OVAE: Office of Vocational and Adult Education
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Accelerating Student Success Through Credit-Based Transition Programs


An increasing national focus on the need for high academic standards, coupled with the growing importance of obtaining a postsecondary credential, has led to the expansion of programs that allow high school students to take college-level classes and earn college credit while still in high school. These initiatives, collectively known as credit-based transition programs, include Tech Prep, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and middle college high schools. These programs traditionally target high-achieving students; but many policy-makers and educators today believe that a broader range of students can benefit from participation. However, there is little research information to guide efforts at expanding credit-based transition programs. In particular, educators need better information on the various features of these programs and a better understanding of how these programs help middle- and low-achieving students enter and succeed in postsecondary education.


To identify state-level policies and statutes that support (or inhibit) the development and implementation of credit-based transition programs.

To describe the practices of credit-based transition programs, focusing on developing an understanding of their curriculum, instruction, staffing, program structure and management, leadership, and financing.

To develop an explanation for how and why credit-based transition programs may support the secondary-to-postsecondary transition of middle- and low-achieving students.

Study Background Information
This study was conducted under contract for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education by DTI Associates, Inc., and the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University.

News Fact Sheets
Click here for updates and current news on the Accelerating Student Success project.   Descriptions and one-page fact sheets of various types and categories of credit-based transition programs.
Methods Products
Overview of the research methods that are being used as part of this project including a state policy analysis, case-studies, focus groups, and interviews.   Descriptions and links to the products (reports, briefs, summaries) produced for this project.
Contacts Email Updates
Department of Education
Office of Vocational and Adult Education
Ivonne Jaime
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Last Modified: 10/16/2007