Early College Expansion Partnership Toolkit


School and District Strategy and Leadership

The Early College Expansion Partnership aimed to increase the high school and college success of 30,000 low-income youth. This JFF brief looks back on the five-year initiative and highlights the core elements of the partnership and key lessons learned that can inform school improvement efforts everywhere.
Denver’s Early College Department created a logic model that illustrates the district’s supports for state-designated early college high schools and anticipated short-term, medium-term, and long-term outcomes.
Students in front of computers in a line on tables, facing a wall with school pendents.
This is a sample agenda from one of Brownsville's meetings with ECHS Directors. Topics included placement testing strategies and updates on each of the district's postsecondary partners.
This brief explores the leadership of a large-scale effort to expand early college designs districtwide—the Early College Expansion Partnership (ECEP), funded by a five-year Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2012. Among the lessons learned: success hinges on shared leadership at multiple levels, from the superintendent’s office to individual school buildings and in between.
A shortage of qualified instructors poses a threat to early college expansion and sustainability. This brief explores the innovative strategies that the ECEP districts and their postsecondary partners have used to address their dual credit staffing challenges.
Students smiling at one another.
The ECEP partners learned that sustaining the progress made during the i3 grant requires more than simply identifying new sources of external funds to extend the original grant-funded activities. This JFF issue brief describes how early college has become embedded in the core work of three districts and their postsecondary partners.


Instruction, Professional Development, and Coaching

This slide deck on the CIF is part of a set of train-the-trainer resources designed for schools to use to deliver their own professional development. This particular training, produced by Denver Public Schools’ Early College Instructional Coaches, provided an overview of JFF’s Common Instructional Framework (CIF) and gave participants an opportunity to practice using all six CIF strategies.
This resource, produced by Educate Texas, includes individual spotlights of English teachers in Brownsville and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, TX, with teacher-created tips and perspectives on how they have used the Common Instructional Framework in their classes.
This slide deck on Lesson Planning is part of a set of train-the-trainer resources designed for schools to use to deliver their own professional development. This particular training, produced by Denver Public Schools’ Early College Instructional Coaches, focused on ideas for building more active learning strategies into teachers’ existing lessons plans. Participants were asked to bring sample lesson plans to the training.
This resource, produced by Educate Texas, includes individual spotlights of math teachers in Brownsville and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, TX, with teacher-created tips and perspectives on how they have used the Common Instructional Framework in their classes. For a larger library of tools produced in the Texas districts, see: https://www.edtx.org/our-impact-areas/college-career-readiness/investing...
This slide deck, which was used for a webinar on 3/1/2018, explores the role of the instructional coach and introduces best practices for instructional coaching. This approach to instructional coaching was implemented in the ECEP sites and is broadly applicable to a variety of contexts.
A tool for the instructional coach to use when observing student learning for CIF implemenation.
EdTX coaches for ECEP schools in Texas use this tool for teacher goal setting at the beginning of a coaching experience.
This a visual of the coaching cycle used for instructional coaching with teachers in Brownsville.
EdTX coaches in for ECEP schools in Texas use this data table to capture low inference task data on student listening, reading, and writing.
Step by step procedures for conducting a data trend walk that captures high level data on CIF implementation.
The Early College Instructional Coach Team developed the College and Career Readiness Keys for Success by utilizing the JFF CIF Strategies as well as research on college and career readiness conducted by Students at the Center, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and David Conley. The College and Career Readiness Keys for Success highlight four key areas of readiness - Collaboration and Communication, Academic Mindset, Ownership of Learning and Thinking Critically - with the CIF student behavior indicators aligned to these readiness categories.
Six strategies to build college readiness.
Three students in discussion, sitting at a table.
The Early College Expansion Project used leadership coaching to build the capacity of school administrators to guide early college implementation. This brief utilizes data from an evaluation of the project to provide insight into the use of coaching as part of a comprehensive reform model.


Postsecondary Partnerships and Counseling

This issue brief by Educate Texas describes the valuable role played by College Transition Specialists in the Rio Grande Valley.
This is a sample agenda from one of Brownsville's meetings with ECHS counselors.


Student Supports and Readiness

This issue brief by Educate Texas describes the systemic supports that the i3 districts implemented to improve student performance on the Texas Success Initiative, the statewide college placement exam used to determine eligibility for dual credit courses.
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