Every adolescent faces challenges as they navigate their teenage years, but for some these challenges imperil their ability to complete their education. While these four students’ experiences are dramatically different, they have one thing in common: high school didn’t work for them, meaning that each faced long odds of ever attaining a diploma, much less a postsecondary credential with value in the workplace. And while each recognized the challenges they would face without finishing high school, they also didn’t see many options within their existing school settings.
While “early college” initiatives and dual or concurrent enrollment programs have expanded dramatically to support low income and first-generation students, they focus primarily on young people who are enrolled and making progress in high school, not those who are struggling—or who have dropped out.
Growing numbers of community colleges are recognizing the importance of serving disconnected youth.
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