courses of study. Evaluations conducted byAIR/SRI (2009, 2013) have found that early colleges consistently outperformed district schools on state assessments by an average of 7 percentage points or more. The 2009 AIR/SRI evaluation report showed thatECHS designs are particularly valuable for students from homes where a language other than English dominates, as these students ranked significantly higher on scales of academic interest and persistence and reported higher high school GPAs than other early college students.

National data collected by JFF through the Early College High School Student Information System and National Student Clearinghouse and from state public data sources show that early college has a record of increasing student achievement, decreasing drop-out rates, and building momentum to and through college.  In fact, the ECHS design approach enables low-income students to achieve milestones towards college completion at rates that far exceed national and local averages:

  • Graduation rates: 93% of EC students graduate from high schools compared to 76% of students in their respective districts.
  • College credit attainment in high school: By graduation, EC students earn 23 college credits on average, and 56% of 2011 graduates earn two years of credit or an AA degree.
  • College enrollment: 72% of EC students enroll in postsecondary education compared to 55% of students at schools with a majority of students receiving subsidized lunch.
  • Persistence rates: 82% of EC graduates persist to their second year in college compared to 69% of low-income students or first-generation college goers nationally.