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The Colorado fast track program

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The Colorado fast track program implementation and impact
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Binder, Deborah Jil
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xiv, 243 leaves : illustrations ; 28 cm

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High schools -- Postgraduate work -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Universities and colleges -- Admission -- Colorado ( lcsh )
High schools -- Postgraduate work ( fast )
Universities and colleges -- Admission ( fast )
Colorado ( fast )
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non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 210-213).
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Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Doctor of Philosophy, School of Education and Human Development.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Deborah Jil Binder.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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ocm23379227
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Full Text
THE COLORADO FAST TRACK PROGRAM:
IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACT
by
Deborah Jil Binder
B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 1971
M.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 1977
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Education
1989


Copyright 1989
Deborah Jil Binder
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by
Deborah Jil Binder
has been approved for the
School of Education
by
Date


Binder, Deborah Jil (Ph.D., Education)
The Colorado Fast Track Program: Implementation and
Impact
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Russell W.
Meyers
The Fast Track Program is an accelerated program
which was legislated by CRS 22-34-101 in 1981 to
provide early admission to college for high school
seniors who had fulfilled graduation requirements.
The local school district was required to pay tuition.
This study, conducted in 1987 and 1988, sought
to determine the extent of participation in the Fast
Track Program in Colorado and to estimate the impact
of the program on participating students and institu-
tions.
A complementary processes model which employed
both surveys to determine participation and interviews
to measure impact provided the structure for the
research.
Surveys constructed by the researcher to deter-
mine the extent of participation were sent to super-
intendents, principals, and college admissions
directors in Colorado. A minimum 80% return was
sought. Survey respondents, were interviewed about
their participation in the Fast Track Program.


iv
Selected nonparticipants were also interviewed about
their reasons for nonparticipation.
The findings of the study are summarized below.
1. As of the 1987-88 school year, approximately
20% of the school districts, 13% of the public high
schools, 16 institutions of higher education, and
approximately 300 students in Colorado were par-
ticipating in some modification of the Fast Track
Program.
2. Smaller districts participated to a slightly
greater degree than did large districts.
3. Courses were usually offered at the colleges
for college credit only.
4. Participants reported that the chief advan-
tage of the Fast Track Program was that it allowed
students to make the transition from high school to
college and to begin accumulating college credits.
5. The main reasons given for nonparticipation
in the program were lack of student interest and lack
of knowledge about Fast Track.
The following conclusions were a result of these
findings.
1. The motivation for implementation of the
program was sometimes dependent upon the size of the
district.


V
2. The Fast Track Program provides a positive
means of acceleration for students.
3. Districts made modifications on the legisla-
tion to fit their needs.
4. Recent legislation, House Bill 1244, was
enacted in 1988 in response to the modifications made
in the Fast Track Program.
The form and content of this abstract are approved.
I recommend its publication.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Sincere appreciation is expressed to:
Dr. Russ Meyers for his enduring patience and
his insistence on quality.
Dr. Jim Rose, Dr. Myrle Hemenway, and Dr. Haz
Wubben, my earlier advisors who encouraged me to
pursue this degree.
Ann Underwood for her excellent typing and
advice.
All of those people who responded to the surveys
and were so helpful in interviews.
The Moffat Ladies: Gretchen Haller, Cathy Freel,
Marka Cook, Carol Pollart Thompson and Linda stagner
who helped with the distribution of the initial
survey.
Betty Krueger who instructed me on the computer.
Shirley Ecklebarger who helped make copies and
consoled me.
Dr. Rick Bettger, Dr. Lynn Kelly, and Dr. Bill
Reader who were valuable resources in the process.
Dr. Mike Martin who provided new insight to the
methodology.


vii
The Littleton Public Schools administration, and
in particular, Ron Booth, Larry Orblom, Cathy Kane,
and Joan Ott, for their encouragement and assistance.
My sister-in-law, Sarah Binder, who assisted me
in the data collection.
My mom and dad and Doris Binder who always
emphasized the importance of education, and my
brothers and sisters (Russ, Ken, Donna, Pat, Dru,
Buzz, Rick, Josh, and Matt), whose love has been my
centerstone.
Shonnie, my young friend.
And, Bob Lavender, for his constant support and
persistent faith in me.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. THE PROBLEM: INTRODUCTION AND
AND BACKGROUND 1
Statement of the Problem ................ 4
Significance of the Study............. 6
Scope and Delimitations of the Study . 6
Limitations of the Study ................ 8
Outline of the Remainder of
the Thesis.......................... 9
II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE................ 10
Overview.............................. 10
History............................... 11
Rationale............................. 17
Models ................................. 20
United States International
University Middle College. ... 20
Project Advance Syracuse
University, Syracuse, New York . . 23
LaGuardia Middle College LaGuardia
Community College, New York,
New York.......................... 24
Matteo Ricci College Seattle
University, Seattle, Washington. . 26
Advance College Project Indiana
University, Bloomington, Indiana . 28
Summary............................. 29


ix
Unique Characteristics of Other
Programs.............................. 30
Admissions............................ 30
Course Presentation................... 32
Credits............................... 35
Cost ................................. 36
Findings on Accelerated Programs ... 36
Participation......................... 37
Performance and Impact ............... 38
Participant Reports..................... 46
Disadvantages......................... 46
Advantages............................ 49
Acceleration in Colorado ............... 54
Summary................................. 56
III. METHODOLOGY............................... 58
Rationale............................... 58
Research Questions ..................... 61
Initial Survey ......................... 61
Data Collection........................ 63
Survey................................ 63
Interviews............................ 65
Data Recording.......................... 68
Data Presentation and Analysis .... 69
Participation Analysis ............... 71
Impact Analysis....................... 76
Nonparticipation Analysis............. 78


X
Summary................................. 79
IV. FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS..................... 80
Participation........................... 81
District and School Participation
Data................................ 81
Analysis of District and School
Participation....................... 89
Supporting Data for District and
and School Participation ........... 92
Student Participation................. 98
Supporting Data.......................105
Demographic Influences on
Participation.......................107
Higher Education Participation . Ill
Other Participation Data..............117
Summary of Participation ............ 117
Impact..................................119
Policies and Procedures...............119
Summary...............................141
Impact on Students, Schools, and
Colleges............................143
Follow-Up Studies.....................162
Nonparticipation ...................... 163
Superintendents.......................164
Principals............................165
College Admissions Directors .... 168
Overview: Survey Data on Reasons
for Nonparticipation .............. 169


xi
Interview Data: Nonparticipation. . 170
Summary.................................185
V. SUMMARY AND FINDINGS......................188
Methodology.............................189
Research Questions .................. 189
Data Collection.......................190
Data Analysis.........................192
Findings................................195
Participation.........................195
Impact .............................197
Nonparticipation ............ 201
Conclusions.............................202
House Bill 1244........................ 203
Recommendations.........................206
Recommendations for Further Research . 208
Reflections.............................209
REFERENCES.....................................210
APPENDICES.....................................214
A. CRS 22-34-101 215
B. INITIAL SURVEY............................217
C. FOLLOW-UP SURVEY ........................ 219
D. PRINCIPALS' SURVEY ...................... 221
E. COLLEGE ADMISSIONS DIRECTORS' SURVEY . 223
F. STRUCTURED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ....... 225
G. DISTRICT SIZE AND LOCATION CATEGORIES. . 229


Xll
H. HOUSE BILL 1244.......................... 232
I. VITA: AL NELSON, PH.D....................239


TABLES
TABLE
2.1 Reasons for Enrolling in the Advance
College Project.......................... 44
2.2 Higher Education Choices of Post-ACT
Students (1983-84) ...................... 45
4.1 District/School Participation: 38
Participating Districts Identified
from Initial Survey...................... 86
4.2 Student Participation by District:
Superintendents' Reports on the
Follow-up Survey ....................... 100
4.3 Student Completion of Requirements
and Participation as Reported by
Principals in Participating Districts 102
4.4 Student Participation and Completion
of Graduation Requirements: Nine
Principals in Nonparticipating
Districts as Identified from
Initial Survey ......................... 103
4.5 Location of Participating Districts
by District Enrollment: Initial
Superintendents' Survey................. 108
4.6 Size and Location of Districts:
Superintendents Indicating Partici-
pation on the Follow-Up Survey ... 109
4.7 Enrollment and Location of Participating
High Schools............................ Ill
4.8 District Participation: Admissions
Director Reports by College............. 113


xiv
4.9 Superintendents' Reports of District/
College Participation.................. 114
4.10 Superintendents' Estimates of the
Annual Cost of the Fast Track
Program................................ 136
4.11 Disadvantages of the Fast Track
Program: Telephone Interview Data . 145
4.12 Advantages of the Fast Track Program . 153
4.13 Nonparticipating Superintendents'
Reasons for Not Implementing the
Fast Track Program: Initial Survey. 165
4.14 Principals in Participating
DistrictsReasons for Nonpartici-
pation ................................ 166
4.15 Principals in Nonparticipating
DistrictsReasons for Nonpartici-
pation ................................ 167
4.16 College Admissions Directors' Reasons
for Nonparticipation .................. 168
4.17 Reasons Given by Superintendents,
Principals, and College Admissions
Directors for Nonparticipation . .
169


CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM: INTRODUCTION
AND BACKGROUND
In July, 1981, Colorado enacted legislation,
known as the Fast Track Bill, designed to provide
early admission to college for high school seniors.
This legislation, based on financial and curricular
concerns, has precedents throughout the United States.
Senate Bill 248, the Fast Track Bill, authorizes
high school students who have fulfilled graduation
requirements to take one or more college courses at a
state-supported institution. The local school
district reimburses the college or university for
tuition from its Authorized Revenue Base. Even though
the students are attending an institution of higher
education, they are still classified as high school
students and have none of the privileges of college
students.
The bill was debated in the Colorado legislature
in Spring, 1981. Testimony to the legislature
examined several problems with Senate Bill 248. The
Advanced Placement (AP) representative testified that
the AP program keeps the students in the high school


2
while this bill would possibly put them on a college
campus prematurely. Further, he pointed out that in
the AP program parents pay for the cost of the
advanced placement exams, whereas with this program,
the state and local education agency (LEA) would be
absorbing the cost of the program (Jones, 1981).
Other financial considerations involved the ARB
(authorized revenue base). The local education
agency would lose ARB funds to the colleges, but
would still need to maintain the level of services to
students who did not take advantage of the Fast Track
Program. Concerns about cutbacks in programs and
reductions in faculty also were raised. The state
could be doubly charged because of this arrangement,
both through the ARB and through the state's part of
the college tuition (Elofson, 1986). Legislators
voiced concerns about allowing students to attend
either public or private colleges. Most legislators
felt this would result in the state giving funds to
private schools, and this clause was later deleted
from the bill. Other problems mentioned were that
some students who were athletes would not be able to
participate in the Fast Track Program because of time
and/or distance constraints. Also, students might
not have the advantages of high school counseling and


3
monitoring which might result in some loss of social
and/or emotional development in the pursuit of aca-
demic excellence. Finally, the bill only addressed
the student who has completed high school require-
ments. It did not allocate funds for concurrent high
school and college attendance (Colorado State
Legislature, 1981). All of these problems were
advanced as reasons to rethink the legislation.
Sponsors of the bill reasoned that the program
would save state monies by reducing the number of
years spent in high school and college by a student.
Legislators also thought that there might be large
numbers of students who were not attending college
early because of financial considerations. The
legislators cited the lethargy that overtakes many
seniors, often referred to as "senioritis" by
educators, and the lack of incentive for students in
grades 9-11 to take a full load as reasons for passage
of the bill. Although current Advanced Placement
programs provided some of the opportunities presented
by this bill, only about five percent of high school
seniors qualified for the AP program, and legislators
reasoned that this bill would broaden opportunities.
In one legislative session, a senator estimated that
400-2,000 students per year would take advantage of


4
the Fast Track Program, and commented that once a
student has completed high school requirements, it is
superfluous for him to accumulate more high school
credits when he could be taking college-required
courses (Senate Hearings, 1981). In general, the
advocates felt that this bill would give students the
opportunity to do college-level work while still in
high school.
Ideally, the bill allows students to take these
courses on the high school campus, which involves
cooperation between the school and college and leads
to some continuity in curriculum. It would allow a
student to move more quickly through the system,
saving parents, and possibly the state, money. It
presents the opportunity for smaller schools to
provide courses normally not available. It also
provides an alternative to an unproductive senior
year and allows for some transition time from high
school to college. Finally, it gives parents and
students choices in their educational plan (Colorado
State Hearings, 1981). All of these were considered
in legislative hearings prior to enactment.
Statement of the Problem
The purpose of this study was to determine the
extent of implementation of the Fast Track Program


5
(CRS 22-34-101) in Colorado. Using surveys and
follow-up interviews, the research focused on both
those schools and colleges that had and those that
had not implemented the program.
Research questions included the following:
Major Question: To what extent has the Fast
Track Program been implemented in Colorado and how
has it impacted students, high schools, colleges and
universities?
Related questions are as follows:
1. How many districts and public high schools
in Colorado have implemented the Fast Track Program?
2. What policies and procedures have those
districts and schools developed?
3. What reasons do districts, schools, and
colleges give for not using the program?
4. How many students finish graduation
requirements prior to the beginning of their senior
year? To what degree do those who finish participate?
5. Are size and location of schools related to
implementation?
6. To what extent do institutions of higher
education participate in the program?
7. What impact has the program had on students,
schools, and colleges?


6
Significance of the Study
The Fast Track Program is not a new idea. It
has many precedents, including Project Advance at
Syracuse University, the Matteo Ricci College in
Seattle, and LaGuardia Middle College in New York
(Whitlock, 1978). Minnesota developed a state-wide
acceleration program and some Colorado school dis-
tricts were providing similar opportunities prior to
the legislation. The act gave financial support to
those opportunities.
No follow-up studies had been done on the imple-
mentation of this legislation in Colorado. This study
sought to describe participation in the Fast Track
program, and to determine the impact of the program
on students, their parents, schools, districts,
colleges, and universities. In addition, reasons for
nonparticipation were investigated. It was hoped
that the research would provide the legislature with
some information on implementation as well as
providing school personnel with data that would help
them to utilize the program fully.
Scope and Delimitations of the Study
To gather preliminary information on partici-
pation in the Fast Track Program, an initial survey


7
of all superintendents in Colorado was conducted
(Appendix A). Schools not participating in the pro-
gram were asked their reasons for nonparticipation,
and participants were asked for a copy of the district
policy relating to the program. The returned surveys
provided focus for this study.
From the initial survey, superintendents who had
indicated participation were sent a follow-up survey
to determine the extent of participation in the
district. In addition, principals in those districts
were surveyed about participation at the high school
level. Randomly selected principals in districts
identified as not participating in Fast Track were
surveyed regarding their reasons for nonparticipation.
In addition, college admissions personnel were asked
to respond on surveys about their institution's
participation and about reasons for nonparticipation.
Surveys received from districts and schools were
sorted into categories of sizes and locations to
identify demographic characteristics.
These surveys were supplemented by interviews
with participating superintendents, principals, coun-
selors, students, and their parents. College admis-
sions personnel were interviewed about the colleges'
participation. Selected college personnel,


8
superintendents, and principals identified as working
in nonparticipating institutions were also interviewed
regarding their reasons for nonparticipation. These
surveys and interviews furnished data on participa-
tion, impact of the Fast Track Program, and nonpar-
ticipation.
Limitations of the Study
The limitations of survey research apply to this
study. Some schools may have implemented the program
after indicating on the initial survey that they did
not participate, and some districts which indicated
participation on the initial survey may have dropped
the program. While most surveys were returned, some
were not carefully read or completed by respondents,
limiting their reliability.
The follow-up survey revealed that many of the
38 participating districts did not meet the require-
ments of CRS 22-34-101, especially with regard to
students completing requirements, and payment of
tuition by the school districts. This reduced the
population available to sample for interviews, but
did provide data on implementation.
The participation of Colorado school districts
in the program appeared to be minimal, based on the


9
initial survey responses. One objective of the study
was to determine if that was true. The low rate of
participation by schools and districts limited the
study.
Outline of the Remainder
of the Thesis
Chapter I has covered the legislation, the ques-
tions to be investigated, and the scope and limita-
tions of the study. Chapter II summarizes literature
since 1971 on similar existing programs in the United
States and discusses literature relevant to Colorado*s
program. Chapter III presents the methodology of the
study which utilized surveys supplemented by inter-
views. The process of data gathering and analysis
are delineated. Chapter IV analyzes and summarizes
the findings of the study, and Chapter V presents
conclusions and recommendations regarding the Fast
Track Program in Colorado.


CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Overview
This study examined the participation in and the
impact of the Fast Track Program in Colorado.
Because the Fast Track Program is essentially an
academically accelerated program for high school stu-
dents, allowing them early entrance to college, the
review of literature focused on early entrance
programs developed from 1971 to the present and the
results of those programs as delineated in various
studies or related by participants. The review is
presented in six parts: 1) a short history of the
development of early entrance programs in the United
States, 2) a rationale for acceleration, 3) a descrip-
tion of five early entrance programs still in exis-
tence, 4) a brief overview of some special charac-
teristics of other programs, 5) the results of studies
on participation in and impact of those accelerated
programs, and 6) acceleration in Colorado.


11
History
Students in Colonial America, including such
notables as Jonathan Edwards, Cotton Mather, and Henry
Adams, attended college at an early age. In 1893,
Charles Eliot, Harvard President and the chairman of
the Committee of Ten which made recommendations on
improving the educational process, reinforced that
concept of early entrance when he declared, "...
the average age at which pupils now enter should be
lowered rather than raised" (Whitlock, 1978, p. 7).
That same Committee of Ten, however, proposed
the standardization of a four-year high school,
beginning a lockstep process of twelve years of public
school and four years of undergraduate work at a
college or university. This process was further
cemented by the establishment of the Carnegie Unit by
the 1906 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
Teaching, the purpose of which was to define academic
units required for admission to college. These
requirements made early entrance to college a more
difficult process, but attempts at acceleration
continued.
In 1924, Pasadena Junior College tried a
variation on the accepted twelve years of high school
and four years of college. A 6-4-4 system, which was


12
six years of elementary school, four years of
middle/high school, and four years of high
school/college, was implemented. This system ended
in an associate degree for the student.
Robert Maynard Hutchins became the president of
the University of Chicago in 1929. He began to
implement his philosophy that "a general education
should be given between the junior year of high school
and the end of the sophomore year in college"
(Maeroff, 1983). As a result of Hutchins' efforts,
in the 1940s, high school students were admitted to
the University of Chicago as early admissions students
if they were able to pass a series of comprehensive
examinations in English, foreign language, science,
math, and social sciences, as well as an elective in
their chosen field. At that time, many college
associations condemned these attempts as a "cheapening
of the bachelor's degree" (Doxey, 1980, p. 13).
Through World War II, the 6-4-4 system begun by
Pasadena Junior College expanded throughout
California, but also encountered some problems. The
administration did not know how to treat athletes
under these circumstances and some parents were
against high school and college students attending
the same institution. The low esteem in which


13
community colleges were held also made acceptance of
the program difficult (Whitlock, 1978).
However, after World War II, attempts again were
made to change the accepted system of education in
America. The Fund for the Advancement of Education
was established by the Ford Foundation in 1951. Its
purpose was to seek out the present weaknesses in
curricular arrangements and thus ease the transition
from school to college by treating the last two
years of secondary school and the first two years of
college as a continuous program (Whitlock, 1978).
The committee identified two major weaknesses in the
system: (1) a lack of sufficient flexibility to
accommodate varying abilities, and (2) lack of
continuity in the various stages of the educational
process which leave gaps in the student's education
or force him to repeat work he has already done
(Doxey, 1980). As a result of these findings, in the
fall of 1951, the Fund for the Advancement of Educa-
tion made it possible for 11 American colleges and
universities to open their doors to 420 freshmen who
differed from the average college freshman: they
were roughly two years younger, and most had not
finished high school (Fund for the Advancement of
Education, 1957). In reviewing this experiment, Baird


14
Whitlock (1978) of Simon's Rock Early College noted
that the results of this experiment were .so
good and so conclusive that it remains unclear as to
why everyone did not move immediately into early
entrance programs" (p. 14).
At about this same time, the College Entrance
Examination Board developed Advanced Placement
(college level) courses to be taught in the high
schools. The goal of the Advanced Placement (AP)
courses was to accelerate the educational process of
students. These courses were taught in the high
schools by high school teachers and gave students the
opportunity to earn college credit for the courses
dependent upon the results of their final examina-
tions in these classes (Maeroff, 1983). The next
decade would bring more innovations in early entrance
programs.
Much of the pressure for early college
experience did come from the ferment ... in the
60's. Handled with care and perception, that
movement may become the greatest legacy of the
decade. (Whitlock, 1978, p. 28)
In 1965, the Higher Education Act created the TRIO
program which funded higher education opportunities
for minority and low-income teens. Upward Bound
resulted from this and students were able, through
this program, to attend college while still in high


15
school and get a "taste" of college. The requirements
for admittance to the program were that the student
had to be from a low income family and be the first
of his or her family to attend college (Covarrubias,
1989).
Another program which came out of this period in
the 60s which was to serve as a model for many of the
early entrance programs that followed. In 1964,
Elizabeth Hall declared that the "house of education
needs an overhaul" (Whitlock, 1978, p. 44), and
proposed a four-year progression modeled on the
college program, which students began after the 10th
grade. Part of her rationale addressed the faculty.
An inaccessible faculty ... is as useless to
students in search of convictions as a faculty
devoid of stature. In the early college, the
adults could have more nearly the relationship
to students that is possible in the good
secondary school. (Whitlock, 1978, p. 45)
She proposed that the middle college become the
liberal arts college, and that students graduate after
four years with an associate's degree. She initiated
the program with girls in 1966 at Simon's Rock Early
College, and the program became coed in 1970.
Students who were admitted to Simon's Rock Early
College had to pass a general education examination
(GED) and take the Wasser-Glasser Critical Thinking
Test. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores were


16
used only as a red flag in identifying students for
the program. The program was an accelerated one, and
espoused the theory that a B-C student from a good
high school would be able to succeed in the program,
whereas a straight C student probably would not.
Thus, GPA was also a consideration in admittance.
Students lived at home and took classes at the
college from college professors. They were provided
with special advising while attending college to make
their transition easier. Students at Simon's Rock
were able to finish an associate's degree at about
the time most students would be graduating from high
school, resulting in a possible elimination of two
years of schooling costs for the students (Whitlock,
1978). A cooperative program was later instituted
with Bard College in Massachusetts which made it
possible for students to earn a bachelor's degree
while at Simon's Rock Early College.
Programs such as the one at Simon's Rock set the
stage for better school-college articulation. Babbot,
in 1973, surveyed 378 colleges and found that 79% of
those colleges had provisions for admitting students
at the end of the eleventh grade, although less than
five percent of college freshmen were early entrants
(Doxey, 1980). In 1976, the Carnegie Council on


17
Policy Studies documented that high school students
had access to courses at about 40% of the two-year
colleges and 16% of the four-year institutions, in
addition to advanced placement courses at the high
school (Maeroff, 1983). These estimates were more
conservative than Babbot's figures, but they do show
that early entrance was available. The rationale for
these early entrance programs is outlined below.
Rationale
There are few generalizations in education that
are universally agreed upon, but one of them is
that people learn at different rates. It seems
strange, therefore, that education systems,
supposedly dedicated to providing the best
education for all students, are so structured
that they block those differences. (Whitlock,
1978, p. 4)
Like Whitlock, the proponents of early entrance
or accelerated programs felt that the educational
system in the United States could be improved and
advanced several arguments for acceleration. A number
of educators felt that there was a duplication and
overlapping of course content during the last two
years of high school and the first two years of
college, especially in the liberal arts. Proponents
of the Middle College at the United States
International University believed that "academically,
high school was completed by the end of grade 11 for


18
most students. Grade 12 was composed of . .
activities" (Doxey, 1980, p. 105). Dale Parnell
(1985) echoed this concern, saying, "During my years
as a high school principal, I developed the perception
that the senior year was a waste of time for too many
students" (p. 2). Whitlock spoke more strongly in
his condemnation of the process. He asserted that up
to two thirds of the last two years of high school
and the first two years of college were repetitious.
He charged that schools frequently encouraged
"senioritis" by having whole classes of students
working at their lowest level of ability, taking the
one or two requirements they needed to graduate during
their senior year (Whitlock, 1978).
This need for more challenging courses for
students and the opportunity for students to earn
college credit while still in high school were reasons
for early entrance programs (Whitlock, 1978). At the
Middle College at the United States International
University and at Simon's Rock, students could remain
in the high school and earn college credit. In this
way, the student could adjust to the pace of college
work without having to adjust socially. Repetition
of subject matter, academic apathy, and poor study


19
habits resulting from students taking easy courses
were eliminated (Doxey, 1980).
A possible monetary savings for individuals and
institutions was also advanced as a reason for
acceleration. Prior to 1973, the University of Utah
had awarded 200,000 quarter hours of credit at a loss
of $3 million in income from students who had received
Advanced Placement credit (Doxey, 1980). Early
entrance programs would bring that money into the
colleges instead of to the AP programs (Doxey, 1980).
A poll of colleges conducted by Obrien in 1973 found
concurrent enrollment courses available, but few high
school students participated because of the cost.
Supporters of the early entrance concept therefore
reasoned that students could save tuition costs by
getting a one-year head start on college while still
in high school (Doxey, 1980).
Wilbur, Lambert, and Young (1988), in their
review of school-college partnerships, summarized the
rationale for accelerated or early entrance programs:
Articulation programs are cooperative programs
that exist primarily to smooth the transition
from high school to college . expand the
range of academic options for students, reduce
curriculum duplication and credit transfer
difficulties, encourage acceleration, and address
the needs of special groups, (p. 29)


20
Based on this rationale for early entrance, a
number of programs have been developed since 1971.
In the next section, five of those programs still in
existence are detailed with regard to their admissions
requirements, course presentation and curriculum,
credits and degrees granted, and evaluation methods.
Models
The Middle College at the United States Inter-
national University, established in 1971, Project
Advance at Syracuse University (1973), LaGuardia
Middle College at LaGuardia Community College (1974) ,
Matteo Ricci Middle College Program with Seattle
University (1975), and the Advance College Project at
Indiana University (1982) are examples of successful
early entrance programs.
United States International
University Middle College
Using the program at Simon's Rock as a model,
the Middle College, in cooperation with the United
States International University in San Diego,
California, was begun in 1971. The concept of the
Middle College is that students study general
education courses in the eleventh and twelfth grades
and graduate with a BA at the end of the 14th year.


21
The program is not restricted to students of
high academic achievement. Based on grade point
average and performance on the Sequential Tests of
Educational Progress, a wide variety of students are
admitted to the Middle College of USIU (Whitlock,
1978). Examination results in the areas of English,
Science, Social Studies, Math, and Reading are used
to identify strengths and weaknesses. A course of
study is then developed which each student pursues at
the university (Doxey, 1980).
The courses are taught by USIU faculty and
include independent study courses which require
students to take responsibility for their own
learning. Each year, courses in physical education,
creative or performing arts, a reading program of
contemporary and classical writings, a social science
or work program, and a program of learning basic
living skills such as auto repair and tax
preparation, are required (Doxey, 1980). Students
can earn college credit for those courses. If the
student also wishes to receive a high school diploma,
the courses can count as both high school and college
credit. Middle College students can receive a high
school diploma by requesting it in writing from the


22
registrar who determines qualifications and issues a
certificate of equivalency (Doxey, 1980).
Students are evaluated in several different ways.
During the program students' growth in maturity,
independence in learning, self-concept, and commitment
to realistic personal and vocational goals are
measured through performance on the Personal Growth
Rating Scale. To graduate from the Middle College,
students have to place in the upper 50th percentile
on the Sequential Tests of Educational Progress. The
students who complete the project receive an
associate's degree, usually at the end of the 12th or
13th year, and can receive a bachelor's degree from
USIU by the end of the 14th year (Doxey, 1980).
Students pay tuition for college courses at a
rate lower than the tuition for a normal admissions
student. The high school still receives support from
the state without having to pay for a teacher for
those students.
The program is evaluated by student performance
on the STEP tests and the Personal Growth Rating
Scale. Comparison of GPAs of early and normal
entrants also have been made to determine the
effectiveness of the program (Doxey, 1980).


23
Project Advance Syracuse
University, Syracuse. New York
Project Advance, founded in 1973, involved six
pilot high schools in the Syracuse, New York, area.
The concept of the program is that high school
students take courses for college credit during their
senior year. The program was cited as an exemplary
school-college program by the National Commission on
Excellence in Education in 1983, and in 1984 received
an award for special achievement in education from
the Carnegie Foundation (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young,
1988).
Students are admitted to the program as seniors,
and they must be recommended by the high school
faculty. Project Advance does not accept juniors
because of the maturity difference between juniors
and seniors.
Courses are taught at the high school by high
school teachers with master's degrees in the subject
matter. The intent of the program is for students to
maintain their high school status. The Syracuse
University faculty trains the high school faculty,
and syllabi are developed and texts are approved by
the university (Whitlock, 1978). Teaching of the
courses is monitored by university professors to
maintain uniformity, and the university provides


24
seminar refresher courses for the high school
teachers. Courses offered include biology, calculus,
chemistry, English, computer engineering, psychology,
sociology, religion, public affairs, and economics.
These courses can be taken for college credit, or an
exemption from requirements may be allowed (Wilbur,
Lambert, & Young, 1988). Students pay $28 per hour
for classes. The high schools pay only for teacher
training and students' instructional materials
(Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988).
The program is evaluated through surveying
participating students on a classroom evaluation,
observation of teachers by the Syracuse faculty,
follow-up on graduated students who have gone on to
college, and comparability studies to ensure that
coursework meets on-campus standards (Wilbur, Lambert,
& Young, 1988).
LaGuardia Middle College LaGuardia
Community College. New York,
New York
The LaGuardia Middle College early admissions
program was begun in 1974, targeting the at-risk
student. Students enter the program at the beginning
of the 10th grade upon the recommendation of their
guidance counselors. Generally, these students are
of above-average ability.


25
Middle College students are recognized as fully
participating members of the LaGuardia Community
College. They select their own classes with the help
of counselors and register in the college-style
registration process (Greenberg, 1982). Courses are
taught on the college campus by both high school
teachers and college professors. The high school
teachers who teach the college-level classes receive
adjunct faculty status. Costs are shared between the
school district and the community college system.
Middle College students may take college classes
for which they receive both high school and college
credit (Greenberg, 1982). Maeroff (1983) cited the
program as "one of the best examples of a high school
and college merging their efforts" (p. 42). Because
the high school and the college are on the same
campus, students can be tracked to measure
effectiveness of the program. The Middle College at
LaGuardia has been cited for excellence by the
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching,
the National Commission on Excellence in Education,
the Council for the Advancement and Support of
Education (CASE), the Rockefeller Foundation, and the
National Association of Secondary School Principals
(Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988).


26
Matteo Ricci College Seattle
University. Seattle.
Washington
The Matteo Ricci College program was founded in
cooperation with Seattle University in 1975. Matteo
Ricci College I is the three-year Seattle Preparatory
School, a private Jesuit institution in Seattle, which
students enter as high school freshmen. After their
junior year, qualified students attend Seattle
University as students in the Matteo Ricci College II
Program. This concept came out of the 1971 "Less
Time, More Options," and the 1973 "Continuity and
Discontinuity" reports by the Carnegie Commission,
both of which recommended more creative articulation
between high schools and colleges (Whitlock, 1978).
Since its inception, the program has won a number of
awards for innovation in education from such
institutions as the Carnegie Foundation and the
Department of Education (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young,
1988).
Students are admitted to Matteo Ricci College II
on the basis of their ability to handle university
work as estimated by the Matteo Ricci College I
instructors. Instructors for Matteo Ricci College II
are drawn from a number of the professors in the
colleges at Seattle University. Professors in College


27
II and teachers in College I often interchange roles
(Maeroff, 1983). Twelve general education courses
are required in addition to courses required for each
student's major. Writing, problem solving,
independent research, evaluation, discussion, and
integration are emphasized. Small classes enhance
the ability to focus on these critical thinking skills
(Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988).
Students receive dual credit for courses and
those who remain in the Matteo Ricci College I and II
programs can complete a high school education and
receive a bachelor's degree in six years. These
students can receive an associate's degree at about
the time most high school students are finishing high
school (Maeroff, 1983).
Since this is a private school, students pay
tuition just as they normally would, and Seattle Uni-
versity is compensated by Matteo Ricci College.
Students may also elect to live on campus, which
increases the cost. Student performance is tracked
from Matteo Ricci College I to Matteo Ricci College
II and Seattle University for purposes of program
evaluation (Whitlock, 1978).


28
Advance College Project Indiana
University. Bloomington. Indiana
Indiana University's Advance College Project is
a cooperative program between the high schools in
Indiana and the university at Bloomington. It allows
high school seniors to enroll in the IU freshman
classes that are taught in the high schools. The
program was modeled after Syracuse University's
Project Advance and was implemented with six pilot
schools in 1982 (Lave, 1984).
Students are required to meet IU-ACP admissions
standards, including grade point average and entrance
examination performance. The high schools also can
add criteria for participation. Based on those
criteria, the high schools recruit students for the
program (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). Courses
are taught at the high school by high school faculty
members who have been approved by IU. In 1983-84,
courses offered included English, math, chemistry,
and psychology (Lave, 1984).
The Advance College Project is a cooperative
effort of the university and the high school faculty.
The university invites high school personnel to an
orientation where information about the project is
shared. The invitations are extended based on the
high school's academic program. The high school


29
personnel decide whether to participate and which
courses to offer after considering the school's needs
and the expertise of the faculty. The university
requires that the high school teachers who teach the
courses have at least five years of teaching
experience and a master's degree. The high school
principal selects the teachers but they must be
approved by Indiana University. Upon approval, the
teachers gain adjunct status with the university.
The teachers also attend a seminar during the summer
to help them prepare, and they follow the IU course
syllabi (Lave, 1984). Teachers may prepare lesson
plans for approval by the IU faculty if they wish to
do so (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). Classes
contain both Advance College Project and regular high
school students. The ACP students may receive both
high school and college credit, while the regular
students receive high school credit only (Lave, 1984)
The program is evaluated through teacher ques-
tionnaires, comparability assessments which measure
course performance, and student questionnaires about
course satisfaction (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988).
Summary
The majority of these five models rely on recom-
mendations from high school faculty to admit students


30
Grade point average and test results are also
considered. The model programs are divided on course
presentation with some programs being offered at the
high school and some at the college. Both professors
and high school teachers teach early entrance stu-
dents. Generally the students in these models can
receive both high school and college credit for the
courses. The procedures for paying for the courses
range from full payment by the student to payment by
the school district, and there are numerous variations
on those procedures.
Unique Characteristics of
Other Programs
A number of other accelerated high school
programs in New York, Florida, Texas, California,
Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Virginia were
reviewed. Each utilized different ways of addressing
admissions, course presentation, credits, and cost.
Those programs with unique procedures are covered
briefly in this section.
Admissions
The programs differ in requirements for admis-
sion. Most focus on the accelerated student, but a
few accept students with a wide range of abilities.


31
In the pattern of the LaGuardia Middle College, the
College Now Program of Kingsborough College in New
York was developed for the moderate-achieving student
who may not have considered college as an option.
The Tallahassee Community College's State Dual
Enrollment Program in Florida requires only that the
student be enrolled in high school and certify the
intent to pursue a college career (Wilbur, Lambert,
& Young, 1988).
Most colleges, however, utilize test scores,
grade point averages, and recommendations to determine
admissions to an early entrance program. In addition,
in the Rhode Island College Early Enrichment Program,
students must complete graduation requirements by the
end of the 11th grade. Both the Roanoke-Chowan
Technical College Pre-Freshman Program in Roanoke,
Virginia, and the University of California at Berkeley
admit students based only on school recommendation.
California State University at Stanislaus admits
students to its accelerated program using the
Advanced Placement procedures and criteria (Wilbur,
Lambert & Young, 1988).
One early entrance program that is unusual in
its admissions is the Gifted Math Program at the
University of New York-Buffalo. Students can begin


32
this program in the seventh grade if their math test
scores and school recommendations indicate they have
the necessary abilities. The students continue
accumulating college credit throughout their public
school career.
Generally, in the accelerated programs reviewed,
students were admitted after the 10th or 11th grade
based on high school grade point average, college
entrance test results, and high school
recommendations.
Course Presentation
The selection of faculty to teach the accelerated
courses, the sites of the courses, and the
requirements imposed on those taking the classes also
vary widely. The instructors are usually either high
school teachers who are proficient in the subject
matter or professors at the university. In the Gifted
Math Program at the University of New York-Buffalo
secondary teachers are selected for their mastery in
math and must spend at least one year observing and
assisting in instruction before having a class of
their own (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). This
program, the Adelphi Program and the SCALE program at
C. W. Post College in New York involve careful
monitoring of the high school teachers by university


33
faculty. The high school teachers receive adjunct
faculty status, and, in SCALE, the high school teacher
and the college faculty work together to develop
course outlines and exams (Wilbur, 1982).
Many programs, such as the Kenyon College (Ohio)
program and the cooperative program between Our Lady
of Providence High School and Indiana University, use
university or college professors to teach the courses
to early entrants (Wilbur, 1982). Two variations on
this are in California. In the Uncommon Core Program
at California State University (Stanislaus), each
student has a faculty mentor who directs independent
study. A recent development at California State
Polytechnic University allows students to take courses
through a television network which allows students to
interact directly with the instructor, a professor at
California Polytechnic, through advanced audio tech-
nology (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988).
A cooperative approach to instruction is
sometimes used. The Adopt-A-Classroom project, an
early entrance program sponsored by Texas Tech Uni-
versity in cooperation with Lubbock high schools,
has 141 professors available once a week to serve as
general resources for the accelerated classes and as
exchange teachers while the high school teachers make


34
guest appearances in the professors' undergraduate
classes (Ishler & Leslie, 1987).
Sites and times of course offerings also have
some unique adaptations. Courses usually are offered
at the high school or at the college during the
regular school day. A number of colleges, however,
such as the Pre-Freshman Program at Roanoke-Chowan
Technical College and the Gifted Math Program at the
University of New York-Buffalo, offer courses outside
of the regular school day (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young,
1988). City University of New York allows students
to take classes at the campus after school or during
the summer. Most programs, whether offered at the
high school or at the college, are local and students
live at home, but at the Clarkson School in New York,
students in an accelerated science and math program
live in houses near the campus and attend classes at
the college (Maeroff, 1983).
In addition to innovations in course presenta-
tion, requirements of students also vary with the
program. Most programs require some classes to be
taken at the high school. Oshkosh West High School
in Wisconsin requires two classes at the high school,
but the students may take the rest of the courses at
the college. The University of California at Berkeley


35
has students attend four periods a day at the high
school level; they may take no more than two courses
per term at the college (Wilbur, 1982). Many programs
such as College Now require college classes in
addition to those needed to satisfy high school
requirements. The New School in New York, however,
allows high school students to take a full load of
lower division courses at the college (Whitlock,
1978). Although most schools try to maintain the
student's status as a high school student, at some
colleges, such as the University of California-
Berkeley, C. W. Post, and Adelphi, students have all
of the rights and responsibilities of a full-time
college student.
Credits
The majority of the institutions reviewed grant
college credit for courses taken. Some colleges,
such as the University of New York at Buffalo, and C.
W. Post's SCALE program allow for dual credit; the
students receive both high school and college credit
for the courses taken (Greenberg, 1982). Some
variations include the granting of Advanced Placement
credit for courses taken at Kenyon College (Ohio) and
a frozen credit system which holds college credit in
escrow until the student completes high school and


36
enters college. This system is used at Empire State
College in New York and at Florida's Tallahassee
Community College (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988).
Cost
Programs also differ in the way costs are
handled. Cost procedures range from students paying
full tuition to full payment by the school or the
state. In the cooperative program between Our Lady
of Providence High School in Indiana and Indiana
University, students pay both high school and college
tuition, plus books. The university pays the instruc-
tors and the high school provides the facilities
(Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988).
This section has summarized some unique ways of
treating admissions, course presentation, credits,
and cost procedures in implementation of a number of
early entrance programs. The next section outlines
the results of some of these programs and the model
programs covered earlier.
Findings on Accelerated Programs
Both formal studies and informal follow-up have
been done on the participation in and the impact of
the accelerated programs described earlier in this


37
chapter. The findings are outlined in the following
sections.
Participation
Follow-up studies indicate that acceleration
programs have experienced a growth in participation
since inception. Wilbur, Lambert, and Young detailed
this growth in the 1988 summary, School-College
Partnerships. They reported that Project Advance at
Syracuse University has grown from its six pilot
schools in 1973 to a membership of 84 high schools
and 3800 students from New York, Maine, Michigan, and
New Jersey. The Advance College Project at Indiana
University also began with six pilot schools in 1982
and reported working with 42 high schools during the
1986-87 school year. Some of the less well-known
programs also showed growth. The College Now Program
at Kingsborough College (New York) had grown to 13
high schools and 1700 students in 1986 after begin-
ning with four high schools in the fall of 1984
(Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988, pp. 12-15).
Some programs have experienced less impressive
growth. The Minnesota Plan, enacted by the Minnesota
legislature, involved offering students the
opportunity to take college courses in high school
and earn dual credit for those classes. Figures show,


38
however, that about 5400 students used the post-
secondary option in 1988 (Shanker, 1989). This
student enrollment is larger than the number reported
to be enrolled in Project Advance or the Advance
College Project, but those are not statewide programs.
While these participation studies show an
increase in enrollment in accelerated programs,
enrollment does not appear to be substantial in terms
of the total student population.
Performance and Impact
Other studies of accelerated programs focused on
performance of students. An early study at the
University of Southern California compared grade point
averages of early entrants to those of regularly
enrolled students and a study of the United States
International University Middle College in 1980
compared performance of early admissions students to
the regularly enrolled students. Janet Lave, in 1984,
also compared test performance of students in the
Advance College Project. She also investigated
students' and teachers' views of the Advance College
Project as well as following up on the students as
they continued their higher education. The studies
by Doxey (1980) and Lave, in particular, furnished


39
much of the data on performance. Those findings are
summarized below.
Performance. Comparison of grade point averages
(GPA) and test results were the primary means of
measuring student performance and making comparisons.
Doxey cited the 1970 Jordan and Michael study of the
Resident Honors Program for high school seniors at
the University of Southern California from 1961-67.
They reported that the honors group earned a GPA lower
than the regularly enrolled students and that twice
as many of those students left college before
graduation (Doxey, 1980, p. 28).
Different results were reported by Doxey, how-
ever, in his 1980 report on the Middle College program
at the United States International University. Doxey
researched the articulation of early admissions into
the Middle College at USIU for the years 1971-74.
The Middle College accepted high school students in
the accelerated program as well as traditional
admittants who were seeking an associate's degree.
Doxey examined the academic achievement of early
admissions students in the program and compared that
achievement over a three-year period to that of the
traditional admittants to the Middle College and the
USIU college freshmen who were not early admittants.


40
The areas of comparison were high school GPA, USIU
GPA, scores on the Sequential Tests of Educational
Progress (STEP), and age of entrance. These
variables were compared by t-tests at the .05 level
of significance. The research was unique in that the
student population had a wide range of academic
abilities as indicated by high school GPA.
Significant differences were found in all of the
variables except high school GPA. The early
admissions group showed no significant change in GPA
from high school to the Middle College. The
traditional admittants to the Middle College improved
their GPA in college, and the regular freshman admit-
tants at USIU had a significant drop in GPA from high
school to college, although they completed more total
units at USIU than the other two groups, Doxey felt
this group may have found college work more diffi-
cult (Doxey, 1980). Although the early entrance
students did not excel in GPA or on the STEP tests,
they did not regress in their performance, and in
most cases they outperformed the comparison students
(Doxey, 1980, p. 73).
In studying the effect of age, Doxey separated
the early admissions group into two categories, those
who were above the 50th percentile in age and those


41
who were below the 50th percentile. He found that
the early admissions students who entered USIU at a
younger age had a higher USIU GPA and a higher percen-
tile score on the STEP tests (though not statistically
significant) than the early admittants who were above
the 50th percentile on the age scale. These younger
students "scored higher on all of the STEP tests and
had the highest high school GPA . perhaps because
they had not yet suffered much exposure to senioritis"
Doxey, 1980, p. 93).
Doxey (1980) concluded that because the younger
members of the early admissions to Middle College
group had achieved so well, the last two years of
high school may not be worthwhile. Considering that
students with a wide range of abilities as measured
by GPA were used for the study, he questioned whether
only students of high academic achievement could
benefit from early admissions. "The study shows that
a wide variety of students can benefit" (p. 83).
Lave's 1984 study investigated the performance
of students who were enrolled in the Advance College
Project in 1983-1984. These 453 students were
enrolled for a total of 1671 Indiana University credit
hours. Lave reported that 61% of these ACP students
were in the top 20% of their high school classes as


42
determined by high school GPA, with 3.5% of the ACP
students falling below the 50th percentile of their
high school classes. In contrast, 50% of the regular
IU freshmen were in the top 20% of their class with
5% falling below the 50th percentile.
The average SAT scores of the ACP students were
significantly higher than those of the IU in-state
freshmen. On the verbal portion of the test, the
mean ACP score was 475, and the mean IU freshman score
was 453. On the math section, the ACP students scored
537 and the IU students, 500 (Lave, 1984, p. 15).
Thus, the early entrants showed a higher level of SAT
achievement than the regularly enrolled college fresh-
men.
Lave (1984) also charted students' performance
in English, math, and chemistry classes based on their
final course grades. In those three subjects, 39% of
the ACP students received A's, 43% received B's, and
15% received C's for their final course grades. Less
than 4% of the Advance College Project students
enrolled in those courses in 1983-84 received less
than a C.
Informal reports of other programs indicated
higher achievement by early entrants. Students in
the early entrance program at the Skidmore College


43
University Without Walls were reported to have
scored higher than the average freshmen on
standardized tests (Whitlock, 1978), and at Syracuse
University Project Advance students did at least as
well as college freshmen who took the same classes
(Whitlock, 1978). A survey of the Project Advance
class of 1977 showed that most students exempted from
introductory-level classes as a result of their
previous Syracuse University coursework received
grades equal to or higher than their Project Advance
grades (Wilbur, 1982). These performance studies by
Doxey (1980) and Lave (1984) indicated that
accelerated students were able to achieve, and in
some cases excel, at the college level.
Impact. In addition to comparing academic
scores, Lave (1984) also collected data from students
and teachers about their reactions to the program. Of
the 453 students surveyed, 404 (89%) returned
questionnaires. Lave questioned ACP students about
their reasons for taking the courses. The students
could check multiple reasons; reasons checked are
listed in order of frequency in Table 2.1
Of the Advance College Project students respond-
ing, 287 (71%) indicated that they were very glad to


44
Table 2.1
Reasons for Enrolling in the Advance College Project
Number of Times Indicated Reason
369 To get a head start on college
326 To earn dual credit
200 To learn what a college course is like
191 Expected the course to be more individualized like high school
167 To see if I could do college work
Note. From Advance Colleae Proiect Final Evaluation
Report: 1983-84 School Year by J. Lave. 1984.
(Bloomington: Indiana University), p. 16.
have taken the ACP course, and 92% (245) of the ACP
students taking freshman English through IU recom-
mended the concept of having college courses in the
high school (Lave, 1984, p. 36).
Lave (1984) followed up on these ACP students to
determine where they continued their higher edu-
cation. The results are listed in Table 2.2.
Interestingly, over half of the early entrance
students in this study continued on at Indiana
University. Of the students in this group, only 27


45
did not transfer their ACP credits (Lave, 1984, p.
46).
Table 2.2
Higher Education Choices of Post-ACT Students
(1983-841
Percent of Students Higher Education Institution
53 Indiana University at Bloomington
15 Another state college in Indiana
9 Private college in Indiana
3 Out-of-state public college
8 Out-of-state private college
4 students Military
3 students Did not attend college
Note. From Advance College Final Evaluation Report:
1983-1984 School Year by J. Lave. 1984. (Bloomington:
Indiana University), p. 46.
Lave's (1984) study also questioned teachers
regarding their satisfaction with the courses.
Twenty-nine high school teachers participated in the
project in 1983-84, and 19 (66%) responded on
questionnaires that they were very glad to be a part
of the project. Twenty-six of the 29 teachers felt
that the ACP course they taught was appropriate for
the high school students, and most said that the ACP


46
courses caused no problems in their high school (Lave,
1984, p. 48).
Both students and teachers in the Advance College
Project reported satisfaction with the program, and a
large percentage of the students continued their edu-
cation at Indiana University.
Participant Reports
In addition to these studies of the impact of
accelerated programs, participating students, schools,
and colleges have reported both disadvantages and
advantages to accelerated programs.
Disadvantages
The participants in early entrance programs cited
problems with acceleration in the areas of
administration, instructors, and student adjustment.
Administration. Paperwork and administrative
difficulties hindered some early entrance programs.
Paperwork was increased as a result of the
introduction of the Middle College at LaGuardia
College in New York (Greenberg, 1982). Transfer of
credits was also difficult at times, especially in
the case of lesser known schools, such as C. W. Post
College (Wilbur, 1982). Another problem encountered


47
by smaller schools, as reported by Simon's Rock early
College, was that more than one half of the students
left at the end of every year. This was attributed
to a lack of confidence in the faculty when compared
to some of the "better" colleges (Whitlock, 1978).
Colleges, too, faced administrative difficulties.
LaGuardia experienced problems with needing extra
space as both high school and college students were
using the facilities. There also was animosity about
the use of facilities when a professor or college
student couldn't use them because the high school was
there (Greenberg, 1982).
Instructors. Some high school teachers involved
in Project Advance complained about having little to
say about the curriculum of the course, as the univer-
sity set the curriculum (Whitlock, 1978). The Adelphi
Program in New York also used high school teachers to
teach their college-level courses. They reported a
lack of verification of the level of work demanded
and that independent work was not expected of the
student in the college class (Whitlock, 1978). More
significant than the problems of administrators and
instructors were some adjustment problems experienced
by participating students.


48
Students. The follow-up studies on early
entrants in the 1950s conducted by the Ford Foun-
dation program, found that, after the first year,
most colleges dropped the special orientation and
advisory programs set up for the early admissions,
and students had resulting adjustment difficulties.
This continued to be a problem for students in early
entrance programs according to reports by institu-
tions (Whitlock, 1978). LaGuardia reported students
fighting, vandalism, and horsing around in public
spaces (Maeroff, 1983), and Simon's Rock stated that
more than 90% of the problems were social ones which
required the college faculty to be advisors as well
as academicians (Whitlock, 1978).
Some students had difficulty meeting the demands
of college work. Skidmore College, in its University
Without Walls experiment, found that students were
not able to handle working on individual study
projects without experience or careful training or
structure (Whitlock, 1978). This maturity problem
was echoed by an instructor at Simon's Rock Early
College.
I have taught a group of brilliant high school
seniors for a year without getting them to the
college level . they would not bring their
personal lives into an understanding and analysis
of the literature they were studying . .
College is the place you do that, and college


49
seems "out there" to them while they are in
secondary school, (p. 75)
This inability to apply higher level thinking skills
was a disadvantage cited by some colleges.
Emotionally, some students also had adjustment
problems. Some college students at LaGuardia College
tended to resent the early entrants and served as
negative role models (Greenberg, 1982). A by-
product of this was a change in students' attitudes
toward their peers. Some of them developed a snobbish
attitude about their "elevated" status. In addition,
the New School in New York reported that "students'
schedules and workloads separated them from the high
school group, leaving them little time to form close
personal ties with peers" (Whitlock, 1978, p. 122).
Advantages
In spite of the disadvantages for administrators,
instructors, and students, a number of advantages
were cited by students and participating institu-
tions. Students and high school and college personnel
reported benefits received from their participation
in an early entrance program.
Students. Students experienced advantages in
increased self-esteem, increased familiarity with
college expectations, and decreased costs. LaGuardia


50
Middle College reported increased self-esteem for
early entrance students as did Our Lady of Providence
High School in Clarksville, Indiana. Eighty-nine
percent of the students surveyed in the Indiana
program said that it built their self-confidence to
perform well in college (Wilbur, 1982). Other
students echoed this sentiment. They felt that the
accelerated programs served as a bridge to college.
A student in Project Advance said, "you work hard .
. much harder in college . Project Advance was a
good stepping stone for me" (Wilbur, Lambert, &
Young, 1988, p. 13).
Lave's study of the Advance College Project
involved questioning students about their views of
the benefits of the courses. Gaining new skills that
would be useful in college was checked by 80% of the
students responding on the questionnaire. Improve-
ment of time management skills and study habits was
also cited as a benefit by respondents. On an
emotional level, 83% of the students said that a
benefit was that they were looking forward to
attending college as a result of participation in the
ACP (Lave, 1984, p. 42).
Accelerated programs also provided new challenges
for students in the Uncommon Core project at


51
California State University at Stanislaus:
The Uncommon Core has been 'reality therapy' for
some very comfortable, non-risk-taking kings of
the academic heap; when it came to pursuing an
independent project, they discovered . .
deficiencies tied in to rote learning and high
school ability to score well on the Friday quiz.
(Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988, p. 16)
In addition to increased academic challenges,
decreased costs were a benefit to some students. At
the United States International University Middle
College, tuition costs were lower than for regular
college students and high school students were thus
able to get a one-year jump on college at a very small
cost (Doxey, 1980). Simon's Rock Early College and
Matteo Ricci College reported a possible elimination
of two years of schooling costs for students
(Whitlock, 1978). Thus, the program not only helped
students make the transition from high school to
college, but also decreased the costs for many.
Schools and colleges. Benefits of early entrance
programs also accrued to high schools and colleges.
At the high school level, Project Advance reported
increased accountability in curriculum development at
the high school level, especially in math and English
(Wilbur, 1982). The number of curricular offerings
was also increased in the case of the LaGuardia Middle
College program (Greenberg, 1982). Shanker (1989)


52
reported an unexpected result of the Minnesota Plan:
it induced some high schools to add Advanced Placement
classes for fear of losing students to local colleges.
LaGuardia College reported a decrease in the
dropout rate due to the Middle College program
(Maeroff, 1983). Some students in Minnesota who had
dropped out of high school returned to complete their
work on college campuses, a follow-up study of the
Minnesota Plan revealed (Shanker, 1989). Thus, some
schools also saw that the accelerated programs could
benefit the at-risk student.
Instructors, both at the high school and at the
college, profited from early entrance programs. High
school teachers who participated were able to interact
with college professors and take advantage of the
superior facilities at the colleges (Greenberg, 1982).
More importantly, a feeling of mutual respect
developed between high school and college faculty
involved in Project Advance (Maeroff, 1983). The
result of such cooperation was summarized by a
member of Seattle University's faculty in talking
about the cooperative program with Matteo Ricci
College:
It forced faculty members to look at what and
how we really want our students to learn . .
The result has been better teaching at both
levels, a deep sense of mutual respect by both


53
faculties, and a pride of 'ownership' that
contributes ... to enthusiasm for teaching.
(Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988, p. 14)
College instructors in the Texas Tech Adopt-A-
Classroom Program also benefitted by having the oppor-
tunity to increase their status in the college and
get promotion, tenure, and merit pay. Additionally,
new opportunities for grant proposals were created
(Ishler & Leslie, 1987).
In addition, colleges saw recruitment possi-
bilities. LaGuardia reported 30-50% of the early
entrants continued on at the college (Greenberg,
1982), and Lave's (1984) study of the ACP program
showed that 53% of the students continued to attend
Indiana University after graduating from high school.
In the Adopt-A-Classroom Project, Texas Tech assumed
that having 141 Texas Tech faculty members visible in
the Lubbock schools every week would pay dividends in
recruiting those accelerated students who participated
(Ishler & Leslie, 1987). Thus, students, schools,
and colleges participating in accelerated programs
reported a number of advantages to the programs, both
for the participants and for the institutions
involved.


54
Acceleration in Colorado
Institutions in Colorado were not unaware of the
advantages of acceleration. Prior to 1981, a number
of institutions of higher education in Colorado had
provisions for students to take college classes while
still in high school. In most cases, however, the
students paid tuition for those classes and usually
took the college classes concurrently with finishing
their high school requirements (Elofsen, 1986).
The Fast Track Program was similar to accelerated
programs described above, but it differed in that the
majority of those programs were initiated by the high
schools or colleges while the Fast Track Program was
a result of legislation. CRS 22-34-101 established
the high school Fast Track Program for students who
had fulfilled graduation requirements and required
that the school district pay tuition for college
classes taken by those students. The act did allow
the school districts latitude in determining where
the courses would be held and with which institutions
they would cooperate.
Colleges in Colorado produced programs in
response to CRS 22-34-101 and available literature on
three cooperative programs was reviewed: Pikes Peak


55
Community College, AIMS Community College, and
Northeastern Junior College.
At Pikes Peak Community College, high school
students are admitted to the college based on the
results of an entrance examination and the
recommendation of the high school. Courses are taught
at high schools and at the college. High school
teachers who teach the courses must have a master's
degree in the subject matter and must use the college
texts. Dual credit is granted to participating
students and students are charged a $10.00
participation fee (Phillips, 1988).
Aims Community College in Greeley also adver-
tises its Rising Seniors Program for accelerated
students. To be admitted, students must be 16 years
or older and have permission from the high school
principal. Entrance exams are not required. Students
in this program take classes after school or in the
summer concurrently with their high school classes.
Credit is granted through the high school and students
may apply that credit at the college after they
graduate from high school. Tuition is free to those
students in the Rising Seniors Program (Rising Seniors
Program. 1986).


56
Finally, the HEADS program is a cooperative
program between the Otis school district and
Northeastern Junior College. In this program,
students take college courses at the high school both
during the school day and evenings. The program uses
instructors from the college, but supplements this
with a daily lab at the high school using high school
teachers fFinal Project Description: HEADS Project.
1986). In this program, the high school pays tuition
for the students, but students have not completed
graduation requirements.
None of these three programs is referred to as
specifically "Fast Track" in the literature. They
do, however, provide opportunities for acceleration
and appear to meet the specifications of CRS 22-34-
101.
Summary
This chapter traced accelerated programs in the
United States from such early entrants as Jonathan
Edwards in the 18th century to Indiana University's
Advance College Project begun in 1982. Reasons for
acceleration included the need for less duplication
at the high school and college levels, a need for
more challenging courses for some students, and the


57
possibility of a monetary savings for students. The
early entrance programs at five institutions were
detailed. Their methods of handling admissions,
course presentation, credits, and cost were outlined,
as were the unique characteristics of some other
programs. The results of some significant studies of
accelerated programs in the areas of participation,
performance, and impact were described. Those studies
showed that most accelerated programs produced mixed,
though generally positive, results. Finally,
accelerated programs in Colorado, including the Fast
Track Program, were described.


CHAPTER III
METHODOLOGY
The purpose of this research was to determine
the extent of the implementation of the Fast Track
Program (CRS 22-34-101) (Appendix A) in Colorado
public schools. Where the program was implemented,
information was gathered regarding policies and pro-
cedures that had been developed and the effects of
the program on students, schools, colleges, and
universities. Information about reasons for lack of
implementation was also sought.
Rationale
Because the study sought both numerical data on
participation and opinions about the effects of the
Fast Track Program, a complementary processes model
was chosen for data collection, recording, and
analysis. This model differs from both triangulation
and bracketing models. Campbell conducted research
on the morale of submarine crews and
found an impressive level of agreement between
the judgements of his informants and the morale
questionnaires of the ship's crew members. This
demonstrates that it is possible to combine


59
informal judgements and subjects' questionnaires
and find a high level of agreement. (Mark &
Shotland, 1987a)
In Campbell's approach, known as triangulation, dif-
ferent methods are used to analyze the same types of
data to prove a single hypothesis.
The bracketing model, as explained in Mark and
Shotland (1987b) is based on the idea that "the
results of different methods ... be considered as
alternative estimates of the correct answer" (pp.
96-97). In this method, a range of estimates is
produced which is more likely to include the correct
answer.
Although both triangulation and bracketing
emphasize multiple methods of analysis, the method
most appropriate for this study was determined to be
the complementary processes model. Mark and Shotland
(1987b) described this as
each method carrying out a different, but
complementary function. One method is chosen as
the primary method and the other plays a sub-
sidiary role of clarification and enhancement.
(p. 98)
In this study, the primary method was quantitative in
seeking to describe the extent of implementation of
the program, and the qualitative methods added infor-
mation on the participation in and the impact of the
program. Thus, both processes addressed different


60
functions, and the results yielded a complete picture
of the Fast Track Program, as implemented in Colorado,
prior to 1988.
This descriptive study of participation in the
Fast Track Program employed broad-based survey
instruments that were mailed to districts, high
schools, colleges, and universities in Colorado to
collect initial information about participation. The
impact of participation was investigated through
structured telephone interviews with superintendents
of participating districts, principals and counselors
in public high schools in those districts, students
who participated in the program, their parents, and
admissions directors in colleges identified as
participating by the superintendents. In addition,
policies relating to the Fast Track Program were
requested and those received were analyzed to identify
trends among participants. Structured telephone
interviews also were conducted with superintendents
to investigate reasons for lack of use of the program.
A similar process using nonstructured interviews with
principals and college admissions directors who were
not involved in the program was used to gain informa-
tion about reasons for nonparticipation. These data


61
sources provided in-depth information to answer the
research questions.
Research Questions
Broad questions which provided focus for this
proposed study included:
1. How many districts and public high schools
in Colorado have implemented the Fast Track Program?
2. What policies and procedures have those dis-
tricts and schools developed?
3. What reasons do districts, schools, and col-
leges give for not using the program?
4. How many students finish graduation require-
ments prior to the beginning of their senior year?
To what degree do those who do finish participate?
5. Are size and location of schools related to
implementation?
6. To what extent do institutions of higher
education participate in the program?
7. What impact has the program had on students,
schools, and colleges?
Initial Survey
An initial participation survey (see Appendix
B), the purpose of which was to measure the degree of


62
implementation of the Fast Track Program in Colorado,
was constructed and piloted with the 14 superinten-
dents in the San Luis Valley in February, 1987. All
surveys were returned without any questions from those
superintendents. Following that pilot, in April,
1987, the survey was mailed to superintendents of the
remaining 162 districts in Colorado as listed in the
1986-87 Colorado Department of Education Directory.
The survey was designed primarily to determine if the
Fast Track Program was being used in the districts.
If it was, a copy of the related policy and the name
of a contact person were requested. If it had not
been implemented, the respondent was asked to indicate
the reasons for nonparticipation by checking those
applicable from a list provided on the survey. Of
the 176 surveys mailed, including the 14 San Luis
Valley districts piloted, 143 surveys were returned
to the researcher, a return of 81%. Respondents from
38 districts indicated that they used the Fast Track
Program.
The results of the initial survey indicated that
there were sufficient numbers using the program to
justify pursuit of the study and that there were
specific reasons for nonuse. The next step was to
collect the data.


63
Data Collection
Both survey and interview data were collected in
the complementary processes model.
Survey
The purposes of the surveys were to identify the
extent of participation and to collect additional
information on participation in Fast Track. The
initial survey (Appendix B) was sent to superinten-
dents in April, 1987, for the purpose of identifying
districts which had implemented the Fast Track Pro-
gram. In March, 1988, a second follow-up survey
(Appendix C) was sent to the 38 superintendents who
responded on the initial survey that the district did
use the program. The purpose of this survey was to
determine the extent of participation and whether the
district met all of the requirements of CHS 22-34-
101, including that participating students finish
high school requirements and that the district pay
the college tuition. Thirty-three surveys (87%) and
17 documents were returned in response to requests
for copies of policies on Fast Track on the initial
and follow-up surveys.
To determine principals' knowledge of the Fast
Track Program and the number of students who made use


64
of the program, surveys were sent to the 48 principals
in the 38 districts whose superintendents had
responded that the district did participate. Of the
48 sent, 45 (92%) were returned. The same survey
(Appendix D) was sent to a random sampling of 67
principals in nonparticipating or nonresponding dis-
tricts to test the validity of the participation
information from the initial survey and to determine
if there were isolated cases of implementation of
which the superintendents were unaware. The Colorado
High Schools Activities Association Directory was
used to determine the population of principals to be
surveyed. The 24 private schools listed in the direc-
tory, as well as the 48 high schools in the partici-
pating districts, were deleted, leaving 201 schools.
One third (67) were selected to be surveyed by taking
every third school listed in the directory after the
above schools were deleted. Of the 67 surveys, 61
(91%) were returned. Five of those 61 were from the
seven large districts which did not respond on the
initial survey.
Finally, college admissions directors in all 27
of the two- and four-year institutions of higher
education in Colorado as listed in the 1986-87
Colorado Department of Education Directory, were


65
surveyed (Appendix E) to explore the involvement of
colleges and universities in the Fast Track Program.
Twenty-five surveys were returned. One additional
survey was returned in late April, 1989, after data
collection and analysis had been completed. Each of
the above surveys described CRS 22-34-101, including
the two provisions regarding completion of high school
requirements and payment of tuition. Surveys were
color-coded to increase the efficiency of data
recording. The surveys furnished most of the quanti-
tative data for the study and the majority of the
information relevant to participation.
Interviews
Additional data on participation, impact, and
reasons for nonparticipation were collected through
comments on the surveys returned and through inter-
views. Ten superintendents who had indicated on the
follow-up survey that their district participated and
whose principals confirmed participation were selected
to be interviewed, using the structured interview
questions in Appendix F. Those 13 high school prin-
cipals who had confirmed participation and 13 coun-
selors in those schools were also interviewed by
telephone using structured interview questions
(Appendix F). Students' names were received from


66
counselors in seven of those schools, and 10 students
and their parents were interviewed. Two additional
students' names were released by the schools, but the
students were in military academies and could not be
reached. Two counselors were unable to furnish names.
Finally, admissions personnel in the seven colleges
or universities identified by the 10 superintendents
as participating in the program were telephoned to
gather data on the participation by higher education
institutions and the resulting impact. In addition,
nine of the 67 principals from districts originally
identified as nonparticipating who were randomly sur-
veyed checked on the surveys that the school did
participate. Four of those nine stated that the
school participated and that students had completed
requirements before their senior year. Those prin-
cipals were telephoned to clarify if students did
complete requirements. The questions in Appendix F
were used in these interviews. The interviews of
participants furnished the anecdotal information that
provided most of the data for analysis of impact.
Surveys that indicated nonparticipation were
received from superintendents, principals, and college
admissions directors, and people in each of those
categories were interviewed by telephone to gather


67
information on reasons for nonparticipation, and to
affirm that participation had not occurred after the
surveys were collected. Five of the 25 superinten-
dents who checked cost on the initial survey as the
primary reason for not using the Fast Track Program
and 5 of the 28 who checked lack of information on
the initial survey, were selected by taking every
fifth survey response. Those superintendents were
interviewed by telephone using the questions in Appen-
dix F. Further, because the survey of the 48 prin-
cipals in the 38 participating districts revealed
that some schools in those districts did not partici-
pate, three nonparticipating principals from those
districts were selected and asked to expand upon their
reasons in a nonstructured telephone interview.
Twenty-one surveys from principals indicated that the
Fast Track Program was not in effect in those
districts. The surveys were arranged alphabetically
and every seventh principal was interviewed to discuss
reasons for nonparticipation. Three principals of
the 67 surveyed from districts originally identified
as nonparticipating were asked in a nonstructured
interview to elaborate on their reasons for
nonparticipation. These principals were selected by
pulling every 17th survey respondent of the 52


68
indicating nonparticipation. Finally, to gain insight
into reasons for nonparticipation by higher education
institutions, three college admissions directors were
telephoned and interviewed in a nonstructured manner
to gain more information about their reasons. These
were selected in the same manner employed to select
principals for interviews. These interviews with
nonparticipants in the various categories furnished
data to answer the third research question.
Data Recording
Data collected from surveys and interviews were
recorded by hand by the researcher. The Research Log
was used to file data as well as to record procedures
followed by the researcher. Interview answers and
survey comments were also recorded in the Research
Log as described below.
Mailed surveys returned by superintendents,
principals, and college admissions directors were
checked off the master list as they were received.
Those surveys from superintendents and principals
were assigned a number which identified the district
and were put into alphabetical order. Responses to
the surveys were recorded by hand by the researcher
and then entered into the computer. Surveys and


69
policies received were filed in the Research Log, and
survey comments were recorded there as well.
Telephone interview data were hand recorded by
the researcher as the interviews were in progress.
Answers were written on a sheet of structured inter-
view questions (Appendix E) prepared for each
respondent. After the interviews, the responses were
recorded on the computer under the category of the
question asked and put in the Research Log. District
or higher education institution identification was
maintained for each entry in the Research Log. Addi-
tional comments made by the respondents were also
re-recorded in the Log.
Both the numerical and the anecdotal data were
uncomplicated and did not need extensive procedures
for recording. Likewise, the analysis was straight-
forward, concerned largely with identifying the extent
of implementation and the impact of the Fast Track
Program.
Data Presentation and Analysis
This study examined the status of the Fast Track
Program in Colorado. Measuring participation and
presenting a composite view of the impact of the pro-
gram were the major objectives. The analysis of the


70
data combined both quantitative and qualitative
methods to yield a descriptive narrative of the
program. By using surveys and interviews and by
analyzing the research questions from both a
quantitative and a qualitative perspective, the
researcher was able to provide a broad view of the
program.
Surveys produced most of the hard data for this
analysis, and a minimum 80% return of those surveys
was sought. Because the questionnaires were developed
by the researcher, no standardized index of reliabil-
ity existed. However, the external validity of the
questions has been established through several methods
as outlined by Daemon (1987). An expert in statisti-
cal analysis, Dr. Al Nelson (Appendix I), was
commissioned to review the questions on the surveys
and interviews to ensure that they would produce the
desired information relevant to the research
questions. In addition, the questions asked in the
study were designed to address the requirements of
the law (CRS 22-34-101). Finally, those impacted in
the target population were interviewed to gain
information from a representative group. These three
cross-checking procedures increased the external
validity.


The analysis was done under the categories of
Participation, Impact, and Non-Participation. Each
71
of these categories is described in the following
sections.
Participation
Participation analysis focused primarily on
determining the numbers that had implemented and par-
ticipated in the program; survey data provided much
of this information. Interview data supplemented
this and trends were described.
Research Questions One, Four, Five, and Six
addressed participation in the Fast Track Program.
These questions, the sources of information for
answering them, and the means of coding and analyzing
that data are addressed in this section.
Research Question One. How many districts
and public high schools in Colorado have
implemented the Fast Track Program?
This question was answered through analyzing
responses to the survey questions:
Does your school district make use of the
Fast Track Program as outlined in CRS 22-34-101?
(Superintendent)


72
Is the Fast Track Program utilized in your
school? (Principal)
The responses to the initial survey were
separated into two groups: those that indicated
participation and those that did not. The percentage
of the total number of districts in Colorado was com-
puted for each category. The follow-up survey mailed
to superintendents in the 38 participating districts
sought to confirm participation in those districts.
Responses by principals in the 48 high schools in the
38 participating districts were analyzed to determine
implementation at the high school level and to confirm
district implementation. A district-by-district com-
parison of superintendents' and principals' responses
was made and a table constructed. In addition, the
responses from the 67 principals in districts iden-
tified as nonparticipating on the initial survey were
inspected to determine if these districts were par-
ticipating in some form.
In analyzing participation, two categories were
established. The Full Compliance category encompassed
those districts in which (1) students completed
graduation requirements prior to their senior year
and (2) for whom the district paid college tuition.


73
In Modified Compliance districts, one or both of these
stipulations were not met, but some form of school-
college cooperation existed. These data were gathered
from responses to questions on the superintendents'
and principals' surveys about requirements and tuition
payment.
Comments on surveys and from interviews of super-
intendents, principals, counselors, and students in
participating districts, as well as those of college
admissions personnel working with those districts
supplemented the data obtained from the surveys
regarding district and school participation. Student
participation was addressed by Research Question Four.
Research Question Four. How many students finish
graduation requirements prior to the beginning of
their senior year? To what degree do those who
do finish participate?
To answer this question, superintendents, princi-
pals, and college admissions directors were asked how
many students participated in the Fast Track Program
on the average, and superintendents and principals
were asked to indicate the number of students who
finished requirements prior to their senior year.
Students also were asked in interviews about finishing
requirements and about the number of classes they


74
took at the high school and at the college. Student
participation by district and the number of students
participating, as reported by both the
superintendent and the principal(s) in that district
were presented by district number in a table. These
reports were compared to the estimates of the students
participating annually as reported by college admis-
sions directors. Comments on surveys and in inter-
views were supplementary to the survey data on
student participation. The influence of demographics
on participation was covered by Research Question
Five.
Research Question Five. Are size and location
of schools related to implementation?
This question was analyzed by coding districts
and schools according to size and location. District
classifications according to total student population
were: 300 or less; 301-600; 601-1,200; 1,201-6,000;
6,001-25,000; and over 25,000. High schools were
also grouped by total student populations: Less than
150 students; 151-600 students; 601-1,200 students;
and over 1,200 students. Location categories
included: Western Slope, Northern Front Range, and
Southern Front Range. The numbers of participating
districts and schools in each size and location


75
category were compared to determine if there was a
difference in participation by small versus large
schools, and if there was a difference in
participation based on location. The initial surveys,
the follow-up surveys, and the principals' surveys
provided the data for this analysis of the influence
of size and location on participation.
Participation by colleges and universities was
analyzed under Research Question Six.
Research Question Six. To what extent do
institutions of higher education participate
in the program?
This question focused on the role of institutions
of higher education in the Fast Track Program. Infor-
mation on college participation was reported by both
superintendents of participating districts and by
college admissions directors on surveys. Responses
from college admissions directors, as well as
superintendents' responses about the institutions they
worked with, were analyzed to determine the number of
institutions participating, and the number of dis-
tricts with which they cooperated.
To supplement Research Questions One, Four, Five,
and Six, superintendents and principals who indicated
participation were asked on surveys to supply the


76
number of years the district or school had been par-
ticipating in the Fast Track Program. The mean number
of years of implementation and the range were recorded
and the responses of superintendents and principals
were compared.
The participation data analysis focused largely
on numbers, but impact data analysis was concerned
primarily with the procedures and the effects of the
Fast Track Program.
Impact Analysis
The policies and procedures devised by those
participating in the program and the advantages and
disadvantages of the Fast Track Program as viewed by
those participants were the subjects of Research Ques-
tions Two and Seven. The analysis of impact consisted
largely of comparing viewpoints of participants to
determine if a pattern existed.
Research Question Two. What policies and
procedures have those districts and schools
developed?
This question was answered by analysis of the
policies received in response to question two on the
initial survey and from interview responses of
participating superintendents, principals, counselors,


77
students, their parents, and college admissions direc
tors. The policies were examined for trends in the
areas of tuition payment, cost, requirements, and
credit. Superintendents also furnished information
about finance procedures. Interviews with superin-
tendents, principals, counselors, students, parents,
and college admissions directors produced data on the
specific practices utilized to make students and
parents aware of the program, the procedures used to
pay tuition and related costs, the way credits and
requirements were handled, and the provision of
counseling and assistance for the students. The
estimates by superintendents of the cost of the pro-
gram were presented in a table, using the categories:
Don't Know, Under $500; $500-$1,000; $l,00l-$3,000;
$3,00l-$5,000; and Over $5,000.
Research Question Seven. What impact has the
program had on students, schools, and colleges?
To analyze interview questions on impact, pat-
terns in responses were sought. The sources of infor
mation on the impact of the program were those inter-
view questions focusing on the advantages and
disadvantages of the program as viewed by the various
participants. Data from all of these sources were
arranged in tables showing the advantages and


78
disadvantages of the program as viewed by the par-
ticipants. These tables were supplemented by further
information presented in anecdotal form using
categories similar to those listed in the tables.
Views were compared and trends were noted.
Nonparticipation Analysis
Research Question Three examined the views of
nonparticipants, in particular, their reasons for not
implementing the Fast Track Program.
Research Question Three. What reasons do
districts, schools, and colleges give for
not using the program?
The reasons for nonparticipation were gathered
from survey and interview data. Questions on the
initial superintendents' survey, the principals'
survey, and the college admissions directors' survey
asked for reasons for not participating in the pro-
gram. The survey responses were ranked within and
between groups, and a frequency distribution was con-
structed for each group, as well as for the total of
the groups. These quantitative responses gave a
numerical picture of the reasons for nonparticipation.
Further information regarding cost and lack of infor-
mation was sought in interviews with superintendents


79
from nonparticipating districts. These responses
supplemented the numerical data gathered on nonpar-
ticipation.
Analysis of these data identified the major
reasons for lack of implementation from the per-
spective of the superintendents, principals, and
college admissions directors. Similarities in reasons
were sought and details about problems preventing
implementation were given using the information
gathered in the interviews.
Summary
A complementary processes model which used both
qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate
the implementation of CRS 22-34-101, and the impact
of that legislation, provided a broad overview of the
program as it existed in Colorado, prior to 1988.
Data collected from surveys and interviews of super-
intendents, principals, counselors, students, their
parents, and college admissions directors produced
varying perspectives on the Fast Track Program. This
chapter has described the data collection procedures
and the sources of data to answer the research ques-
tions. Chapter IV presents the findings of this
study.


CHAPTER IV
FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
This study sought to describe the extent of the
implementation of the Fast Track Program in Colorado
and its impact on schools and students. Data relevant
to seven research questions were collected:
1. How many districts and public high schools
in Colorado have implemented the Fast Track Program?
2. What policies and procedures have those
districts and schools developed?
3. What reasons do districts, schools, and
colleges give for not using the program?
4. How many students finish graduation require-
ments prior to the beginning of their senior year?
To what degree do those who do finish participate?
5. Are size and location of schools related to
implementation?
6. To what extent do institutions of higher
education participate in the program?
7. What impact has the program had on students,
schools, and colleges?


81
Surveys and interviews furnished data to answer
these seven questions. For purposes of reporting and
analyzing the data, the research questions have been
grouped into those related to participation, those
related to impact, and those describing nonparticipa-
tion. The findings are presented in that order.
Participation
The extent of implementation of the Fast Track
Program in Colorado during the 1987-88 school year
was determined initially from answers to survey and
interview questions relevant to Research Questions
One, Four, Five, and Six.
District and School
Participation Data
Research Question One. How many districts and
public high schools in Colorado have implemented
the Fast Track Program?
The Fast Track Program, as defined in CRS 22-34-
101, required that the district pay college tuition
for students who had completed graduation requirements
if those students chose to take college courses.
Participation in full compliance with the law would
require that these two stipulations be met. Many
modifications on the concept made by districts


82
resulted in a number of districts reporting partici-
pation, but not meeting one or both of the
requirements of the law. However, in this first
analysis of the data, participation was defined
narrowly as superintendents' and principals' responses
to a questionnaire item that asked if the Fast Track
Program was in use in the district or school.
Superintendents. Two surveys were sent to super-
intendents to collect information about district
participation: an initial survey sent in 1987, and a
second follow-up survey sent in 1988 to those super-
intendents who had indicated participation on the
initial survey. The initial survey (Appendix B),
sent to all 176 school districts in Colorado in April,
1987, asked superintendents whether the Fast Track
Program, as described in CRS 22-34-101, was used in
their district. The program was defined, and the
stipulations regarding tuition and completion of
graduation requirements were outlined in the intro-
duction to the survey. Thirty-three (19%) superin-
tendents did not return the initial survey. The
majority of those (26) were from small districts, but
superintendents from seven large districts did not
respond; four of those seven were in the Denver-Metro
area. Of the 143 surveys returned, only 38


83
indicated that the program was used. This
constituted 22% of the 176 districts in Colorado.
Two responses were unclear: one superintendent
checked both Yes and No, and another checked Yes, but
commented, "Not in place yet." Both of these were
included in the participating districts category.
In March, 1988, follow-up surveys (Appendix C)
were sent to the 38 superintendents above to affirm
the extent of participation during the 1987-88 school
year. Thirty-three were returned. Of those 33, 2
were incomplete, 6 indicated nonparticipation, and
the remaining 25 (14% of all of the districts in
Colorado), reported district participation in the
Fast Track Program. Based only on the superinten-
dents' responses to the follow-up survey, it is safe
to conclude that at least 25 districts were participa-
ting in the program during the 1987-88 school year.
However, that probably understates district partici-
pation for two reasons: superintendents in 33
districts did not respond to the initial survey and
hence did not receive follow-up surveys, and 7 of the
38 superintendents who indicated participation on the
initial survey did not return or did not complete the
follow-up survey. It is quite possible that one or


84
more of those 40 superintendents were in districts
which were participating in the program in some form.
Principals. High school principals in partici-
pating districts provided a second data source for
identifying and/or verifying district participation.
All 48 high school principals in those 38 districts
identified as participating on the initial super-
intendents' survey were surveyed. Of the 45
principals responding, 24 (50% of those surveyed) in
19 districts said that their high school participated
in the Fast Track Program. The remaining 21 prin-
cipals indicated nonparticipation. Thus, based only
on principals' responses, 24 high schools in 19 dis-
tricts were participating in the Fast Track Program
during the 1987-88 school year. These numbers also
are probably low because no response was received
from 3 of the 48 principals in potentially partici-
pating districts according to the superintendents'
responses. Further, one of these nonresponding
schools was in a one-high-school district in which
the superintendent was also the principal, but only
the superintendent's follow-up survey was returned.
Additionally, it seems plausible that some high
schools in the 33 districts from which no initial


85
superintendent's survey had been received could be
participating in the program.
Comparison of superintendents' and principals'
responses. Because the number of districts partici-
pating as indicated only by the superintendents'
responses to the follow-up survey was 25, and the
responses from high school principals in those dis-
tricts verified participation by only 19 districts,
comparison of superintendents' and principals'
responses by district was undertaken. Table 4.1
displays the results of this comparison. Surveys
were sorted to pair principals' and superintendents'
follow-up survey responses by district to the ques-
tion, "Do you participate in the Fast Track Program?"
As Table 4.1 indicates, four of the 45 principals'
responses returned were received without the corre-
sponding superintendent's response.
Thirty-one of the 38 superintendents in dis-
tricts identified as participating from the initial
survey are accounted for. Seven who indicated
participation on the initial survey did not respond
to the follow-up survey. This number includes the
two who returned incomplete instruments (indicated by
NA in Table 4.1).


Full Text

PAGE 1

THE COLORADO FAST TRACK PROGRAM: IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACT by Deborah Jil Binder B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 1971 M.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 1977 A tl:t.csis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy School of Education 1989

PAGE 2

Copyright 1989 Deborah Jil Binder All rights reserved.

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This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Deborah Jil Binder has been approved for the School of Education by

PAGE 4

Binder, Deborah Jil (Ph.D., Education) The Colorado Fast Track Program: Implementation and Impact Thesis directed by Associate Professor Russell W. Meyers The Fast Track Program is an accelerated program which was legislated by CRS 22-34-101 in 1981 to provide early admission to college for high school seniors who had fulfilled graduation requirements. The local school district was required to pay tuition. This study, conducted in 1987 and 1988, sought to determine the extent of participation in the Fast Track Program in Colorado and to estimate the impact of the program on participating students and institutions. A complementary processes model which employe.d both surveys to determine participation and interviews to measure impact provided the structure for the research. Surveys constructed by the researcher to determine the extent of participation were sent to superintendents, principals, and college admissions directors in Colorado. A minimum 80% return was sought. Survey respondents, were interviewed about their participation in the Fast Track Program.

PAGE 5

iv Selected nonparticipants were also interviewed about their reasons for nonparticipation. The findings of the study are summarized below. 1. As of the 1987-88 school year, approximately 20% of the school districts, 13% of the public high schools, 16 institutions of higher education, and approximately 300 students in Colorado were participating in some modification of the Fast Track Program. 2. Smaller districts participated to a slightly greater degree than did large districts. 3. courses were usually offered at the colleges for college credit only. 4. Participants reported that the chief advantage of the Fast Track Program was that it allowed students to make the transition from high school to college and to begin accumulating college credits. 5. The roain reasons given for nonparticipation in the program were lack of student interest and lack of knowledge about Fast Track. The following conclusions were a result of these findings. 1. The motivation for implementation of the program was sometimes dependent upon the size of the district.

PAGE 6

2. The Fast Track Program provides a positive means of acceleration for students. v 3. Districts made modifications on the legisla-tion to fit their needs. 4. Recent legislation, House Bill 1244, was enacted in 1988 in response to the modifications made in the Fast Track Program. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Signed

PAGE 7

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Sincere appreciation is expressed to: Dr. Russ Meyers for his enduring patience and his insistence on quality. Dr. Jim Rose, Dr. Myrle Hemenway, and Dr. Haz Wubben, my earlier advisors who encouraged me to pursue this degree. Ann Underwood for her excellent typing and advice. All of those people who responded to the surveys and were so helpful in interviews. The Moffat Ladies: Gretchen Haller, Cathy Freel, Marka Cook, carol Pollart Thompson and Linda Stagner who helped with the distribution of the initial survey. Betty Krueger who instructed me on the computer. Shirley Ecklebarger who make copies and consoled me. Dr. Rick Bettger, Dr. Lynn Kelly, and Dr. Bill Reader who were valuable resources in the process. Dr. Mike Martin who provided new insight to the methodology.

PAGE 8

vii The Littleton Public Schools administration, and in particular, Ron Booth, Larry Orblom, Cathy Kane, and Joan ott, for their encouragement and assistance. My sister-in-law, Sarah Binder, who assisted me in the data collection. My mom and dad and Doris Binder who always emphasized the importance of education, and my brothers and sisters (Russ, Ken, Donna, Pat, Dru, Buzz, Rick, Josh, and Matt), whose love has been my centerstone. Shonnie, my young friend. And, Bob Lavender, for his constant support and persistent faith in me.

PAGE 9

CONTENTS CHAPTER I. THE PROBLEM: INTRODUCTION AND AND BACKGROUND 1 Statement of the Problem 4 Significance of the study. 6 Scope and Delimitations of the study 6 Limitations of the Study Outline of the Remainder of the Thesis II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Overview . . . . History . . Rationale. . . . . Models United states International 8 9 10 10 11 17 20 University Middle College. 20 Project Advance Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 23 LaGuardia Middle College LaGuardia Community College, New York, New York 24 Matteo Ricci College Seattle University, seattle, Washington. 26 Advance College Project -Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 28 Summary. . . . . . 29

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Unique Characteristics of Other Programs Admissions Course Presentation. Credits. Cost Findings on Accelerated Programs Participation. Performance and Impact Participant Reports. Disadvantages. Advantages Acceleration in Colorado summary III. METHODOLOGY. Rationale. Research Questions Initial survey Data Collection. Survey Interviews Data Recording Data Presentation and Analysis Participation Analysis Impact Analysis. Nonparticipation Analysis. ix 30 30 32 35 36 36 37 38 46 46 49 54 56 58 58 61 61 63 63 65 68 69 71 76 78

PAGE 11

summary .. IV. FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS. Participation. District and school Participation Data . . Analysis of District and School Participation. supporting Data for District and and school Participation Student Participation. supporting Data. Demographic Influences on Participation. Higher Education Participation Other Participation Data summary of Participation Impact . . . Policies and Procedures. summary. . . . Impact on students, Schools, and Colleges Follow-Up studies. Nonparticipation superintendents. Principals College Admissions Directors Overview: survey Data on Reasons for Nonparticipation X 79 80 81 81 89 92 98 105 107 111 117 117 119 119 141 143 162 163 164 165 168 169

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Interview Data: Nonparticipation. Summary V. SUMMARY AND FINDINGS Methodology Research Questions Data Collection. Data Analysis. Findings Participation. Impact Nonparticipation Conclusions House Bill 1244 Recommendations xi 170 185 188 189 189 190 192 195 195 197 201 202 203 206 Recommendations for Further Research 208 Reflections. 209 REFERENCES. 210 APPENDICES 214 A. CRS 22-34-101 215 B. INITIAL SURVEY 217 C. FOLLOW-UP SURVEY D. PRINCIPALS 1 SURVEY 219 221 E. COLLEGE ADMISSIONS DIRECTORS' SURVEY 223 F. STRUCTURED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS 225 G. DISTRICT SIZE AND LOCATION CATEGORIES. 229

PAGE 13

H. I. HOUSE BILL 1244 VITA: AL NELSON, PH. D. xii 232 239

PAGE 14

TABLE 2.1 4.1 4.2 4.3 TABLES Reasons for Enrolling in the Advance College Project. Higher Education Choices of Post-ACT Students (1983-84) . District/School Participation: 38 Participating Districts Identified from Initial Survey . student Participation by District: Superintendents Reports on the Follow-up survey Student Completion of and Participation as Reported by Principals in Participating Districts 4.4 Student Participation and Completion of Graduation Requirements: Nine Principals in Nonparticipating Districts as Identified from 44 45 86 100 102 Initial survey 103 4.5 Location of Participating Districts by District Enrollment: Initial Superintendents survey. 108 4.6 Size and Location of Districts: Superintendents Indicating Partici-pation on the Follow-Up survey 109 4.7 Enrollment and Location of Participating High Schools 111 4.8 District Participation: Admissions Director Reports by College. 113

PAGE 15

xiv 4.9 Superintendents' Reports of District; College Participation. . 114 4.10 superintendents Estimates of the Annual Cost of the Fast Track Program. 136 4.11 Disadvantages of the Fast Track Program: Interview Data 145 4.12 Advantages of the Fast Track Program 153 4.13 Nonparticipating Superintendents' Reasons for Not Implementing the Fast Track Program: Initial Survey. 165 4.14 Principals in Participating Districts--Reasons for Nonpartici-pation . . . . . . . 166 4.15 Principals in Nonparticipating Districts--Reasons for Nonpartici-pation 4.16 College Admissions Directors' Reasons 167 for Nonparticipation 168 4.17 Reasons Given by Superintendents, Principals, and College Admissions Directors for Nonparticipation 169

PAGE 16

CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND In July, 1981, Colorado enacted legislation, known as the Fast Track Bill, designed to provide early admission to college for high school seniors. This legislation, based on financial and curricular concerns, has precedents throughout the United states. Senate Bill 248, the Fast Track Bill, authorizes high school students who have fulfilled graduation requirements to take one or more college courses at a state-supported institution. The local school district reimburses the college or university for tuition from its Authorized Revenue Base. Even though the students are attending an institution of higher education, they are still classified as high school students and have none of the privileges of college students. The bill was debated in the Colorado legislature in Spring, 1981. Testimony to the legislature examined several problems with Senate Bill 248. The Advanced Placement (AP) representative testified the AP program keeps the students in the high school

PAGE 17

2 while this bill would possibly put them on a college campus prematurely. Further, he pointed out that in the AP program parents pay for the cost of the advanced placement exams, whereas with this program, the state and local education agency (LEA) would be absorbing the cost of the program (Jones, 1981). Other financial considerations involved the ARB (authorized revenue base). The local education agency would lose ARB funds to the colleges, but would still need to maintain the level of services to students who did not take advantage of the Fast Track Program. Concerns about cutbacks in programs and reductions in faculty also were raised. The state could be doubly charged because of this arrangement, both through the ARB and through the state's part of the college tuition (Elofson, 1986). Legislators voiced concerns about allowing students to attend either public or private colleges. Most legislators felt this would result in the state giving funds to private schools, and this clause was later deleted from the bill. Other problems mentioned were that some students who were athletes would not be able to participate in the Fast Track Program because of time andjor distance constraints. Also, students might not have the advantages of high school counseling and

PAGE 18

3 monitoring which might result in some loss of social andjor emotional development in the pursuit of academic excellence. Finally, the bill only addressed the student who has completed high school requirements. It did not allocate funds for concurrent high school and college attendance (Colorado State Legislature, 1981). All of these problems were advanced as reasons to rethink the legislation. Sponsors of the bill reasoned that the program would save state monies by reducing the number of years spent in high school and college by a student. Legislators also thought that there might be large numbers of students who were not attending college early because of financial considerations. The legislators cited the lethargy that overtakes many seniors, often referred to as 11senioritis11 by educators, and the lack of incentive for students in grades 9-11 to take a full load as reasons for passage of the bill. Although current Advanced Placement programs provided some of the opportunities presented by this bill, only about five percent of high school seniors qualified for the AP program, and legislators reasoned that this bill would broaden opportunities. In one legislative session, a senator estimated that 400-2,000 students per year would take advantage of

PAGE 19

4 the Fast Track Program, and commented that once a student has completed high school requirements, it is superfluous for him to accumulate more high school credits when he could be taking college-required courses (Senate Hearings, 1981). In general, the advocates felt that this bill would give students the opportunity to do college-level work while still in high school. Ideally, the bill allows students to take these courses on the high school campus, which involves cooperation between the school and college and leads to some continuity in curriculum. It would allow a student to move more through the system, saving parents, and possibly the state, money. It presents the opportunity for smaller schools to provide courses normally not available. It also provides an alternative to an unproductive senior year and allows for some transition time from high school to college. Finally, it gives parents and students choices in their educational plan (Colorado State Hearings, 1981). All of these were considered in legislative hearings prior to enactment. Statement of the Problem The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of implementation of the Fast Track Program

PAGE 20

(CRS 22-34-101) in Colorado. Using surveys and follow-up interviews, the research focused on both those schools and colleges that had and those that had not implemented the program. Research questions included the following: Major Question: To what extent has the Fast Track Program been implemented in Colorado and how has it impacted students, high schools, colleges and universities? Related questions are as follows: 1. How many districts and public high schools in Colorado have implemented the Fast Track Program? 2. What policies and procedures have those districts and schools developed? 3. What reasons do districts, schools, and colleges give for not using the program? 5 4. How many students finish graduation requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year? To what degree do those who finish participate? 5. Are size and location of schools related to implementation? 6. To what extent do institutions of higher education participate in the program? 7. What impact has the program had on students, schools, and colleges?

PAGE 21

Significance of the study The Fast Track Program is not a new idea. It has many precedents, including Project Advance at Syracuse University, the Matteo Ricci College in Seattle, and LaGuardia Middle College in New York (Whitlock, 1978). Minnesota developed a state-wide acceleration program and some Colorado school districts were providing similar opportunities prior to the legislation. The act gave financial support to those opportunities. 6 No follow-up studies had been done on the implementation of this legislation in Colorado. This study sought to describe participation in the Fast Track program, and to determine the impact of the program on students, their parents, schools, districts, colleges, and universities. In addition, reasons for nonparticipation were investigated. It was hoped that the research would provide the legislature with some information on implementation as well as providing school personnel with data that would help them to utilize the program fully. Scope and Delimitations of the Study To gather preliminary information on participation in the Fast Track Program, an initial survey

PAGE 22

7 of all superintendents in Colorado was conducted (Appendix A). Schools not participating in the program were asked their reasons for nonparticipation, and participants were asked for a copy of the district policy relating to the program. The returned surveys provided focus for this study. From the initial survey, superintendents who had indicated participation were sent a follow-up survey to determine the extent of participation in the district. In addition, principals in those districts were surveyed about participation at the high school level. Randomly selected principals in districts identified as not participating in Fast Track were surveyed regarding their reasons for nonparticipation. In addition, college admissions personnel were asked to respond on surveys about their institution's participation and about reasons for nonparticipation. Surveys received from districts and schools were sorted into categories of sizes and locations to identify demographic characteristics. These surveys were supplemented by interviews with participating superintendents, principals, counselors, students, and their parents. College admissions personnel were interviewed about the colleges' participation. Selected college personnel,

PAGE 23

8 superintendents, and principals identified as working in nonparticipating institutions were also interviewed regarding their reasons for nonparticipation. These surveys and interviews furnished data on participation, impact of the Fast Track Program, and nonparticipation. Limitations of the Study The limitations of survey research apply to this study. Some schools may have implemented the program after indicating on the initial survey that they did not participate, and some districts which indicated participation on the initial survey may have dropped the program. While most surveys were returned, some were not carefully read or completed by respondents, limiting their reliability. The follow-up survey revealed that many of the 38 participating diztricts did not meet the requirements of CRS 22-34-101, especially with regard to students completing requirements, and payment of tuition by the school districts. This reduced the population available to sample for interviews, but did provide data on implementation. The participation of Colorado school districts in the program appeared to be minimal, based on the

PAGE 24

9 initial survey responses. One objective of the study was to determine if that was true. The low rate of participation by schools and districts limited the study. Outline of the Remainder of the Thesis Chapter I has covered the legislation, the questions to be investigated, and the scope and limitations of the study. Chapter II summarizes literature since 1971 on similar existing programs in the United States and discusses literature relevant to Colorado's program. Chapter III presents the methodology of the study which utilized surveys supplemented by inter-views. The process of data gathering and analysis are delineated. Chapter IV analyzes and summarizes the findings of the study, and Chapter V presents conclusions and recommendations regarding the Fast Track Program in Colorado.

PAGE 25

CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Overview This study examined the participation in and the impact of the Fast Track Program in Colorado. Because the Fast Track Program is essentially an academically accelerated program for high school students, allowing them early entrance to college, the review of literature focused on early entrance programs developed from 1971 to the present and the results of those programs as delineated in various studies or related by participants. The review is presented in six parts: 1) a short history of the development of early entrance programs in the United states, 2) a rationale for acceleration, 3) a description of five early entrance programs still in existence, 4) a brief overview of some special characteristics of other programs, 5) the results of studies on participation in and impact of those accelerated programs, and 6) acceleration in Colorado.

PAGE 26

11 History Students in Colonial America, including such notables as Jonathan Edwards, Cotton Mather, and Henry Adams, attended college at an early age. In 1893, Charles Eliot, Harvard President and the chairman of the Committee of Ten which made recommendations on improving the educational process, reinforced that concept of early entrance when he declared, the average age at which pupils now enter should be lowered rather than raised" (Whitlock, 1978, p. 7). That same Committee of Ten, however, proposed the standardization of a four-year high school, beginning a lockstep process of twelve years of public school and four years of undergraduate work at a college or university. This process was further cemented by the establishment of the Carnegie Unit by the 1906 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the purpose of which was to define academic units required for admission to college. These requirements made early entrance to college a more difficult process, but attempts at acceleration continued. In 1924, Pasadena Junior College tried a variation on the accepted twelve years of high school and four years of college. A 6-4-4 system, which was

PAGE 27

six years of elementary school, four years of middle/high school, and four years of high school/college, was implemented. This system ended in an associate degree for the student. 12 Robert Maynard Hutchins became the president of the University of Chicago in 1929. He began to implement his philosophy that "a general education should be given between the junior year of high school and the end of the sophomore year in college" (Maeroff, 1983). As a result of Hutchins' efforts, in the 1940s, high school students were admitted to the University of Chicago as early admissions students if they were able to pass a series of comprehensive examinations in English, foreign language, science, math, and social sciences, as well as an elective in their chosen field. At that time, many college associations condemned these attempts as a "cheapening of the bachelor's degree" (Doxey, 1980, p. 13). Through World War II, the 6-4-4 system begun by Pasadena Junior College expanded throughout California, but also encountered some problems. The administration did not know how to treat athletes under these circumstances and some parents were against high school and college students attending the same institution. The low esteem in which

PAGE 28

13 community colleges were held also made acceptance of the program difficult (Whitlock, 1978). However, after World War II, attempts again were made to change the accepted system of education in America. The Fund for the Advancement of Education was established by the Ford Foundation in 1951. Its purpose was to seek out the present weaknesses in curricular arrangements and thus ease the transition from school to college by treating the last two years of secondary school and the first two years of college as a continuous program (Whitlock, 1978). The committee identified two major weaknesses in the system: (1) a lack of sufficient flexibility to accommodate varying abilities, and (2) lack of continuity in the various stages of the educational process which leave gaps in the student's education or force him to repeat work he has already done (Doxey, 1980). As a result of these findings, in the fall of 1951, the Fund for the Advancement of Education made it possible for 11 American colleges and universities to open their doors to 420 freshmen who differed from the average college freshman: they were roughly two years younger, and most had not finished high school (Fund for the Advancement of Education, 1957). In reviewing this experiment, Baird

PAGE 29

14 Whitlock (1978) of Simon's Rock Early College noted that the results of this experiment were so good and so conclusive that it remains unclear as to why everyone did not move immediately into early entrance programs" (p. 14). At about this same time, the College Entrance Examination Board developed Advanced Placement (college level) courses to be taught in the high schools. The goal of the Advanced Placement (AP) courses was to accelerate the educational process of students. These courses were taught in the high schools by high school teachers and gave students the opportunity to earn college credit for the courses dependent upon the results of their final examina-tions in these classes (Maeroff, 1983). The next decade would bring more innovations in early entrance programs. Much of the pressure for early college experience did come from the ferment in the 60's. Handled with care and perception, that movement may become the greatest legacy of the decade. (Whitlock, 1978, p. 28) In 1965, the Higher Education Act created the TRIO program which funded higher education opportunities for minority and low-income teens. Upward Bound resulted from this and students were able, through this program, to attend college while still in high

PAGE 30

15 school and get a "taste" of college. The requirements for admittance to the program were that the student had to be from a low income family and be the first of his or her family to attend college (Covarrubias, 1989). Another program which came out of this period in the 60s which was to serve as a model for many of the early entrance programs that followed. In 1964, Elizabeth Hall declared that the "house of education needs an overhaul" (Whitlock, 1978, p. 44), and proposed a four-year progression modeled on the college program, which students began after the lOth grade. Part of her rationale addressed the faculty. An inaccessible faculty is as useless to students in search of convictions as a faculty devoid of stature. In the early college, the adults could have more nearly the relationship to students that is possible in the good secondary school. (Whitlock, 1978, p. 45) She proposed that the middle college become the liberal arts college, and that students graduate after four years with an associate's degree. She initiated the program with girls in 1966 at Simon's Rock Early College, and the program became coed in 1970. Students who were admitted to Simon's Rock Early College had to pass a general education examination (GED) and take the Wasser-Glasser Critical Thinking Test. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores were

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16 used only as a red flag in identifying students for the program. The program was an accelerated one, and espoused the theory that a B-C student from a good high school would be able to succeed in the program, whereas a straight c student probably would not. Thus, GPA was also a consideration in admittance. Students lived at home and took classes at the college from college professors. They were provided with special advising while attending college to make their transition easier. students at Simon's Rock were able to finish an associate's degree at about the time most students would be graduating from high school, resulting in a possible elimination of two years of schooling costs for the students (Whitlock, 1978). A cooperative program was later instituted with Bard College in Massachusetts which made it possible for students to earn a bachelor's degree while at Simon's Rock Early College. Programs such as the one at Simon's Rock set the stage for better school-college articulation. Babbot, in 1973, surveyed 378 colleges and found that 79% of those colleges had provisions for admitting students at the end of the eleventh grade, although less than five percent of college freshmen were early entrants (Doxey, 1980). In 1976, the Carnegie Council on

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17 Policy Studies documented that high school students had access to courses at about 40% of the two-year colleges and 16% of the four-year institutions, in addition to advanced placement courses at the high school (Maeroff, 1983). These estimates were more conservative than Babbots figures, but they do show that early entrance was available. The rationale for these early entrance programs is outlined below. Rationale There are few generalizations in education that are universally agreed upon, but one of them is that people learn at different rates. It seems strange, therefore, that education systems, supposedly dedicated to providing the best education for all students, are so structured that they block those differences. (Whitlock, 1978, p. 4) Like Whitlock, the proponents of early entrance or accelerated programs felt that the educational system in the United States could be improved and advanced several arguments for acceleration. A number of educators felt that there was a duplication and overlapping of course content during the last two years of high school and the first two years of college, especially in the liberal arts. Proponents of the Middle College at the United States International University believed that "academically, high school was completed by the end of grade 11 for

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18 most students. Grade 12 was composed of activities" (Doxey, 1980, p. 105). Dale Parnell (1985) echoed this concern, saying, "During my years as a high school principal, I developed the perception that the senior year was a waste of time for too many students" (p. 2). Whitlock spoke more strongly in his condemnation of the process. He asserted that up to two thirds of the last two years of high school and the first two years of college were repetitious. He charged that schools frequently encouraged "senioritis" by having whole classes of students working at their lowest level of ability, taking the one or two requirements they needed to graduate during their senior year (Whitlock, 1978). This need for more challenging courses for students and the opportunity for students to earn college credit while still in high school were reasons for early entrance programs (Whitlock, 1978). At the Middle College at the United States International University and at simon's Rock, students could remain in the high school and earn college credit. In this way, the student could adjust to the pace of college work without having to adjust socially. Repetition of subject matter, academic apathy, and poor study

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19 habits resulting from students taking easy courses were eliminated (Doxey, 1980}. A possible monetary savings for individuals and institutions was also advanced as a reason for acceleration. Prior to 1973, the University of Utah had awarded 200,000 quarter hours of credit at a loss of $3 million in income from students who had received Advanced Placement credit (Doxey, 1980). Early entrance programs would bring that money into the colleges instead of to the AP programs (Doxey, 1980). A poll of colleges conducted by Obrien in 1973 found concurrent enrollment courses available, but few high school students participated because of the cost. Supporters of the early entrance concept therefore reasoned that students could save tuition costs by getting a one-year head start on college while still in high school (Doxey, 1980}. Wilbur, Lambert, and Young (1988}, in their review of school-college partnerships, summarized the rationale for accelerated or early entrance prugrams: Articulation programs are cooperative programs that exist primarily to smooth the transition from high school to college expand the range of academic options for students, reduce curriculum duplication and credit transfer difficulties, encourage acceleration, and address the needs of special groups. (p. 29)

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20 Based on this rationale for early entrance, a number of programs have been developed since 1971. In the next section, five of those programs still in existence are detailed with regard to their admissions requirements, course presentation and curriculum, credits and degrees granted, and evaluation methods. Models The Middle College at the United States Inter-national University, established in 1971, Project Advance at syracuse University (1973), LaGuardia Middle College at LaGuardia Community College (1974), Matteo Ricci Middle College Program with Seattle University (1975), and the Advance College Project at Indiana University (1982) are examples of successful early entrance programs. United States International University -Middle Colleae Using the program at Simon's Rock as a model, the Middle College, in cooperation with the United States International University in San Diego, California, was begun in 1971. The concept of the Middle College is that students study general education courses in the eleventh and twelfth grades and graduate with a BA at the end of the 14th year.

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21 The program is not restricted to students of high academic achievement. Based on grade point average and performance on the Sequential Tests of Educational Progress, a wide variety of students are admitted to the Middle College of USIU (Whitlock, 1978). Examination results in the areas of English, Science, Social Studies, Math, and Reading are used to identify strengths and weaknesses. A course of study is then developed which each student pursues at the university (Doxey, 1980). The courses are taught by USIU faculty and include independent study courses which require students to take responsibility for their own learning. Each year, courses in physical education, creative or performing arts, a reading program of contemporary and classical writings, a social science or work program, and a program of learning basic living skills such as auto repair and tax preparation, are required (Doxey, 1980). students can earn college credit for those courses. If the student also wishes to receive a high school diploma, the courses can count as both high school and college credit. Middle College students can receive a high school diploma by requesting it in writing from the

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22 registrar who determines qualifications and issues a certificate of equivalency (Doxey, 1980). Students are evaluated in several different ways. During the program students' growth in maturity, independence in learning, self-concept, and commitment to realistic personal and vocational goals are measured through performance on the Personal Growth Rating Scale. To graduate from the Middle College, students have to place in the upper 50th percentile on the Sequential Tests of Educational Progress. The students who complete the project receive an associate's degree, usually at the end of the 12th or 13th year, and can receive a bachelor's degree from USIU by the end of the 14th year (Doxey, 1980). Students pay tuition for college courses at a rate lower than the tuition for a normal admissions student. The high school still receives support from the state without having to pay for a teacher for those students. The program is evaluated by student performance on the STEP tests and the Personal Growth Rating Scale. Comparison of GPAs of early and normal entrants also have been made to determine the effectiveness of the program (Doxey, 1980).

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Project Advance Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York Project Advance, founded in 1973, involved six pilot high schools in the Syracuse, New York, area. The concept of the program is that high school 23 students take courses for college credit during their senior year. The program was cited as an exemplary school-college program by the National Commission on Excellence in Education in 1983, and in 1984 received an award for special achievement in education from the Carnegie Foundation (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). Students are admitted to the program as seniors, and they must be recommended by the high school faculty. Project Advance does not accept juniors because of the maturity difference between juniors and seniors. Courses are taught at the high school by high school teachers with master's degrees in the subject matter. The intent of the program is for students to maintain their high school status. The Syracuse University faculty trains the high school faculty, and syllabi are developed and texts are approved by the university (Whitlock, 1978). Teaching of the courses is monitored by university professors to maintain uniformity, and the university provides

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24 seminar refresher courses for the high school teachers. Courses offered include biology, calculus, chemistry, English, computer engineering, psychology, sociology, religion, public affairs, and economics. These courses can be taken for college credit, or an exemption from requirements may be allowed (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). Students pay $28 per hour for classes. The high schools pay only for teacher training and students' instructional materials (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). The program is evaluated through surveying participating students on a classroom evaluation, observation of teachers by the Syracuse faculty, follow-up on graduated students who have gone on to college, and comparability studies to ensure that coursework meets on-campus standards (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). LaGuardia Middle College -LaGuardia Community College, New York, New York The LaGuardia Middle College early admissions program was begun in 1974, targeting the at-risk student. Students enter the program at the beginning of the lOth grade upon the recommendation of their guidance counselors. Generally, these students are of above-average ability.

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25 Middle College students are recognized as fully participating members of the LaGuardia Community College. They select their own classes with the help of counselors and register in the college-style registration process (Greenberg, 1982). Courses are taught on the college campus by both high school teachers and college professors. The high school teachers who teach the college-level classes receive adjunct faculty status. Costs are shared between the school district and the community college system. Middle College students may take college classes for which they receive both high school and college credit (Greenberg, 1982). Maeroff (1983) cited the program as "one of the best examples of a high school and college merging their efforts" (p. 42). Because the high school and the college are on the same campus, students can be tracked to measure effectiveness of the program. The Middle College at LaGuardia has been cited for excellence by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the National Commission on Excellence in Education, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988).

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Matteo Ricci College Seattle University, Seattle, Washington 26 The Matteo Ricci College program was founded in cooperation with Seattle University in 1975. Matteo Ricci College I is the three-year Seattle Preparatory School, a private Jesuit institution in seattle, which students enter as high school freshmen. After their junior year, qualified students attend Seattle University as students in the Matteo Ricci College II Program. This concept came out of the 1971 "Less Time, More Options," and the 1973 "Continuity and Discontinuity" reports by the Carnegie Commission, both of which recommended more creative articulation between high schools and colleges (Whitlock, 1978). Since its inception, the program has won a number of awards for innovation in education from such institutions as the Carnegie Foundation and the Department of Education (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988) students are admitted to Matteo Ricci College II on the basis of their ability to handle university work as estimated by the Matteo Ricci College I instructors. Instructors for Matteo Ricci College II are drawn from a number of the professors in the colleges at Seattle University. Professors in College

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27 II and teachers in College I often interchange roles (Maeroff, 1983). Twelve general education courses are required in addition to courses required for each student's major. Writing, problem solving, independent research, evaluation, discussion, and integration are emphasized. Small classes enhance the ability to focus on these critical thinking skills {Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). students receive dual credit for courses and those who remain in the Matteo Ricci College I and II programs can complete a high school education and receive a bachelor's degree in six years. These students can receive an associate's degree at about the time most high school students are finishing high school (Maeroff, 1983). this is a private school, students pay tuition just as they normally would, and Seattle University is compensated by Matteo Ricci College. Students may also elect to live on campus, which increases the cost. student performance is tracked from Matteo Ricci College I to Matteo Ricci College II and Seattle University for purposes of program evaluation {Whitlock, 1978).

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Advance College Project -Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 28 Indiana University's Advance College Project is a cooperative program between the high schools in Indiana and the university at Bloomington. It allows high school seniors to enroll in the IU freshman classes that are taught in the high schools. The program was modeled after Syracuse University's Project Advance and was implemented with six pilot schools in 1982 (Lave, 1984). students are required to meet IU-ACP admissions standards, including grade point average and entrance examination performance. The high schools also can add criteria for participation. Based on those criteria, the high schools recruit students for the program (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). Courses are taught at the high school by high school faculty members who have been approved by IU. In 1983-84, courses offered included English, math, chemistry, and psychology (Lave, 1984). The Advance College Project is a cooperative effort of the university and the high school faculty. The university invites high school personnel to an orientation where information about the project is shared. The invitations are extended based on the high school's academic program. The high school

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29 personnel decide whether to participate and which courses to offer after considering the school's needs and the expertise of the faculty. The university requires that the high school teachers who teach the courses have at least five years of teaching experience and a master's degree. The high school principal selects the teachers but they must be approved by Indiana University. Upon approval, the teachers gain adjunct status with the university. The teachers also attend a seminar during the summer to help them prepare, and they follow the IU course syllabi (Lave, 1984). Teachers may prepare lesson plans for approval by the IU faculty if they wish to do so (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). Classes contain both Advance College Project and regular high school students. The ACP students may receive both high school and college credit, while the regular students receive high school credit only (Lave, 1984). The program is evaluated through teacher questionnaires, comparability assessments which measure course performance, and student questionnaires about course satisfaction (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). Summary The majority of these five models rely on recommendations from high school faculty to admit students.

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30 Grade point average and test results are also considered. The model programs are divided on course presentation with some programs being offered at the high school and some at the college. Both professors and high school teachers teach early entrance students. Generally the students in these models can receive both high school and college credit for the courses. The procedures for paying for the courses range from full payment by the student to payment by the school district, and there are numerous variations on those procedures. Unique Characteristics of Other Programs A number of other accelerated high school programs in New York, Florida, Texas, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Virginia were reviewed. Each utilized different ways of addressing admissions, course presentation, credits, and cost. Those programs with unique procedures are covered briefly in this section. Admissions The programs differ in requirements for admis-sian. Most focus on the accelerated student, but a few accept students with a wide range of abilities.

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31 In the pattern of the LaGuardia Middle College, the College Now Program of Kingsborough College in New York was developed for the moderate-achieving student who may not have considered college as an option. The Tallahassee Community College's State Dual Enrollment Program in Florida requires only that the student be enrolled in high school and certify the intent to pursue a college career (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). Most colleges, however, utilize test scores, grade point averages, and recommendations to determine admissions to an early entrance program. In addition, in the Rhode Island College Early Enrichment Program, students must complete graduation requirements by the end of the 11th grade. Both the Roanoke-Chowan Technical College Pre-Freshman Program in Roanoke, Virginia, and the University of California at Berkeley admit students based only on school recommendation. California State University at Stanislaus admits students to its accelerated program using the Advanced Placement procedures and criteria (Wilbur, Lambert & Young, 1988). One early entrance program that is unusual in its admissions is the Gifted Math Program at the University of New York-Buffalo. students can begin

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32 this program in the seventh grade if their math test scores and school recommendations indicate they have the necessary abilities. The students continue accumulating college credit throughout their public school career. Generally, in the accelerated programs reviewed, students were admitted after the lOth or 11th grade based on high school grade point average, college entrance test results, and high school recommendations. Course Presentation The selection of faculty to teach the accelerated courses, the sites of the courses, and the requirements imposed on those taking the classes also vary widely. The instructors are usually either high school teachers who are proficient in the subject matter or professors at the university. In the Gifted Math Program at the University of New York-Buffalo secondary teachers are selected for their mastery in math and must spend at least one year observing and assisting in instruction before having a class of their own (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). This program, the Adelphi Program and the SCALE program at c. w. Post College in New York involve careful monitoring of the high school teachers by university

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33 faculty. The high school teachers receive adjunct faculty status, and, in SCALE, the high school teacher and the college faculty work together to develop course outlines and exams (Wilbur, 1982). Many programs, such as the Kenyon College (Ohio) program and the cooperative program between Our Lady of Providence High School and Indiana University, use university or college professors to teach the courses to early entrants (Wilbur, 1982). Two variations on this are in California. In the Uncommon Core Program at California State (Stanislaus), each student has a faculty mentor who directs independent study. A recent at California State Polytechnic University allows students to take courses through a television network which allows students to interact directly with the instructor, a professor at California Polytechnic, through advanced audio technology (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). A cooperative approach to instruction is sometimes used. The Adopt-A-Classroom project, an early entrance program sponsored by Texas Tech Uni versity in cooperation with Lubbock high schools, has 141 professors available once a week to serve as general resources for the accelerated classes and as exchange teachers while the high school teachers make

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guest appearances in the professors' undergraduate classes (Ishler & Leslie, 1987). 34 Sites and times of course offerings also have some unique adaptations. Courses usually are offered at the high school or at the college during the regular school day. A number of colleges, however, such as the Pre-Freshman Program at Roanoke-Chowan Technical College and the Gifted Math Program at the University of New York-Buffalo, offer courses outside of the regular school day (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). City University of New York allows students to take classes at the campus after school or during the summer. Most programs, whether offered at the high school or at the college, are local and students live at home, but at the Clarkson School in New York, students in an accelerated science and math program live in houses near the campus and attend classes at the college (Maeroff, 1983). In addition to innovations in course presentation, requirements of students also vary with the program. Most programs require some classes to be taken at the high school. Oshkosh West High School in Wisconsin requires two classes at the high school, but the students may take the rest of the courses at the college. The University of California at Berkeley

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35 has students attend four periods a day at the high school level; they may take no more than two courses per term at the college (Wilbur, 1982). Many programs such as College Now require college classes in addition to those needed to satisfy high school requirements. The New School in New York, however, allows high school students to take a full load of lower division courses at the college (Whitlock, 1978). Although most schools try to maintain the student's status as a high school student, at some colleges, such as the University of CaliforniaBerkeley, c. w. Post, and Adelphi, students have all of the rights and responsibilities of a full-time college student. Credits The majority of the institutions reviewed grant college credit for courses taken. Some colleges, such as the University of New York at Buffalo, and C. W. Post's SCALE program allow for dual credit; the students receive both high school and college credit for the courses taken (Greenberg, 1982). Some variations include the granting of Advanced Placement credit for courses taken at Kenyon College (Ohio) and a frozen credit system which holds college credit in escrow until the student completes high school and

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36 enters college. This system is used at Empire State College in New York and at Florida's Tallahassee Community College (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). Programs also differ in the way costs are handled. Cost procedures range from students paying full tuition to full payment by the school or the state. In the cooperative program between Our Lady of Providence High School in Indiana and Indiana University, students pay both high school and college tuition, plus books. The university pays the instructors and the high school provides the facilities (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988). This section has summarized some unique ways of treating admissions, course presentation, credits, and cost procedures in implementation of a number of early entrance programs. The next section outlines the results of some of these programs and the model programs covered earlier. Findings on Accelerated Programs Both formal studies and informal follow-up have been done on the participation in and the impact of the accelerated programs described earlier in this

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37 chapter. The findings are outlined in the following sections. Participation Follow-up studies indicate that acceleration programs have experienced a growth in participation since inception. Wilbur, Lambert, and Young detailed this growth in the 1988 summary, School-College Partnerships. They reported that Project Advance at Syracuse University has grown from its six pilot schools in 1973 to a membership of 84 high schools and 3800 students from New York, Maine, Michigan, and New Jersey. The Advance College Project at Indiana University also began with six pilot schools in 1982 and reported working with 42 high schools during the 1986-87 school year. some of the less well-known programs also showed growth. The College Now Program at Kingsborough College (New York) had grown to 13 high schools and 1700 students in 1986 after beginning with four high schools in the fall of 1984 (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988, pp. 12-15). Some programs have experienced less impressive growth. The Minnesota Plan, enacted by the Minnesota legislature, involved offering students the opportunity to take college courses in high school and earn dual credit for those classes. Figures show,

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38 however, that about 5400 students used the postsecondary option in 1988 (Shanker, 1989). This student enrollment is larger than the number reported to be enrolled in Project Advance or the Advance College Project, but those are not statewide programs. While these participation studies show an increase in enrollment in accelerated programs, enrollment does not appear to be substantial in terms of the total student population. Performance and Impact Other studies of accelerated programs focused on performance of students. An early study at the University of southern California compared grade point averages of early entrants to those of regularly enrolled students and a study of the United States International University Middle College in 1980 compared performance of early admissions students to the regularly enrolled students. Janet Lave, in 1984, also compared test performance of students in the Advance College Project. She also investigated students' and teachers' views of the Advance College Project as well as following up on the students as they continued their higher education. The studies by Doxey (1980) and Lave, in particular, furnished

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39 much of the data on performance. Those findings are summarized below. Performance. Comparison of grade point averages (GPA) and test results were the primary means of measuring student performance and making comparisons. Doxey cited the 1970 Jordan and Michael study of the Resident Honors Program for high school seniors at the University of Southern California from 1961-67. They reported that the honors group earned a GPA lower than the regularly enrolled students and that twice as many of those students left college before graduation (Doxey, 1980, p. 28). Different results were reported by Doxey, however, in his 1980 report on the Middle College program at the United states International University. Doxey researched the articulation of early admissions into the Middle College at USIU for the years 1971-74. The Middle College accepted high school students in the accelerated program as well as traditional admittants who were seeking an associate's degree. Doxey examined the academic achievement of early admissions students in the program and compared that achievement over a three-year period to that of the traditional admittants to the Middle College and the USIU college freshmen who were not early admittants.

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40 The areas of comparison were high school GPA, USIU GPA, scores on the Sequential Tests of Educational Progress (STEP), and age of entrance. These variables were compared by t-tests at the .05 level of significance. The research was unique in that the student population had a wide range of academic abilities as indicated by high school GPA. Significant differences were found in all of the variables except high school GPA. The early admissions group showed no significant change in GPA from high school to the Middle College. The traditional admittants to the Middle College improved their GPA in college, and the regular freshman admittants at USIU had a significant drop in GPA from high school to college, although they completed more total units at USIU than the other two groups. Doxey felt this group may have found college work more difficult (Doxey, 1980). Although the early entrance students did not excel in GPA or on the STEP tests, they did not regress in their performance, and in most cases they outperformed the comparison students (Doxey, 1980, p. 73). In studying the effect of age, Doxey separated the early admissions group into two categories, those who were above the 50th percentile in age and those

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41 who were below the 50th percentile. He found that the early admissions students who entered USIU at a younger age had a higher USIU GPA and a higher percentile score on the STEP tests (though not statistically significant) than the early admittants who were above the 50th percentile on the age scale. These younger students "scored higher on all of the STEP tests and had the highest high school GPA perhaps because they had not yet suffered much exposure to senioritis11 Doxey, 1980, p. 93). Doxey (1980) concluded that because the younger members of the early admissions to Middle College group had achieved so well, the last two years of high school may not be worthwhile. Considering that students with a wide range of abilities as measured by GPA were used for the study, he questioned whether only students of high academic achievement could benefit from early admissions. 11The study shows that a wide variety of students can benefit11 (p. 83). Lave's 1984 study investigated the performance of students who were enrolled in the Advance College Project in 1983-1984. These 453 students were enrolled for a total of 1671 Indiana University credit hours. Lave reported that 61% of these ACP students were in the top 20% of their high school classes as

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42 determined by high school GPA, with 3.5% of the ACP students falling below the 50th percentile of their high school classes. In contrast, 50% of the regular IU freshmen were in the top 20% of their class with 5% falling below the 50th percentile. The average SAT scores of the ACP students were significantly higher than those of the IU in-state freshmen. On the verbal portion of the test, the mean ACP score was 475, and the mean IU freshman score was 453. On the math section, the ACP students scored 537 and the IU students, 500 (Lave, 1984, p. 15). Thus, the early entrants showed a higher level of SAT achievement than the regularly enrolled college freshmen. Lave (1984) also charted students' performance in English, math, and chemistry classes based on their final course grades. In those three subjects, 39% of the ACP students received A's, 43% received B's, and 15% received C's for their final course grades. Less than 4% of the Advance College Project students enrolled in those courses in 1983-84 received less than a c. Informal reports of other programs indicated higher achievement by early entrants. Students in the early entrance program at the Skidmore College

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43 University Without Walls were reported to have scored higher than the average freshmen on standardized tests (Whitlock, 1978), and at syracuse University Project Advance students did at least as well as college freshmen who took the same classes (Whitlock, 1978). A survey of the Project Advance class of 1977 showed that most students exempted from introductory-level classes as a result of their previous Syracuse University coursework received grades equal to or higher than their Project Advance grades (Wilbur, 1982). These performance studies by Doxey (1980) and Lave (1984) indicated that accelerated students were able to achieve, and in some cases excel, at the college level. Impact. In addition to comparing academic scores, Lave (1984) also collected data from students and teachers about their reactions to the program. Of the 453 students surveyed, 404 (89%) returned questionnaires. Lave questioned ACP students about their reasons for taking the courses. The students could check multiple reasons; reasons checked are listed in order of frequency in Table 2.1 Of the Advance College Project students responding, 287 (71%) indicated that they were very glad to

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44 Table 2.1 Reasons for Enrolling in the Advance College Project Number of Times Indicated 369 326 200 191 167 Reason To get a head start on college To earn dual credit To learn what a college course is like Expected the course to be more individualized like high school To see if I could do college work Note. From Advance College Project Final Evaluation Report: 1983-84 School Year by J. Lave. 1984. (Bloomington: Indiana University), p. 16. have taken the ACP course, and 92% (245} of the ACP students taking freshman English through IU recom-mended the concept of having college courses in the high school (Lave, 1984, p. 36). Lave (1984} followed up on these ACP students to determine where they continued their higher education. The results are listed in Table 2.2. Interestingly, over half of the early entrance students in this study continued on at Indiana University. Of the students in this group, only 27

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did not transfer their ACP credits (Lave, 1984, p. 46). Table 2.2 Higher Education Choices of Post-ACT Students (1983-84) Percent of Students 53 15 9 3 8 4 students 3 students Higher Education Institution Indiana University at Bloomington Another state college in Indiana Private college in Indiana out-of-state public college out-of-state private college Military Did not attend college 45 Note. From Advance College Final Evaluation Report: 1983-1984 School Year by J. Lave. 1984. (Bloomington: Indiana University), p. 46. Lave's (1984) study also questioned teachers regarding their satisfaction with the courses. Twenty-nine high school teachers participated in the project in 1983-84, and 19 (66%) responded on questionnaires that they were very glad to be a part of the project. Twenty-six of the 29 teachers felt that the ACP course they taught was appropriate for the high school students, and most said that the ACP

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46 courses caused no problems in their high school (Lave, 1984, p. 48). Both students and teachers in the Advance College Project reported satisfaction with the program, and a large percentage of the students continued their education at Indiana University. Participant Reports In addition to these studies of the impact of accelerated programs, participating students, schools, and colleges have reported both disadvantages and advantages to accelerated programs. Disadvantages The participants in early entrance programs cited problems with acceleration in the areas of administration, instructors, and student adjustment. Administration. Paperwork and administrative difficulties hindered some early entrance programs. Paperwork was increased as a result of the introduction of the Middle College at LaGuardia College in New York {Greenberg, 1982). Transfer of credits was also difficult at times, especially in the case of lesser known schools, such as c. w. Post College (Wilbur, 1982). Another problem encountered

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47 by smaller schools, as reported by Simon's Rock early College, was that more than one half of the students left at the end of every year. This was attributed to a lack of confidence in the faculty when compared to some of the "better" colleges (Whitlock, 1978). Colleges, too, faced administrative difficulties. LaGuardia experienced problems with needing extra space as both high school and college students were using the facilities. There also was animosity about the use of facilities when a professor or college student couldn't use them because the high school was there (Greenberg, 1982). Instructors. Some high school teachers involved in Project Advance complained about having little to say about the curriculum of the course, as the university set the curriculum (Whitlock, 1978). The Adelphi Program in New York also used high school teachers to teach their college-level courses. They reported a lack of verification of the level of work demanded and that independent work was not expected of the student in the college class (Whitlock, 1978). More significant than the problems of administrators and instructors were some adjustment problems experienced by participating students.

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Students. The follow-up studies on early entrants in the 1950s conducted by the Ford Foun-dation program, found that, after the first year, most colleges dropped the special orientation and advisory programs set up for the early admissions, 48 and students had resulting adjustment difficulties. This continued to be a problem for students in early entrance programs according to reports by institu-tions (Whitlock, 1978). LaGuardia reported students fighting, vandalism, and horsing around in public spaces (Maeroff, 1983), and Simon's Rock stated that more than 90% of the problems were social ones which required the college faculty to be advisors as well as academicians (Whitlock, 1978). Some students had difficulty meeting the demands of college work. Skidmore College; in its University Without Walls experiment, found that students were not able to handle working on individual study projects without experience or careful training or structure (Whitlock, 1978). This maturity problem was echoed by an instructor at Simon's Rock Early College. I have taught a group of brilliant high school seniors for a year without getting them to the college level they would not bring their personal lives into an understanding and analysis of the literature they were studying College is the place you do that, and college

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seems "out there" to them while they are in secondary school. (p. 75) 49 This inability to apply higher level thinking skills was a disadvantage cited by some colleges. Emotionally, some students also had adjustment problems. Some college students at LaGuardia College tended to resent the early entrants and served as negative role models (Greenberg, 1982). A by-product of this was a change in students' attitudes toward their peers. some of them developed a snobbish attitude about their "elevated" status. In addition, the New School in New York reported that ''students' schedules and workloads separated them from the high school group, leaving them little time to form close personal ties with peers" (Whitlock, 1978, p. 122). Advantages In spite of the disadvantages for administrators, instructors, and students, a number of advantages were cited by students and participating institutions. students and high school and college personnel reported benefits received from their participation in an early entrance program. students. students experienced advantages in increased self-esteem, increased familiarity with college expectations, and decreased costs. LaGuardia

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50 Middle College reported increased self-esteem for early entrance students as did our Lady of Providence High School in Clarksville, Indiana. Eighty-nine percent of the students surveyed in the Indiana program said that it built their self-confidence to perform well in college (Wilbur, 1982). Other students echoed this sentiment. They felt that the accelerated programs served as a bridge to college. A student in Project Advance said, "you work hard . much harder in college Project Advance was a good stepping stone for me" (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988, p. 13). Lave's study of the Advance College Project involved questioning students about their views of the benefits of the courses. Gaining new skills that would be useful in college was checked by 80% of the students responding on the questionnaire. Improvement of time management skills and study habits was also cited as a benefit by respondents. On an emotional level, 83% of the students said that a benefit was that they were looking forward to attending college as a result of participation in the ACP (Lave, 1984, p. 42). Accelerated programs also provided new challenges for students in the Uncommon Core project at

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51 California state University at Stanislaus: The Uncommon Core has been reality therapy' for some very comfortable, non-risk-taking kings of the academic heap; when it came to pursuing an independent project, they discovered deficiencies tied in to rote learning and high school ability to score well on the Friday quiz. (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988, p. 16) In addition to increased academic challenges, decreased costs were a benefit to some students. At the United States International University Middle College, tuition costs were lower than for regular college students and high school students were thus able to get a one-year jump on college at a very small cost (Doxey, 1980). Simon's Rock Early College and Matteo Ricci College reported a possible elimination of two years of schooling costs for students (Whitlock, 1978). Thus, the program not only helped students make the transition from high school to college, but also decreased the costs for many. Schools and colleges. Benefits of early entrance programs also accrued to high schools and colleges. At the high school level, Project Advance reported increased accountability in curriculum development at the high school level, especially in math and English (Wilbur, 1982). The number of curricular offerings was also increased in the case of the LaGuardia Middle College program (Greenberg, 1982). Shanker (1989)

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52 reported an unexpected result of the Minnesota Plan: it induced some high schools to add Advanced Placement classes for fear of losing students to local colleges. LaGuardia College reported a decrease in the dropout rate due to the Middle College program (Maeroff, 1983). Some students in Minnesota who had dropped out of high school returned to complete their work on college campuses, a follow-up study of the Minnesota Plan revealed (Shanker, 1989). Thus, some schools also saw that the accelerated programs could benefit the at-risk student. Instructors, both at the high school and at the college, profited from early entrance programs. High school teachers who participated were able to interact with college professors and take advantage of the superior facilities at the colleges (Greenberg, 1982). More importantly, a feeling of mutual respect developed between high school and college faculty involved in Project Advance (Maeroff, 1983). The result of such cooperation was summarized by a member of Seattle University's faculty in talking about the cooperative program with Matteo Ricci College: It forced faculty members to look at what and how we really want our students to learn The result has been better teaching at both levels, a deep sense of mutual respect by both

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faculties, and a pride of ownership' that contributes to enthusiasm for teaching. (Wilbur, Lambert, & Young, 1988, p. 14) College instructors in the Texas Tech Adopt-A-53 Classroom Program also benefitted by having the oppor-tunity to increase their status in the college and get promotion, tenure, and merit pay. Additionally, new opportunities for grant proposals were created (Ishler & Leslie, 1987). In addition, colleges saw recruitment possi-bilities. LaGuardia reported 30-50% of the early entrants continued on at the college (Greenberg, 1982), and Lave's (1984) study of the ACP program showed that 53% of the students continued to attend Indiana University after graduating from high school. In the Adopt-A-Classroom Project, Texas Tech assumed that having 141 Texas Tech faculty members visible in the Lubbock schools every week would pay dividends in recruiting those accelerated students who participated (Ishler & Leslie, 1987). Thus, students, schools, and colleges participating in accelerated programs reported a number of advantages to the programs, both for the participants and for the institutions involved.

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54 Acceleration in Colorado Institutions in Colorado were not unaware of the advantages of acceleration. Prior to 1981, a number of institutions of higher education in Colorado had provisions for students to take college classes while still in high school. In most cases, however, the students paid tuition for those classes and usually took the college classes concurrently with finishing their high school requirements (Elofsen, 1986). The Fast Track Program was similar to accelerated programs described above, but it differed in that the majority of those programs were initiated by the high schools or colleges while the Fast Track Program was a result of legislation. CRS 22-34-101 established the high school Fast Track Program for students who had fulfilled graduation requirements and required that the school district pay tuition for college classes taken by those students. The act did allow the school districts latitude in determining where the courses would be held and with which institutions they would cooperate. Colleges in Colorado produced programs in response to CRS 22-34-101 and available literature on three cooperative programs was reviewed: Pikes Peak

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Community College, AIMS community College, and Northeastern Junior College. 55 At Pikes Peak Community College, high school students are admitted to the college based on the results of an entrance examination and the recommendation of the high school. Courses are taught at high schools and at the college. High school teachers who teach the courses must have a master's degree in the subject matter and must use the college texts. Dual credit is granted to participating students and students are charged a $10.00 participation fee (Phillips, 1988). Aims Community College in Greeley also advertises its Rising Seniors Program for accelerated students. To be admitted, students must be 16 years or older and have permission from the high school principal. Entrance exams are not required. students in this program take classes after school or in the summer concurrently with their high school classes. Credit is granted through the high school and students may apply that credit at the college after they graduate from high school. Tuition is free to those students in the Rising seniors Program (Rising Seniors Program, 1986).

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56 Finally, the HEADS program is a cooperative program between the Otis school district and Northeastern Junior College. In this program, students take college courses at the high school both during the school day and evenings. The program uses instructors from the college, but supplements this with a qaily lab at the high school using high school teachers (Final Project Description: HEADS Project, 1986). In this program, the high school pays tuition for the students, but students have not completed graduation requirements. None of these three programs is referred to as specifically "Fast Track" in the literature. They do, however, provide opportunities for acceleration and appear to meet the specifications of CRS 22-34-101. summary This chapter traced accelerated programs in the United States from such early entrants as Jonathan Edwards in the 18th century to Indiana University's Advance College Project begun in 1982. Reasons for acceleration included the need for less duplication at the high school and college levels, a need for more challenging courses for some students, and the

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57 possibility of a monetary savings for students. The early entrance programs at five institutions were detailed. Their methods of handling admissions, course presentation, credits, and cost were outlined, as were the unique characteristics of some other programs. The results of some significant studies of accelerated programs in the areas of participation, performance, and impact were described. Those studies showed that most accelerated programs produced mixed, though generally positive, results. Finally, accelerated programs in Colorado, including the Fast Track Program, were described.

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CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY The purpose of this research was to determine the extent of the implementation of the Fast Track Program (CRS 22-34-101) (Appendix A) in Colorado public schools. Where the program was implemented, information was gathered regarding policies and pro-cedures that had been developed and the effects of the program on students, schools, colleges, and universities. Information about reasons for lack of implementation was also sought. Rationale Because the study sought both numerical data on participation and opinions about the effects of the Fast Track Program, a complementary processes model was chosen for data collection, recording, and analysis. This model differs from both triangulation and bracketing models. campbell conducted research on the morale of submarine crews and found an impressive level of agreement between the judgements of his informants and the morale questionnaires of the ship's crew members. This demonstrates that it is possible to combine

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59 informal judgements and subjects' questionnaires and find a high level of agreement. (Mark & Shetland, l987a) In campbell's approach, known as triangulation, dif-ferent methods are used to analyze the same types of data to prove a single hypothesis. The bracketing model, as explained in Mark and Shetland (l987b) is based on the idea that "the results of different methods be considered as alternative estimates of the correct answer" (pp. 96-97). In this method, a range of estimates is produced which is more likely to include the correct answer. Although both triangulation and bracketing emphasize multiple methods of analysis, the method most appropriate for this study was determined to be the complementary processes model. Mark and Shetland (l987b) described this as each method carrying out a different, but complementary function. One method is chosen as the primary method and the other plays a subsidiary role of clarification and enhancement. (p. 98) In this study, the primary method was quantitative in seeking to describe the extent of implementation of the program, and the qualitative methods added information on the participation in and the impact of the program. Thus, both processes addressed different

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60 functions, and the results yielded a complete picture of the Fast Track Program, as implemented in Colorado, prior to 1988. This descriptive study of participation in the Fast Track Program employed broad-based survey instruments that were mailed to districts, high schools, colleges, and universities in Colorado to collect initial information about participation. The impact of participation was investigated through structured telephone interviews with superintendents of participating districts, principals and counselors in public high schools in those districts, students who participated in the program, their parents, and admissions directors in colleges identified as participating by the superintendents. In addition, policies relating to the Fast Track Program were requested and those received were analyzed to identify trends among participants. Structured telephone interviews also were conducted with superintendents to investigate reasons for lack of use of the program. A similar process using nonstructured interviews with principals and college admissions directors who were not involved in the program was used to gain information about reasons for nonparticipation. These data

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sources provided in-depth information to answer the research questions. Research Questions Broad questions which provided focus for this proposed study included: 61 1. How many districts and public high schools in Colorado have implemented the Fast Track Program? 2. What policies and procedures have those districts and schools developed? 3. What reasons do districts, schools, and colleges give for not using the program? 4. How many students finish graduation requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year? To what degree do those who do finish participate? 5. Are size and location of schools related to implementation? 6. To what extent do institutions of higher education participate in the program? 7. What impact has the program had on students, schools, and colleges? Initial survey An initial participation survey (see Appendix B), the purpose of which was to measure the degree of

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62 implementation of the Fast Track Program in Colorado, was constructed and piloted with the 14 superintendents in the San Luis Valley in February, 1987. All surveys were returned without any questions from those superintendents. Following that pilot, in April, 1987, the survey was mailed to superintendents of the remaining 162 districts in Colorado as listed in the 1986-87 Colorado Department of Education Directory. The survey was designed primarily to determine if the Fast Track Program was being used in the districts. If it was, a copy of the related policy and the name of a contact person were requested. If it had not been implemented, the respondent was asked to indicate the reasons for nonparticipation by checking those applicable from a list provided on the survey. Of the 176 surveys mailed, including the 14 San Luis Valley districts piloted, 143 surveys were returned to the researcher, a return of 81%. Respondents from 38 districts indicated that they used the Fast Track Program. The results of the initial survey indicated that there were sufficient numbers using the program to justify pursuit of the study and that there were specific reasons for nonuse. The next step was to collect the data.

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63 Data Collection Both survey and interview data were collected in the complementary processes model. Survey The purposes of the surveys were to identify the extent of participation and to collect additional information on participation in Fast Track. The initial survey (Appendix B) was sent to superintendents in April, 1987, for the purpose of identifying districts which had implemented the Fast Track Program. In March, 1988, a second follow-up survey (Appendix C) was sent to the 38 superintendents who responded on the initial survey that the district did use the program. The purpose of this survey was to determine the extent of participation and whether the district met all of the requirements of CRS 22-34101, including that participating students finish high school requirements and that the district pay the college tuition. Thirty-three surveys (87%) and 17 documents were returned in response to requests for copies of policies on Fast Track on the initial and follow-up surveys. To determine principals' knowledge of the Fast Track Program and the number of students who made use

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64 of the program, surveys were sent to the 48 principals in the 38 districts whose superintendents had responded that the district did participate. Of the 48 sent, 45 (92%) were returned. The same survey (Appendix D) was sent to a random sampling of 67 principals in nonparticipating or nonresponding districts to test the validity of the participation information from the initial survey and to determine if there were isolated cases of implementation of which the superintendents were unaware. The Colorado High Schools Activities Association Directory was used to determine the population of principals to be surveyed. The 24 private schools listed in the directory, as well as the 48 high schools in the participating districts, were deleted, leaving 201 schools. One third (67) were selected to be surveyed by taking every third school listed in the directory after the above schools were deleted. Of the 67 surveys, 61 (91%) were returned. Five of those 61 were from the seven large districts which did not respond on the initial survey. Finally, college admissions directors in all 27 of the two-and four-year institutions of higher education in Colorado as listed in the 1986-87 Colorado Department of Education Directory, were

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65 surveyed (Appendix E) to explore the involvement of colleges and universities in the Fast Track Program. Twenty-five surveys were returned. One additional survey was returned in late April, 1989, after data collection and analysis had been completed. Each of the above surveys described CRS 22-34-101, including the two provisions regarding completion of high school requirements and payment of tuition. Surveys were color-coded to increase the efficiency of data recording. The surveys furnished most of the quantitative data for the study and the majority of the information relevant to participation. Interviews Additional data on participation, impact, and reasons for nonparticipation were collected through comments on the surveys returned and through interviews. Ten superintendents who had indicated on the follow-up survey that their district participated and whose principals confirmed participation were selected to be interviewed, using the structured interview questions in Appendix F. Those 13 high school principals who had confirmed participation and 13 counselors in those schools were also interviewed by telephone using structured interview questions (Appendix F). students' names were received from

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66 counselors in seven of those schools, and 10 students and their parents were interviewed. Two additional students' names were released by the schools, but the students were in military academies and could not be reached. Two counselors were unable to furnish names. Finally, admissions personnel in the seven colleges or universities identified by the 10 superintendents as participating in the program were telephoned to gather data on the participation by higher education institutions and the resulting impact. In addition, nine of the 67 principals from districts originally identified as nonparticipating who were randomly surveyed checked on the surveys that the school did participate. Four of those nine stated that the school participated and that students had completed requirements before their senior year. Those principals were telephoned to clarify if students did complete requirements. The questions in Appendix F were used in these interviews. The interviews of participants furnished the anecdotal information that provided most of the data for analysis of impact. Surveys that indicated nonparticipation were received from superintendents, principals, and college admissions directors, and people in each of those categories were interviewed by telephone to gather

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67 information on reasons for nonparticipation, and to affirm that participation had not occurred after the surveys were collected. Five of the 25 superintendents who checked cost on the initial survey as the primary reason for not using the Fast Track Program and 5 of the 28 who checked lack of information on the initial survey, were selected by taking every fifth survey response. Those superintendents were interviewed by telephone using the questions in Appendix F. Further, because the survey of the 48 principals in the 38 participating districts revealed that some schools in those districts did not participate, three nonparticipating principals from those districts were selected and asked to expand upon their reasons in a nonstructured telephone interview. Twenty-one surveys from principals indicated that the Fast Track Program was not in effect in those districts. The surveys were arranged alphabetically and every seventh principal was interviewed to discuss reasons for nonparticipation. Three principals of the 67 surveyed from districts originally identified as nonparticipating were asked in a nonstructured interview to elaborate on their reasons for nonparticipation. These principals were selected by pulling every 17th survey respondent of the 52

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68 indicating nonparticipation. Finally, to gain insight into reasons for nonparticipation by higher education institutions, three college admissions directors were telephoned and interviewed in a nonstructured manner to gain more information about their reasons. These were selected in the same manner employed to select principals for interviews. These interviews with nonparticipants in the various categories furnished data to answer the third research question. Data Recording Data collected from surveys and interviews were recorded by hand by the researcher. The Research Log was used to file data as well as to record procedures followed by the researcher. Interview answers and survey comments were also recorded in the Research Log as described below. Mailed surveys returned by superintendents, principals, and college admissions directors were checked off the master list as they were received. Those surveys from superintendents and principals were assigned a number which identified the district and were put into alphabetical order. Responses to the surveys were recorded by hand by the researcher and then entered into the computer. surveys and

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69 policies received were filed in the Research Log, and survey comments were recorded there as well. Telephone interview data were hand recorded by the researcher as the interviews were in progress. Answers were written on a sheet of structured interview questions (Appendix E) prepared for each respondent. After the interviews, the responses were recorded on the computer under the category of the question asked and put in the Research Log. District or higher education institution identification was maintained for each entry in the Research Log. Additional comments made by the respondents were also re-recorded in the Log. Both the numerical and the anecdotal data were uncomplicated and did not need extensive procedures for recording. Likewise, the analysis was straightforward, concerned largely with identifying the extent of implementation and the impact of the Fast Track Program. Data Presentation and Analysis This study examined the status of the Fast Track Program in Colorado. Measuring participation and presenting a composite view of the impact of the program were the major objectives. The analysis of the

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data combined both quantitative and qualitative methods to yield a descriptive narrative of the program. By using surveys and interviews and by analyzing the research questions from both a quantitative and a qualitative perspective, the researcher was able to provide a broad view of the program. 70 surveys produced most of the hard data for this analysis, and a minimum 80% return of those surveys was sought. Because the questionnaires were developed by the researcher, no standardized index of reliability existed. However, the external validity of the questions has been established through several methods as outlined by Daemon (1987). An expert in statistical analysis, Dr. Al Nelson (Appendix I), was commissioned to review the questions on the surveys and interviews to ensure that they would produce the desired information relevant to the research questions. In addition, the questions asked in the study were designed to address the requirements of the law (CRS 22-34-101). Finally, those impacted in the target population were interviewed to gain information from a representative group. These three cross-checking procedures increased the external validity.

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The analysis was done under the categories of Participation, Impact, and Non-Participation. Each of these categories is described in the following sections. Participation 71 Participation analysis focused primarily on determining the numbers that had implemented and participated in the program; survey data provided much of this information. Interview data supplemented this and trends were described. Research Questions One, Four, Five, and Six addressed participation in the Fast Track Program. These questions, the sources of information for answering them, and the means of coding and analyzing that data are addressed in this section. Research Question one. How many districts and public high schools in Colorado have implemented the Fast Track Program? This question was answered through analyzing responses to the survey questions: Does your school district make use of the Fast Track Program as outlined in CRS 22-34-101? (Superintendent)

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Is the Fast Track Program utilized in your school? (Principal) 72 The responses to the initial survey were separated into two groups: those that indicated participation and those that did not. The percentage of the total number of districts in Colorado was computed for each category. The follow-up survey mailed to superintendents in the 38 participating districts sought to confirm participation in those districts. Responses by principals in the 48 high schools in the 38 participating districts were analyzed to determine implementation at the high school level and to confirm district implementation. A district-by-district comparison of superintendents and principals' responses was made and a table constructed. In addition, the responses from the 67 principals in districts identified as nonparticipating on the initial survey were inspected to determine if these districts were participating in some form. In analyzing participation, two categories were established. The Full Compliance category encompassed those districts in which (1) students completed graduation requirements prior to their senior year and (2) for whom the district paid college tuition.

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73 In Modified Compliance districts, one or both of these stipulations were not met, but some form of schoolcollege cooperation existed. These data were gathered from responses to questions on the superintendents' and principals' surveys about requirements and tuition payment. Comments on surveys and from interviews of superintendents, principals, counselors, and students in participating districts, as well as those of college admissions personnel working with those districts supplemented the data obtained from the surveys regarding district and school participation. student participation was addressed by Research Question Four. Research Question Four. How many students finish graduation requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year? To what degree do those who do finish participate? To answer this question, superintendents, principals, and college admissions directors were asked how many students participated in the Fast Track Program on the average, and superintendents and principals were asked to indicate the number of students who finished requirements prior to their senior year. Students also were asked in interviews about finishing requirements and about the number of classes they

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74 took at the high school and at the college. Student participation by district and the number of students participating, as reported by both the superintendent and the principal(s) in that district were presented by district number in a table. These reportswere compared to the estimates of the students participating annually as reported by college admissions directors. Comments on surveys and in interviews were supplementary to the survey data on student participation. The influence of demographics on participation was covered by Research Question Five. Research Question Five. Are size and location of schools related to implementation? This question was analyzed by coding districts and schools according to size and location. District classifications according to total student population were: 300 or less; 301-600; 601-1,200; 1,201-6,000; 6,001-25,000; and over 25,000. High schools were also grouped by total student populations: Less than 150 students; 151-600 students; 601-1,200 students; and over 1,200 students. Location categories included: Western Slope, Northern Front Range, and Southern Front Range. The numbers of participating districts and schools in each size and location

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75 category were compared to determine if there was a difference in participation by small versus large schools, and if there was a difference in participation based on location. The initial surveys, the follow-up surveys, and the principals' surveys provided the data for this analysis of the influence of size and location on participation. Participation by colleges and universities was analyzed under Research Question Six. Research Question Six. To what extent do institutions of higher education participate in the program? This question focused on the role of institutions of higher education in the Fast Track Program. Information on college participation was reported by both superintendents of participating districts and by college admissions directors on surveys. Responses from college admissions directors, as well as superintendents' responses about the institutions they worked with, were analyzed to determine the number of institutions participating, and the number of districts with which they cooperated. To supplement Research Questions One, Four, Five, and Six, superintendents and principals who indicated participation were asked on surveys to supply the

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76 number of years the district or school had been participating in the Fast Track Program. The mean number of years of implementation and the range were recorded and the responses of superintendents and principals were compared. The participation data analysis focused largely on numbers, but impact data analysis was concerned primarily with the procedures and the effects of the Fast Track Program. Impact Analysis The policies and procedures devised by those participating in the program and the advantages and disadvantages of the Fast Track Program as viewed by those participants were the subjects of Research Questions Two and Seven. The analysis of impact consisted largely of comparing viewpoints of participants to determine if a pattern existed. Research Question Two. What policies and procedures have those districts and schools developed? This question was answered by analysis of the policies received in response to question two on the initial survey and from interview responses of participating superintendents, principals, counselors,

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77 students, their parents, and college admissions directors. The policies were examined for trends in the areas of tuition payment, cost, requirements, and credit. Superintendents also furnished information about finance procedures. Interviews with superintendents, principals, counselors, students, parents, and college admissions directors produced data on the specific practices utilized to make students and parents aware of the program, the procedures used to pay tuition and related costs, the way credits and requirements were handled, and the provision of counseling and assistance for the students. The estimates by superintendents of the cost of the program were presented in a table, using the categories: Don't Know, Under $500; $500-$1,000; $1,001-$3,000; $3,001-$5,000; and over $5,000. Research Question Seven. What impact has the program had on students, schools, and colleges? To analyze interview questions on impact, pat-terns in responses were sought. The sources of information on the impact of the program were those interview questions focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of the program as viewed by the various participants. Data from all of these sources were arranged in tables showing the advantages and

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78 disadvantages of the program as viewed by the participants. These tables were supplemented by further information presented in anecdotal form using categories similar to those listed in the tables. Views were compared and trends were noted. Nonparticipation Analysis Research Question Three examined the views of nonparticipants, in particular, their reasons for not implementing the Fast Track Program. Research Question Three. What reasons do districts, schools, and colleges give for not using the program? The reasons for nonparticipation were gathered from survey and interview data. Questions on the initial superintendents survey, the principals' survey, and the college admissions directors survey asked for reasons for not participating in the program. The survey responses were ranked within and between groups, and a frequency distribution was constructed for each group, as well as for the total of the groups. These quantitative responses gave a numerical picture of the reasons for nonparticipation. Further information regarding cost and lack of information was sought in interviews with superintendents

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from nonparticipating districts. These responses supplemented the numerical data gathered on nonparticipation. 79 Analysis of these data identified the major reasons for lack of implementation from the perspective of the superintendents, principals, and college admissions directors. Similarities in reasons were sought and details about problems preventing implementation were given using the information gathered in the interviews. summary A complementary processes model which used both qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the implementation of CRS 22-34-101, and the impact of that legislation, provided a broad overview of the program as it existed in Colorado, prior to 1988. Data collected from surveys and interviews of superintendents, principals, counselors, students, their parents, and college admissions directors produced varying perspectives on the Fast Track Program. This chapter has described the data collection procedures and the sources of data to answer the research questions. Chapter IV presents the findings of this study.

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CHAPTER IV FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS This study sought to describe the extent of the implementation of the Fast Track Program in Colorado and its impact on schools and students. Data relevant to seven research questions were collected: 1. How many districts and public high schools in Colorado have implemented the Fast Track Program? 2. What policies and procedures have those districts and schools developed? 3. What reasons do districts, schools, and colleges give for not using the program? 4. How many students finish graduation requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year? To what degree do those who do finish participate? 5. Are size and location of schools related to implementation? 6. To what extent do institutions of higher education participate in the program? 7. What impact has the program had on students, schools, and colleges?

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81 Surveys and interviews furnished data to answer these seven questions. For purposes of reporting and analyzing the data, the research questions have been grouped into those related to participation, those related to impact, and those describing nonparticipation. The findings are presented in that order. Participation The extent of implementation of the Fast Track Program in Colorado during the 1987-88 school year was determined initially from answers to survey and interview questions relevant to Research Questions One, Four, Five, and Six. District and School Participation Data Research Question One. How many districts and public high schools in Colorado have implemented the Fast Track Program? The Fast Track Program, as defined in CRS 22-34101, required that the district pay college tuition for students who had completed graduation requirements if those students chose to take college courses. Participation in full compliance with the law would require that these two stipulations be met. Many modifications on the concept made by districts

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82 resulted in a number of districts reporting participation, but not meeting one or both of the requirements of the law. However, in this first analysis of the data, participation was defined narrowly as superintendents and principals' responses to a questionnaire item that asked if the Fast Track Program was in use in the district or school. Superintendents. Two surveys were sent to superintendents to collect information about district participation: an initial survey sent in 1987, and a second follow-up survey sent in 1988 to those superintendents who had indicated participation on the initial survey. The initial survey (Appendix B), sent to all 176 school districts in Colorado in April, 1987, asked superintendents whether the Fast Track Program, as described in CRS 22-34-101, was used in their district. The program was defined, and the stipulations regarding tuition and completion of graduation requirements were outlined in the introduction to the survey. Thirty-three (19%) superintendents did not return the initial survey. The majority of those (26) were from small districts, but superintendents from seven large districts did not four of those seven were in the Denver-Metro area. Of the 143 surveys returned, only 38

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indicated that the program was used. This constituted 22% of the 176 districts in Colorado. 83 Two responses were unclear: one superintendent checked both Yes and No, and another checked Yes, but commented, "Not in place yet." Both of these were included in the participating districts category. In March, 1988, follow-up surveys (Appendix C) were sent to the 38 superintendents above to affirm the extent of participation during the 1987-88 school year. Thirty-three were returned. Of those 33, 2 were incomplete, 6 indicated nonparticipation, and the remaining 25 (14% of all of the districts in Colorado), reported district participation in the Fast Track Program. Based only on the superinten dents responses to the follow-up survey, it is safe to conclude that at least 25 districts were participating in the program during the 1987-88 school year. However, that probably understates district participation for two reasons: superintendents in 33 districts did not respond to the initial survey and hence did not receive follow-up surveys, and 7 of the 38 superintendents who indicated participation on the initial survey did not return or did not complete the follow-up survey. It is quite possible that one or

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84 more of those 40 superintendents were in districts which were participating in the program in some form. Principals. High school principals in participating districts provided a second data source for identifying andjor verifying district participation. All 48 high school principals in those 38 districts identified as participating on the initial superintendents' survey were surveyed. Of the 45 principals responding, 24 (50% of those surveyed) in 19 districts said that their high school participated in the Fast Track Program. The remaining 21 principals indicated nonparticipation. Thus, based only on principals' responses, 24 high schools in 19 districts were participating in the Fast Track Program during the 1987-88 school year. These numbers also are probably low because no response was received from 3 of the 48 principals in potentially participating districts according to the superintendents' responses. Further, one of these nonresponding schools was in a one-high-school district in which the superintendent was also the principal, but only the superintendent's follow-up survey was returned. Additionally, it seems plausible that some high schools in the 33 districts from which no initial

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superintendent's survey had been received could be participating in the program. 85 Comparison of superintendents' and principals' responses. Because the number of districts participating as indicated only by the superintendents' responses to the follow-up survey was 25, and the responses from high school principals in those districts verified participation by only 19 districts, comparison of superintendents' and principals' responses by district was undertaken. Table 4.1 displays the results of this comparison. surveys were sorted to pair principals' and superintendents' follow-up survey responses by district to the question, "Do you participate in the Fast Track Program?" As Table 4.1 indicates, four of the 45 principals' responses returned were received without the corresponding superintendent's response. Thirty-one of the 38 superintendents in districts identified as participating from the initial survey are accounted for. seven who indicated participation on the initial survey did not respond to the follow-up survey. This number includes the two who returned incomplete instruments (indicated by NA in Table 4.1).

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86 Table 4.1 DistrictLSchool ParticiRation: 38 ParticiRating Districts Identified from Initial Survey Superintendent District Response Principal by Number (Follow-Up Survey) Response 1 Yes Yes 2 Yes Yes 3 Yes Yes 4 Yes No 5 Yes No 6 Yes No 7 Yes No Yes Yes Yes NR (NR=No Response) 8 Yes Yes 9 Yes No No 10 Yes Yes 11 Yes No 12 No No 13 No No 14 NA No (NA=No Answer) No No 15 NA Yes 16 Yes No 17 Yes Yes 18 Yes Yes 19 Yes No 20 Yes Yes 21 No No 22 No No 23 Yes No 24 Yes Yes 25 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 26 Yes Yes 27 Yes Yes 28 Yes Yes 29 No No

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87 Table 4.1 (continued) Superintendent District Response Principal by Number (Follow-Up Survey) Response 30 Yes Yes 31 Yes Yes 32 No No 33 Yes NR 34 NR No 35 NR No 36 NR Yes 37 NR Yes 38 NR NR In six districts, the superintendent and the principal(s) in the district agreed that participa-tion did not occur, but in 16 districts, superin-tendents and at least one principal agreed on participation. All told, principals of 21 high schools in those 16 districts indicated participation. Based on the above, 16 districts and 21 high schools in those districts definitely participated. In addition, three principals, one in each of three districts in which the superintendent indicated district participation on the initial survey but did not return the follow-up survey, indicated their high schools were participating. If these three districts are added as participating districts, 24 high schools in 19 districts participated in the Fast Track Program

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88 in 1987-88. If the response from the superintendent in District 33, who also served as high school principal but only returned the superintendent's survey, is accepted as district and high school participation, 25 high schools in 20 districts participated in the Fast Track Program. (These figures exclude the eight districts in which the superintendent indicated district participation, but no high school principal in those districts supported that response. If these responses are included, based on survey responses only, in 28 districts, either the superintendent or the principal(s], or both, responded Yes to the question on participation in the Fast Track Program. Twenty-five high schools in those districts were also identified by principals as participating. This includes the response from the superintendentprincipal in District 33.) Survey: Principals in nonparticipating districts. In addition to the principals in districts identified above as participating, 67 high school principals were randomly selected from the remaining 138 districts in Colorado and surveyed to determine if those high schools were participating. Nine principals from nine districts previously considered to be nonparticipating districts, and not included in

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89 Table 4.1, indicated that the Fast Track Program was used in their schools. If these nine schools and nine districts are considered as participating, at least 34 high schools {approximately 13% of the public high schools), in 29 districts {16% of the districts) in Colorado participated in Fast Track in 1987-88. The number of schools participating could be higher because only 115 of the 249 public high school prin-cipals in colorado were surveyed. {It would also be higher if the other eight districts from which only a superintendent indicated participation were included.) Analysis of District and School Participation In the data reported above, participation was determined solely on the basis of the answers to the question "Does your districtjschool participate in the Fast Track Program?" Additionally, superintendents had been asked: 1. Do students finish graduation requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year? 2. Does the district pay tuition for students in the Fast Track Program? and principals had been asked: 1. How many students finish graduation requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year? In analyzing the nature of participation, the researcher used both responses to these questions on

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90 the superintendents' and principals' surveys and data collected from telephone interviews with 10 superintendents in participating districts and 13 principals of participating high schools. Both survey and interview data are incorporated in the findings reported below. Most of the superintendents and principals reporting participation answered the above questions by saying either that they did not pay tuition or that students did not complete requirements; some indicated that neither requirement was met. In the analysis, two types of districts reporting participation were identified: those districts and schools in full compliance with the provisions of CRS 22-34101 and those in modified compliance. Full compliance participation. Full compliance districts were defined as those in which the superintendent reported (a) participation, (b) that the district paid tuition, and (c) that graduation requirements were met, and where at least one high school principal in the district confirmed satisfaction of the graduation requirements. Three districts (20, 25, and 26 in Table 4.1) and six high schools in those three districts met those criteria. (Although the superintendent in district 25 said

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graduation requirements were not met, four principals in the district identified students as having done so; this district was considered to be in full compliance.) 91 From survey responses, participation at the full compliance level was minimal, encompassing only three districts and six high schools. Survey responses indicated, however, that a number of districts and schools were involved in some modification of the Fast Track program. Modified compliance participation. Modified compliance districts were those in which a superintendent or a principal, or both, affirmed participation in the program, but where one or both of the requirements of CRS 22-34-101 were not met. (Note that this definition varies from that used for full compliance districts. In the discussion that follows, this difference results in a greater number of participating districts than the 20 identified as definitely participating in Table 4.1.) According to the superintendents' responses on the follow-up survey, in 22 districts in which superintendents indicated participation, either the tuition or graduation requirements, or both, were not met. Eleven of those 22 met neither the tuition nor the graduation

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92 requirements. Three did not meet the tuition requirement, and six did not meet the course comple-tion requirement. (Two superintendents reported that the district met both requirements, but this was not confirmed by principals, so those districts were classified as modified compliance districts.) The responses of twelve other principals (three in the 38 districts listed in Table 4.1 whose respon-ses were not verified by a superintendent on the follow-up survey, and nine from the 67 schools identified as being in nonparticipating districts from the initial survey) indicated that graduation require-ments were not met in their districts. Because responses were not received from superintendents in those 12 districts, it was not possible to determine from the survey information if tuition was paid by the district. Thus, from the information received from superintendents and principals, 34 participating' districts (19% of the districts in Colorado) were identified as being in modified compliance. Supporting Data for District and School Participation In keeping with the complementary processes model, comments on the surveys and in interviews were

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93 analyzed to validate the survey results. Some superintendents' written comments on the follow-up surveys shed further light on the nature of district participation. The research design included phone interviews with 10 superintendents and 13 high school principals in participating districts, and these interviews provided further information and supported categorizing participation as modified compliance. In addition, 13 high school counselors, 10 students in seven of those high schools and college admissions personnel in seven cooperating institutions of higher education were interviewed. one superintendent wrote that the district would not pay college tuition for Fast Track students after 1988. Two others stated that their districts did not pay tuition; one explained not doing so because the college included the students in its FTE report and hence received money for them from the state. In a phone conversation, another superintendent affirmed that the district did pay tuition for the 25 students participating, but that most of these 25 had not completed graduation requirements before the beginning of the senior year. Two superintendents written comments on the follow-up survey indicated that this was also true for participants from their districts.

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94 A telephone interview comment, from a superintendent whose follow-up survey indicated district participation, is of interest. Though the district was willing to have students participate, no student was participating during the 1987-88 school year, nor had any participated in past years. Another superintendent who had indicated participation on the followup survey said, in an interview, that students did not take advantage of the opportunity when it was available. Thirteen principals in high schools identified as participating were asked in telephone interviews about students finishing requirements prior to their senior year. Seven reported that students had not finished requirements by the beginning of the senior year. Three of the seven reported that students had at least one English credit to finish during their senior year, but in one of those three schools, the board waived that requirement. Several principals reported that students entered the program during the second semester of their senior year. The interviews with the high school principals reaffirmed that graduation requirements generally were not met. Principals indicated that some students had completed all required courses but had

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95 not completed the number of elective courses that the district required for graduation. Counselors in seven of the districts said that students either began the Fast Track Program at the beginning of the second semester after finishing their requirements, or that they participated in the program concurrently with finishing their requirements for high school. In three of the schools, students would have to attend summer school at their own cost in order to complete all requirements by the beginning of their senior year, yet challenging classes for those accelerated students often were not offered in summer school. Counselors identified 10 students who had participated in the program and they were interviewed. All 10 students reported that they had not finished requirements by the beginning of their senior year. One had finished all of the required classes but still needed electives to meet graduation requirements, and three finished all requirements by the end of the first semester of their senior year. The other six took high school requirements concurrently with courses in the Fast Track Program. Since the 10 students interviewed included those from each of the three districts identified as being

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96 in full compliance, all of the districts and schools may have been in modified compliance. The discrepancy may have resulted in differences in definitions of "completion of requirements." The term "graduation requirements" was not defined by the researcher. Language was taken from the Senate Bill, as a result, principals and superintendents supplied their own interpretation of completion of graduation requirements. Some felt this meant that students should be ready to graduate, while others interpreted the language as students having completed core courses that were required. students were considered 11eligible11 by the researcher if the principal andjor superintendent reported students had completed graduation requirements because this would make them eligible for tuition money from the district. However, the respondents interpretations of that phrase "completed requirements" varied. College admissions personnel also were interviewed regarding completion of graduation requirements. One college administrator said that none of the students fitted the actual requirements of CRS 22-34-101 because they had not finished high school requirements prior to their senior year. This reinforces the findings in the districts and high schools. Comments on

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97 the college surveys reinforced the problems encountered by districts in implementation, specifically the difficulty in having students complete high school requirements prior to the beginning of the senior year. As schools tightened requirements, participation decreased, according to the comments by college personnel. College personnel were also asked about tuition payment by the districts. One college admissions director reported 15 years of participation, in principle, by the college, during which students had paid tuition at that college. In most cases where colleges reported that high school students frequently took classes at the college, they also reported that students paid their own tuition, indicating that the schools/districts were in modified compliance. Thus, the data, both survey and interview, indicate that nearly all, if not all, districts that participated in the Fast Track Program did so in a form of modified compliance with CRS 22-34-101. Whether or not districts were in full compliance with the law, if students were allowed to participate even though they had not satisfied the graduation requirements before the beginning of the senior year, is now moot. In 1988, the Colorado Legislature passed House

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98 Bill 1244 which made it possible for underclassmen to take college classes at district expense without completing requirements. (This is discussed further in Chapter V.) Student Participation The preceding section of this chapter presented data and findings on the number of school districts and high schools reporting participation in the Fast Track Program or modifications of that program in 1987-88. The analysis now turns to the number of students who participated. Research Question Four. How many students finish graduation requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year? To what degree do those who do finish participate? At the time this research study was designed, the researcher did not anticipate that most students participating would not have satisfied the completion of graduation requirements. Research Question Four was based on the assumption that there would be considerably more students who were eligible to participate than there were participating. Consequently, survey items were developed to gather eligibility and participation data. The superintendents follow-up survey asked:

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1. on the average, how many high school students in your district participate? 2. Did students taking college classes complete all district requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year in high school? 99 Of the 31 superintendents responding positively on the follow-up survey, nine reported that the students taking college classes had completed district require-ments prior to the beginning of their senior year of high school. Twenty-five of the 31 superintendents furnished figures on the average number of students participating annually in the Fast Track Program. They estimated that between 205 and 225 students (an average of 8.6 students per district) participated in the program annually. (One answer was in percentage form and was not included in the range or average.) Table 4.2 lists those responses Principals also were asked about participation and completion of requirements on their survey: 1. How many students in your school, on the average, finish their high school requirements before the beginning of their senior year? 2. How many students, on the average, participate in the program each year? Of the 45 responses received from principals in districts identified as participating from the initial survey, three were in the form of a percentage and were not included in the calculations. The total of

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Table 4.2 Student Participation by District: Superintendents' Reports on the Follow-up Survey Number of students Participating Total 1 1 6 20 6 1 l-2 10 20 45 6-10 2 25-30 10 14 1% 8* 1-2 3-5 8-10* 4* 6-8 2-3 2-4 3 205-225 *Indicates full compliance districts 100

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101 the 43 estimates of annual participation received from these principals ranged from 79-92 students who completed requirements before their senior year. This was an average of about two students per school. Because percentages were not included, this figure is probably somewhat higher. The surveys did not verify that these 79-92 students were among those students who took Fast Track courses. Although 43 responding principals furnished information on the number of students completing requirements prior to their senior year, only 24 principals in 19 districts furnished figures on the average number of students participating in the Fast Track Program. The remaining 21 did not report participation. Principals reported a range of 215-239 students participated on an annual basis in the Fast Track Program. The responses of the principals in participating districts as identified on the initial survey are summarized in Table 4.3. In addition, the nine responses received from the sample of 61 principals in districts initially considered as nonparticipating indicated that 105-111 students participated annually and that 38-44 students finished graduation requirements early. Table 4.4

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102 Table 4.3 Student Completion of Requirements and Participation as Reported by Principals in Participating Districts Number Finishing Number Requirements Participating 0 2-3 0 NA** 0 NA 0 33 0 2-3 0 6 0 18 2-4 NA 0 NA 0 0 0 3-4 0 1-2 4 1-2 9 NA 12 50-60 0 NA 5 NA 87% 12-15 0 NA 0 NA 0 10 10-12 NA 2-3 NA 0 NA 0 10 0 14-15 2-3 NA 12* 11* 0 NA 10% NA 0 NA 0 10 Less than 1% NA 10* 6* 4-5* 3-4* 2* 2-3* 1-6* 5-7* 3-4* 1-2*

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Table 4.3 (continued) Number Finishing Requirements 0 1 0 0 0 Total 79-92 Number Participating 2 NA 10 3 NA 215-239 Indicates schools in full compliance districts. **NA -No answer. Table 4.4 Student Participation and Completion of Graduation Requirements: Nine Principals in Nonparticipating Districts as Identified from Initial survey Total N= Average Number Finishing Requirements 3-4 15-20 0 0 0 0 20% 20 0 38-44 9 4.2-4.9 Number of Students Participating ? 10-15 0 60 12 3 4-5 10 6 105-111 7 15-15.9 103

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104 displays those responses. (One principal indicated that the school participated on the survey, but listed zero students as participating and zero students as finishing requirements.) Another principal wrote a ? in response to the question on how many students were participating. These were not included in the calculations. considering Tables 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 together, it is probable that, at a minimum, an average of over 300 students (approximately 1% of the high school seniors in Colorado in 1987-88), participated in the Fast Track Program annually, and that an average of 130 students finished graduation requirements early. College admissions directors' reports. Admissions directors in 27 colleges were also surveyed regarding the average number of high school students who participated annually in the Fast Track program. Nine of the 22 responding colleges verified use of the Fast Track Program and reported that an average of 172 students participated annually, a lesser number than that reported by superintendents and principals. Individual responses from directors ranged from three to 50 students. The mean number of students enrolled annually in these nine institutions was 18.1 per school. Thus, the quantitative data indicate that a

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small minority of students who were eligible under CRS 22-34-101 took advantage of the program. 105 Student Fast Track course loads. Students were also interviewed about course loads. The 10 students were asked how many classes they had been enrolled in at the high school and how many Fast Track courses they took during their senior year. The mean number of classes taken at the college level was 1.8, with a range of 1 to 4 classes. Most students who were eligible and participated in Fast Track took only one or two classes. The majority of the students also took five or more classes at the high school in addition to the college classes. The mean number of high school classes taken was 4.6 with a range from 0-7. {One student had completed all requirements early and took a full semester course load at college.) Supporting Data Counselors in the 13 high schools identified as participating also were asked about their perceptions of student participation. One counselor said that the school had just begun the program, and another reported that one student had taken one class. Two of the counselors said that they had seen a drop-off

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106 in participation in the program during the last few years. The interview data confirmed that not only did a fairly small number of eligible students participate in the Fast Track Program, but those who did generally enrolled in a limited number of college classes. The responses of principals and superintendents in the three full compliance districts where students were required to finish requirements to participate indicated an average of 6.0 students participated annually. However, in districts where high school seniors could complete requirements concurrent with taking college classes, an average of 11.1 students participated annually. The larger number of participating students per year may indicate that with fewer restrictions, more students may take advantage of some type of accelerated program. The college mean estimates of participation were higher than those of the districts and high schools, but there are fewer institutions serving more students. One college serves several districts, so it is reasonable that they might report higher participation. However, even the mean of 18 students per year is indicative of minimal participation in the program when compared to the total number of

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107 students enrolled in even a very small college. The criterion of completion of graduation requirements was cited most often by colleges as the reason for lack of participation by students, but size and location of schools may also be related. Demographic Influences on Participation Although college admissions directors stated that difficulties in completing requirements were a factor that prevented students from being involved in Fast Track, superintendents indicated on the initial survey that distance from an institution of higher education might be a contributing factor in a dis-trict's decision regarding participation in the Fast Track Program. Thus, the demographic data were examined to determine if this was a significant factor in participation. Research Question Five. Are size and location of schools related to implementation? Size and location of districts were determined from information in the 1987-88 Colorado Department of Education directory. Size of high schools was determined from the 1987-88 Colorado High schools Activities Association directory.

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108 Superintendents. The 38 initial surveys indicat-ing participation were sorted into the enrollment categories used in the 1986 CDE report: Status of K12 Public Education in Colorado (Appendix G). The researcher also categorized schools by location using the broad categories of Western Slope and Front Range. Front Range districts were subdivided into Northern and Southern. The map in the 1986-87 Colorado Depart-ment of Education Directory was used to identify location (Appendix G). The surveys were sorted into six size and three location categories as shown in Table 4.5. Table 4.5 Location of Participating Districts by District Enrollment: Initial Superintendents' Survey student Enrollment 301 or less 301-600 601-1200 1201-6000 6001-25000 over 25000 TOTALS western Slope 3 2 2 4 11 Location Southern 5 2 1 3 2 1 14 Northern 1 4 3 3 2 13 TOTAL 9 8 6 10 4 1 38

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Of the 38 districts whose superintendents responded on the initial survey that they par109 ticipated, 11 were located on the Western Slope, and the remaining 27 were on the Front Range, about equally divided between north and south. Twenty-three districts enrolled less than 1,200 students and could be classified as rural or outlying districts. The remaining 15 had over 1,200 students and were located primarily near or in cities. The superintendents in those 38 districts were sent a second follow-up survey. The results are shown in Table 4.6, which classifies those responding districts by size and location. Table 4.6 Size and Location of Districts: Superintendents Indicating Participation on the Follow-Up Survey Location Student Enrollment Western Slope Southern Northern TOTAL 300 or Less 301-600 601-1200 1201-6000 6001-25000 over 25000 TOTAL 1 2 4 7 2 2 2 2 1 9 2 4 2 1 9 4 7 4 6 3 1 25

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110 As Table 4.6 indicates, 25 superintendents reported some type of district participation, 15 districts had student populations of less than 1,200, and 10 had over 1,200 students enrolled. Seven of the 25 districts were on the Western Slope with the remaining 18 on the Front Range, evenly divided between north and south. Principals. The 48 principals in the 38 districts that indicated participation on the initial survey were sent surveys to determine participation within the districts. Of the 45 responses returned, 24 indicated participation in the program. The superintendent in district 33, Table 4.1, was also the principal, and that high school is included in the table, although a principal's survey was not returned. In addition, nine responses indicating participation were received from principals from districts not reported as participating on the initial survey. Those 34 high schools were categorized as shown in Table 4.7 using classifications paralleling those of the Colorado High Schools Activities Association. Districts reporting participation were about evenly divided between small and large districts, but the number of Front Range schools responding positively on participation outnumbered Western Slope

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Table 4.7 Enrollment and Location of Participating High Schools Location Student Western Enrollment Slope Southern Northern 150 or Less 1 3 6 151-600 4 2 5 601-1200 2 2 1 over 1201 8 TOTAL 7 15 12 111 TOTAL 10 11 5 8 34 schools. Twenty-one of the 27 institutions of higher education in Colorado are on the Front Range and accessibility to those institutions of higher educa-tion may be related to participation in the Fast Track Program. Higher Education Participation Research Question Six. To what extent do .,. institutions of higher education participate in the program? College participation data were gathered from surveys sent to each of the 27 institutions of higher education in Colorado, asking if they participated and requesting that they list the districts with which they participated. Superintendents' responses on the

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I j I I I I 112 follow-up surveys and in interviews as well as princi-pals', counselors', and students' comments in inter-views, generated data on the cooperating institutions. Twenty-five responses from college admissions directors were received. Of these, nine (36%) indi-cated that their college was working with the Fast Track Program. One of the nine indicated participation in a similar program, but not specifically the Fast Track. The remaining 16 reported that they did not participate. Of the two nonresponding colleges, one was a university and the other was a community college. Three of the nine participating colleges were located on the Western Slope. (Six of the 27 colleges in the state are located on the Western Slope.) Of the six participating Front Range colleges, three were in northeastern Colorado and three were in the southeastern portion of the state. Five of the par-ticipating institutions were community colleges, two were small four-year colleges, and two were univer-sities. The nine college admissions directors were asked to indicate the districts with which they participated. Participation with a total of 15 school districts is summarized in Table 4.8

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Table 4.8 pistrict Participation: Admissions Director Reports by College Number of Districts College Participating Aims Community 1 Colo. NW. CC 1 Ft. Lewis 1 Morgan cc 6 Northeastern 1 Otero J.C. 2 uccs 1 usc 1 Western State 1 TOTAL 15 on the follow-up survey, superintendents were asked to identify the institutions with which the districts participated. Table 4.9 presents their 113 responses. Some superintendents did not list a college, 12 Colorado colleges or universities and one out-of-state college were identified by 23 superintendents as participating with them in the Fast Track Program in 1987-88. Interviews with principals, counselors, and students provided the following additions to the list of participating institutions of higher education: University of Nebraska, Colorado Mountain College, Oklahoma State University, and Colorado State

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Table 4.9 Superintendents Reports of District/College Participation College Aims Adams State Fort Lewis Mesa Morgan Northeastern otero J.C. Pikes Peak Pueblo Community Snow College, Utah uccs UNC usc TOTAL Number of Districts Participating 1 3 1 2 4 3 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 23 114 University. The out-of-state programs were identified as satellite receptions. There is some discrepancy in participation reported by colleges and districts. Seven superintendents stated that they participated with four col-leges whose admissions' directors checked that the institutions did not participate. In addition, two colleges identified as participating by college admissions directors were not reported by any superintendent on the follow-up surveys. Interviews confirmed that high schools in the area did cooperate

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I 115 in some modified form with those colleges, although not in the Fast Track Program. These conflicting reports could not be explained by the available data. From the reports of college admissions directors and from survey and interview data received from district and high school personnel, at least 16 of the 27 institutions of higher education in Colorado participated in a cooperative program of some sort with high schools in 1987-88. Not all of these were specifically Fast Track, but may have been a modification of that program. Comments made on the surveys and in interviews. suggest that, while successful implementation does exist, Fast Track was not a high profile program at colleges and universities. One college admissions director reported that the college had no reason to recruit and that the recommendation for a student to attend college classes had to come from the school to ensure that the student was ready for college work. Generally, comments reinforced the perception that the program was not promoted by the colleges and that colleges perceived that the districts were reluctant to participate because the districts would have to pay tuition.

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116 There were exceptions, however. One Western Slope college had begun a program in 1988 which offered evening courses to those 16 or older. Twenty students were enrolled in a philosophy course being taught by the assistant principal at the high school. In this case, the district paid the tuition, although students had not finished requirements. Ten superintendents in participating districts were asked for their comments on the amount of cooperation they had received from colleges in initiating the program. They reported that the colleges with which they were working were cooperative. several colleges offered programs locally, and one college was cited for its efforts in coming out to talk to students. Another college was commended for the way students were monitored and counseled by college personnel. Overall, the superintendents had a very positive view of the colleges and their willingness to cooperate. In spite of these positive views and the participation of a number of colleges and universities in the Fast Track Program, the student participation (172 per year as reported by colleges} was minimal.

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117 Other Participation Data Superintendents on the follow-up survey, and the 48 principals in those districts, were asked to indicate the number of years the Fast Track Program had been in use in the district or in the building for which they were responsible. At the district level, the mean number of years of program implementation was 4.75, with a range of 1-15 years. (The Fast Track Program has been in existence since only 1981.) The high school principals reported a mean of 3.5 years of implementation and a range of 1-18 years. Most districts and schools appear to have implemented the program in the 1983-84 school year, two years after the enactment of CRS 22-34-101. Summary of Participation The survey responses and the interviews provided data to answer Research Questions One, Four, Five, and Six which dealt with participation. Research question one. 11How many districts and public high schools in Colorado have implemented the Fast Track Program?11 At least 37 districts in Colorado were participating in the Fast Track Program during the 1987-88 school year. These numbers are conservative.

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118 Research auestion four. 11How many students finish graduation requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year? To what degree do those who do finish participate?" About 130 students were reported as finishing graduation requirements early, and over 300 were reported as participating in the Fast Track Program or some modification of it in the 1987-88 school year. Tt.ose took four to six classes at the high school in addition to the Fast Track courses. In school districts that allowed participation before graduation requirements were met, the average number of students participating in Fast Track was about twice as high as in those districts requiring completion of graduation requirements prior to participation. Research question five. 11Are size and location of schools related to implementation?" Districts of fewer than 1,200 students and high schools with fewer than 600 students participated to a slightly higher degree than did larger districts, with the majority of participating districts being located along the Front Range. Research question six. 11To what extent do institutions of higher education participate in the

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119 program?" Sixteen (59%) of the institutions of higher education in Colorado were reported as cooperating in some form with high schools during the 1987-88 school year, but involvement was minimal. Overview. The number of students using the program represented a very small percentage of the total number of high school seniors. Based on the number of students, a minimal use of Fast Track was taking place during the 1987-88 school year, six years after the legislation was enacted. However, when the number of high schools and districts involved are considered, participation is broader than the number of students suggests Impact Responses to questions related to Research Questions Two and seven provided the data to assess the impact of the Fast Track Program in Colorado. These questions addressed the policies and procedures employed in implementing the Fast Track program and the advantages and disadvantages of the program. Policies and Procedures Research Question Two. What policies and procedures have districts and schools in Colorado developed in implementing the Fast Track Program?

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120 Data to answer this question were collected from policies requested of superintendents on the initial and follow-up surveys, as well as from interview responses of superintendents, principals, counselors, participating students, their parents, and college admissions directors. The questions addressed in these interviews included: 1. How did students and their parents find out about the program? 2. How are tuition and related costs handled by the district? 3. What requirements do students have to meet in order to participate, and what type of credit do they receive? 4. How are the courses presented? 5. What special procedures have the colleges developed to accommodate these Fast Track students? The policies received from districts in response to requests for such were analyzed for similarities. From the 38 districts indicating participation, 12 policies or procedure documents were received. Thirteen of the 38 superintendents indicated that the district participated, but had no written policy. The follow-up survey requests produced five more documents. Seventeen documents in all were sent by superintendents, ranging from a short typewritten paragraph to several pages, including agreements with colleges. Nine of those 17 documents were actual board policy, several of which cited CRS 22-34-101 as

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121 a legal reference. Four were from student handbooks or school profiles, and two were in the form of notes addressed to the researcher. The remaining two identified the Fast Track Program as part of the gifted and talented program in those districts. Comments on a number of the initial surveys indicated that some districts in cooperative programs with colleges did not have an official policy. one superintendent stated on the survey that CRS 22-34101 was the policy used by the district. Two superintendents sent copies of their agreement with institutions of higher education which outlined the colleges' responsibilities in the program. These included establishing requirements for admission of students, denying admission to those students not properly prepared, registering students who were accepted, providing instruction, and billing the district for tuition only and the student for all other charges. The nine policies received which were specifically related to Fast Track varied widely on approach to the program and degree of emphasis on various aspects of the program. The same areas were not covered in every policy.

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122 Telephone interviews with participating superintendents, principals, high school counselors, students, their parents, and college admissions directors provided additional data on procedures used to implement the Fast Track Program. The details of the policies and procedures as collected from the policies and interviews were grouped into the broad categories of information delivery, eligibility requirements, financing, course presentation, credits, and provisions for the Fast Track students. Information delivery. Principals and counselors in schools identified as participating were asked to describe how they gave Fast Track information to students. Students identified by counselors as participants and their parents were asked how they learned about the program. The four groups interviewed emphasized different methods of delivery, including getting information from the counselors, using written media, and hearing about the program from other students or in classrooms. Those interviewed also indicated that there were some problems in getting information. Counselors were mentioned as one of the chief sources of information. Six principals, six students, and four parents said counselors were the

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123 students major source of information about the program. Six of the 10 students interviewed said that they had found out about the program from their counselors during their junior year. Principals and counselors in several schools stated that counselors went into junior level classes to talk about the Fast Track Program. In two of the 13 schools, counselors talked to sophomores about the program. In addition, counselors said that they gave information on Fast Track during individual counseling sessions or during course scheduling. One parent indicated that the counselor had been the major factor in his son's participation. His son had completed most of the required courses, and the counselor didn't want the student to waste half of his senior year. Fast Track was suggested as an alternative. Teachers also promoted the program. Six principals stated that classroom teachers informed students about the program. Two of those six emphasized the use of the gifted-talented classes as a place for imparting this information. Another school used the advisor-advisee program to create interest in the Fast Track Program. The role of the teacher in delivery was by a student who said that she had an excellent algebra teacher who called her

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long distance the summer before her senior year to tell her about the program. 124 Another often cited method of information delivery was hearing about Fast Track from someone else. Four principals, four students, and nine parents said that students learned about the Fast Track Program from other people who had participated or from friends who knew of the program. Two of the students responded that they heard about it from friends during the fall of their senior year and then took courses second semester. In several instances, people said that the school was small so most people knew about the program. For those who participated, talking to counselors and hearing about the program from other people were the major sources of information about the program. Eight principals interviewed, however, said that students were informed about the Fast Track program through newsletters, newspapers, handbooks, and course guides. several counselors also confirmed this method of dissemination. However, none of the students nor their parents said that they learned about the program through written media. The written communication may have provided additional

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information, but initial awareness of the program occurred otherwise. 125 In spite of the attempts to disseminate information about the program, principals, counselors, students, and their parents cited some difficulties in doing so. One principal said that he had problems getting adequate information on the program and then delivering that information to the students. several counselors said that, for a variety of reasons, little was done in their school to make students aware of Fast Track. In one interview, the counselor said that the college was 15 miles from school and students had to go to summer school in order to finish requirements to participate, so they didn't publicize the program. Another counselor said that "the good kids are involved in high school activities and don't do it The kids who want to are the ones who are burnt out on high school." Consequently, they didn't publicize the program. A third counselor told the researcher that Fast Track was offered if students asked for it, but they didn't make a major effort to make students aware. A counselor in another school said that the school needed to get more information to students on Fast Track, and a mother of a student confirmed this. She heard about the program from a

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126 friend, and counselors at the high school discouraged participation, so she had to go to the district to get the necessary information and approval for her daughter to take Fast Track courses. Thus, although a variety of methods were reported being used by participating districts to publicize the program, a need for additional effort was also acknowledged. Eligibility requirements. Several policies outlined specifically the procedures students had to follow to participate in the Fast Track Program. These included filling out applications and being accepted for admission by a college. Most districts established some requirements for participation, including a minimum GPA, completion of required courses at the high school, and age or grade limitations. Five of the nine Fast Track policies stipulated that a student must have fulfilled high school requirements in order to participate, and two of the five included the requirement that the student must have enough courses to graduate without the Fast Track courses. Another policy, not specifically Fast Track, stated that students could not complete their education in the district without at least two seniorlevel classes. This was similar to an acceleration

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127 policy that required students to be in two afternoon classes (English and Government). The district that sent the entire senior class to a community college only addressed Fast Track through a waiver process which the board followed to release students from their senior requirements. Four Fast Track policies specified a minimum GPA of 3.0 for participation. One board policy also addressed how the GPA should be figured. That policy left to the student's discretion whether or not the college level course grade would be factored into the high school GPA. some additional requirements also were included. In one district using Fast Track, the student had to have exhausted all the subject area content at the high school before taking a college-level class, and another district required that the student be in the gifted/talented program in order to participate in Fast Track. Two Fast Track districts required that the student be a senior, and one district stipulated students could participate in the program only during the second semester of their senior year. One policy required that the student be at least a second semester junior and have earned a minimum of 15 hours of high school credit. A large Front Range district's policy required that each participating student be

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128 monitored by a high school teacher or counselor while in the program, and added a set of priorities for determining who could participate should too many students apply for Fast Track. These determining factors included career plan goals, college plan goals, GPA, and financial situation. Interviews with principals, counselors, and students added information. students in one school had to complete all required courses in sequence, making it difficult for them to complete requirements early. Another school stipulated that if the course was offered at the high school, students had to take it there, not at the college. On the other hand, one school was especially innovative in helping students to meet requirements and to participate. The superintendent reported: All seniors go to the college and take either vocational or fast track. When they enter their senior year, they need one credit. The Board waived that, and they take a communications class at Pikes Peak. It is about 45 minutes on the bus each way, so a course is taught on the bus by a computer and students meet with an instructor once a week at the college. This enhanced the Fast Track Program instead of limiting it. Overall, interview comments confirmed that requirements for participation generally included a 3.0 GPA, senior status, and completion of core

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requirements either before the senior year or concurrently with taking Fast Track classes. 129 Interview responses also confirmed written policy on the number of high school classes required. Six of the students interviewed said that they took between four and six classes at the high school, and three said they took a "full load." One student, however, said she gradw1ted early, so she did not take any high school classes. In the same vein, most principals said they required three to seven periods of attendance at the high school, but one principal reported that the college classes could be counted in the required number of hours of high school attendance. Two of the 13 principals interviewed reported that no set number of hours of attendance at the high school were required. Seniors at another school took all of their classes at the college, and no high school classes were required. Several Fast Track policies set requirements for approvals needed for participation. Four of the nine policies stipulated approval of a counselor or high school administrator was needed, and two policies stated that the Board of Education must approve participation. Written parental permission for participation was required in two other policies.

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130 Three of the policies on early entrance required approval from the Board of Education for students to take college classes, and one required approval from the principal. Three policies outlined privileges of the stu-dents, stating clearly that students would still be eligible to participate in the high school activities until the time of graduation with their high school class. One of those policies specified that students had no rights to participate in college activities. In addition to ;h school requirements, students had to meet requirements set by colleges. Each of the seven participating college admissions directors who were interviewed reported requirements their college had developed for student participation in the Fast Track Program. These varied with the institution and included being recommended by a coun-selor or school official, a 3.5 GPA, a composite score of at least 24 on the ACT, and ranking in the top 20% of the senior class. These requirements were higher than reported by most of the high schools, but two college admissions directors felt that, as a rule, high school requirements for participation were more restrictive than those of the college. An "open door" policy was maintained by two colleges, while two

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131 others maintained the same admissions requirements for participation for high school students as for admission of college students. College personnel reported that they relied on the recommendation of high school officials for determining the eligibility of students and that the high schools usually set the standards for the type of credit the students would receive for the college classes. Financing. The policies directly related to Fast Track and those on more general accelerated programs were reviewed and these, combined with data gathered from interviews of participants, yielded information on financing of the programs. District and school personnel in participating districts as well as parents of participating students were interviewed to gather information on who paid the various costs of the program and on the average annual cost to the district. Additionally, participating students and their parents were asked if cost or the prospect of saving money motivated them to participate. Tuition and related costs were addressed in policies by eight of the nine participating districts. All eight provided for the payment of tuition by the district. Two other district documents made the payment of college tuition and all related

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I I II 132 costs a student responsibility rather than a district obligation. In interviews, seven districts reported full payment of tuition and two reported partial payment. In one case, the district paid for fees, transporta-tion, and books, as well as tuition. Survey comments also indicated that in three districts, students paid some or all of the tuition; two districts required students to pay part of the tuition. Two superintendents reported that the college shared costs. Most interviews yielded comments about stipula-tions put on the payments made by the district. Because of increasing financial constraints, three superintendents said that, although the district paid tuition in 1987-88, they would not be able to do so in 1988-89. In one of those districts, the following year, the students were to be charged one third of the tuition, and in a second district, two thirds. In the third district, students were to assume the full cost of tuition. In addition, colleges had added some conditions to their cooperation in paying tuition. Two districts that participated with the same community college reported a negative impact on the program when the college decided not to give tuition scholarships to

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133 students participating in the Fast Track Program. In the past, that college had waived tuition if the class enrolled over 15 students, but charged tuition to the district if the class enrolled less than 15 students. The principal of that school was worried that budget constraints would eliminate this arrangement. In another district, the school had shared costs with the college in the past but would not be able to do that in 1988-89 because the college could no longer afford that arrangement. Because of these budgetary problems, some districts attached conditions to the payment of tuition. One policy stated that "if a student drops or fails to complete a course at any time during the semester, the student must pay full tuition.11 In another district, costs for college courses offered by the high school were not reimbursed, but college courses taken during the regular school day were. summer enrollment and courses after graduation were identified by a third district as ineligible for Fast Track funding. That same district policy stipulated that students who did not receive the principal's approval for courses would be responsible for all costs. "If the student has finished all high school requirements, the district pays tuition; otherwise,

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134 the student pays," said one superintendent in an interview. A high school principal reported that the school was a part of the university lab school so students always paid tuition. A superintendent said his district determined payment on the type of credit received by the student. If the student chose college credit, the student paid tuition; but if the student received high school credit, the district paid. In that same district, if the student took a course not offered by the high school, costs were shared between the student and the district. In another district, a high school principal reported that students had to take courses during the regular school day to receive money for tuition. Thus, conditions have been attached to the payment of tuition by the district, many of them necessitated by constraints on district budgets. Five of the nine policies stated that students would be responsible for all costs other than tuition, including transportation, fees, and books. One urban district, however, included in the policy that "Students must use district provided transportation to and from the college during normal school hours." This contrasts with some superintendents statements about transportation being an impediment to

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135 implementation of Fast Track. School personnel also said that generally students were responsible for fees, books, and transportation; interviews with col-lege admissions personnel confirmed this. Some district policies set limits on the amount of tuition the district would pay. One district paid tuition for up to nine semester hours, and another limited payment to $500 per semester or $1,000 per year per student. A third district agreed to pay tuition for courses up to 75% of the school's per pupil ARB, which is the limit set by CRS 22-34-101. In the case of a high school student who would be classified as a nonresident by the college, tuition was paid at the nonresident rate by the one school district which had a policy dealing with this issue. Finally, two of the policies addressed how pay-ment would be made. In one district, the district forwarded "to the university the amount of tuition to which the university would be entitled on behalf of a regularly enrolled student." Another policy stated that: Tuition will be carried in the working budget to implement this policy but if the budget for that year cannot generate enough funds necessary to implement the tuition line item, the student will be responsible for the cost.

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136 Ten superintendents in participating districts were asked in interviews about the annual cost of the Fast Track Program to the district. Most of the superintendents said that the cost would depend upon the number of students participating, but they gave estimates of the annual cost. These varied widely, as Table 4.10 indicates. Table 4.10 Superintendents Estimates of the Annual Cost of the Fast Track Program Dist. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TOTAL Don't Under Know $500 X X X 2 1 $ 500-$1001$1000 $3000 X X X 0 3 $3001 $5000 X X 2 over $5000 X X 2 The estimates of annual cost to the district ranged from under $500 to over $5,000. Of the two superin-tendents who were unsure, one said that it was part of the community college flat fee, and the other superintendent said that they had not used the program

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137 yet. Estimates of the cost per student ranged from $300 to $1,800 per student. A superintendent in one district said the district budgeted $5,000-$7,000 per year, but did not use that much. Participating districts addressed these costs in various ways including: budgeting the cost as an item in the general fund, including the cost in the instructional budget, and budgeting in the general fund, but not as a line item. one superintendent said the district shared the costs with the college and budgeted as a part of the general fund. Generally, the procedure for handling the costs was as a part of the instructional budget in the general fund. Students and parents were asked how much of an influence the cost or the possibility of monetary savings had on their decision to participate. Only one of the 10 students interviewed said that monetary savings motivated him to participate. The others said that money was not a factor in their decision to take part in the Fast Track Program. Parents who were interviewed by telephone were evenly divided. Five said that they felt it was a financial benefit to them, although not a significant savings.

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The other five parents did not feel that monetary savings was a factor. 138 Course presentation. The methods used to offer the classes were described in interviews with principals and college admissions directors. Ten of the thirteen principals interviewed said that courses were offered at a nearby college, two reported offering courses at the high school, and one offered them at both the high school and the college. In addition, three principals from nonparticipating districts reported that students took classes at a nearby college. Ten participating principals also said that college professors taught the courses. One district used both the high school teachers and the college professors as instructors. Two superintendents reported that students took courses through satellite transmission from distant universities. Credits. Of the policies received, five outlined how college credit was to be treated. One district granted college credit only, and the other four outlined steps to have the courses approved for high school credit. The two districts that required students be able to graduate without the credit from

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139 Fast Track courses would probably not allow credit at the high school. Interviews again confirmed the policies of the districts in the area of types of credit granted for college courses. The majority (17) of the responses of counselors and college personnel indicated that college credit was the favored type of credit granted. However, interviews and survey responses showed that some districts and colleges granted both high school and college credit. In an isolated instance, students were allowed to choose either high school or college credit for the Fast Track courses they took. Course restrictions. Some policies outlined restrictions on the program. One policy restricted students to two college-level courses, or eight semester hours, and another required students to take at least four classes at the high school. Most schools set limits on the number of courses students could take at the college level. Participating principals reported allowing students to register for one or two classes. Principals of two participating high schools reported, however, that students could take as many college classes as they wanted provided they finished high school requirements. A superintendent in a participating district said that

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140 students had taken from one to nine college credits and a principal in another district said that students could accumulate up to 14 hours of college credit by the time they graduated from high school. students from one high school had entered college as sophomores as a result of the work done their senior year. Provisions for students. Admissions directors at colleges identified as participating in the Fast Track Program were asked what provisions they had made for students in that program. Two of the seven colleges provided counseling for the students and met with students individually. Five of the seven directors who were interviewed said that they viewed counseling of the students as the responsibility of the high school and that they treated the students just as they would any college student. One college admissions director commented that because the college wanted the students senior year to be the primary focus, service delivery at the high school was emphasized. Another director reasoned that the high school counselors knew the students better than the college personnel did. College services were made available to students at one college if they chose to use them. It appeared from these responses that

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141 colleges usually offer no special assistance to those students in the Fast Track Program. Summary Policies and procedures for participation in the Fast Track Program have been developed by districts, schools, and colleges. Those policies and procedures address ways of publicizing the program, the requirements for student participation, payment of tuition and related costs, delivery of the courses, type of credit awarded, and provisions for counseling of Fast Track students. These are summarized briefly below: 1. For students and parents the chief sources of information about the program were friends or counselors, although principals and counselors indicated that written media were used to inform students about the Fast Track Program. 2. Requirements for participation generally included a minimum GPA (usually 3.0) and approval of a school official. In some cases, students must have finished all high school requirements in order to participate, and most schools required attendance in a specified number of high school classes. In addition, some districts limited the number of classes students could take at the college.

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142 3. In most participating districts, tuition was paid by the district and students were responsible for fees, books, transportation and other related costs. The estimated cost to the district ranged from under $500 per year to over $5,000 per year. Financial difficulties were likely to force some districts to discontinue paying tuition in 1988-89 and to force other districts to restrict the amount of tuition paid. 4. The majority of the participants in Fast Track took the courses at the college taught by college professors. Some courses, however, were taught in the high school by qualified high school teachers. 5. Generally, college credit was granted for college courses taken, but a few high schools accepted the courses for high school credit. 6. Colleges did not, as a rule, provide special counseling for these students to help them make the transition from high school to college. The implementation of these policies and procedures created a number of advantages as well as disadvantages for participants. This impact is explored under Research Question seven.

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Impact on Students, Schools, and Colleges 143 Research Question Two addressed the policies and procedures used to implement the Fast Track program, while impact was addressed by Research Question Seven. Research Question Seven. What impact has the Fast Track Program had on students, schools, and colleges? The impact of the Fast Track Program was analyzed through data obtained from interviews with superintendents, principals, counselors, students, their parents, and college admissions directors. All were asked to enumerate the disadvantages and advantages of the program from their particular perspectives. In addition, counselors were asked if they thought the Fast Track Program helped participating students prepare for college. Student responses on how the program had prepared them for college were sought. Finally, college admissions directors were questioned regarding data accumulated on the effectiveness of the Fast Track Program. Disadvantages. The school personnel, students, their parents, and college personnel were asked in telephone interviews to cite what they perceived to

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144 be disadvantages of or problems with the Fast Track Program. Some respondents cited several disadvantages. Responses are summarized in Table 4.11. Twenty-five of the 63 people interviewed said that they had no real problems with the program. For parents, especially, the program appeared to have few drawbacks. Scheduling and paperwork involved were the disadvantages cited most frequently by those interviewed. Telephone interviews and comments on surveys provided more detail about problems encountered by students, schools, and colleges participating in the Fast Track Program. The categories of student motivation and maturity, scheduling, paperwork, teacher impact, cost, and recruitment were most often mentioned as disadvantages. For one student, motivation was a problem: "I was too relaxed--it was hard to get motivated because it didn't matter if you went to classes or not." Motivation was also a concern of a superintendent in a participating district. He said that some students did not attend class and dropped out. Another superintendent felt that students sometimes lost a sense of school community because they couldn't be involved

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Table 4.11 Disadvantages of the Fast Track Program: Telephone Interview Data Scheduling/ paperwork Lose sense of co-unity Difficult to get info on proqra11 Transportation students drop out of progroa Meeting H.S. requireaents Finding o qualified teacher Students lack of selfdiscipline H.S. GPA Transfer of credits Articulation with college overloading students students 3 2 1 1 Number of Respondents Citing Parents Counselors Principals 2 4 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 Superintendents Collegea Total 3 16 l 1 5 3 2 3l 1 2 1 a 1 a 1 a a 1 1 1 1 ..... ""' tn

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Table 4.11 (continued) students Not like a college class 1 Payment of tuition by district 1 Class not filling No real problems 3 TOTAL 12 Number of Respondents Citing Parents Counselors Principals 7 3 6 12 14 11 Superintendents Colleges 1 5 1 12 7 Total 1 1 1 25 68 ...... .c:. 0\

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147 in student council, class meetings, or athletics if they took classes at the college. student maturity was another area of concern. One college admissions director said that life was too full for students during their senior year, and they often couldn't handle the demands of college work. He did add that the college had had fewer problems with this in the past two years. A college director in an urban area reinforced this concern. "Kids feel awkward about entering college early. They worry about college requirements. They don't want to miss the social part of high school." A third college director said that some students were not prepared to take the college courses and did not succeed. He felt this might discourage them from future college attendance. Another director commented that "some students aren't mature enough to adapt. They take advantage of their freedom and don't come to class or do homework." The high school students GPA was affected as a result, in some cases. Although students did not mention GPA as a disadvantage, two parents commented that taking the courses had a negative impact on their child's GPA.

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148 Some students had difficulty in scheduling the desired courses and in completing the high school requirements in order to participate. Two students said they had difficulty in juggling their schedules, and one student who took the college course at the high school added that the college class was offered at an inconvenient time of day (7:30a.m.). A parent agreed that high school and college schedules did not coordinate. one counselor reported that some students had to take night classes at the college because of scheduling conflicts, while another counselor com mented that if students took too many college classes they couldn't attend the required number of classes at the high school. one urban school was limited in the number of classes that could be offered at the high school, thus creating scheduling problems, according to the principal. The increase in graduation requirements resulting in students not being technically eligible to participate was cited by one high school principal as an instance of scheduling problems, although the district allowed the students to take Fast Track classes anyway. College admissions directors echoed these concerns. one director said that the number of Fast Track students participating had dropped since

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149 graduation requirements were raised. several college admissions directors found it difficult to articulate scheduling and ability placement with the high school. They reported that the high school personnel had to become familiar with the college curriculum as well as the high school curriculum in order to assist students in scheduling. Students emphasized the problems they had with overload as a result of scheduling. A student who had attended an urban high said, 11I took too many classes. I had three and dropped one. I still had honors classes at the high school." Several school personnel stated both on surveys and in interviews that students sometimes had to drop classes, probably because of being overloaded. Although several counselors had some problems with scheduling, a counselor at one school said that scheduling problems simply required that the student make a decision. One principal reported that the high school worked around the college schedule. Differences in school and college calendars and the difficulty of meeting the requirements of 2.5 Carnegie units for participation in athletics were problems cited by one principal. A college director confirmed that the high school had problems with

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150 different calendars, and that the high schools had difficulties documenting attendance to meet CDE requirements for those in Fast Track. A principal in a district originally identified as nonparticipating complained that the district had worked with the local college, but that the college was often changing the rules, which resulted in confusing paperwork. The director at another college added that "Training people to deal with the paperwork bureaucracies require is difficult." Most college admissions directors, on the other hand, said that they did not have to change their system to any great extent except to bill the districts for tuition. One director commented that setting up for a whole school was easier than trying to fill a community class. Sometimes the number of students who signed up to take the community class was not sufficient and the class had to be cancelled. In addition to articulation problems, a negative impact on teaching positions was perceived by some respondents. Twelve of the 13 principals interviewed said that the Fast Track Program did not impact teaching positions, but in one school in the third year of Fast Track, all seniors went to the community college, thus cutting FTE and one teaching position

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151 at the high school. Another principal foresaw an impact on teaching positions in the future. In some cases, teacher attitude was impacted. A superintendent reported that some students chose to take college courses instead of English Literature at the high school. This upset the English teachers, and they refused to promote the program. A superintendent in a nonparticipating district noted that the Fast Track program did not have the appeal for him that the vocational education program did because the district was reimbursed by the state and federal governments for the vocational education program, but not for Fast Track. A principal reported problems with vocational students who took regular college classes instead of vocational classes, and the district required the students to pay for those courses. Thus, economics, as well as a negative impact on teaching positions and scheduling problems were disadvantages for the schools. Two college admissions directors also cited a lack of incentive to use Fast Track. One college reported no increase in the number of students who attended te college as a result of their cooperation in Fast Track, and another complained that students often didn't transfer the credits to the college after

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graduation. The lack of recruitment possibilities was viewed as a problem. 152 In spite of the disadvantages in the areas of student motivation, scheduling and paperwork, teacher impact, expense, and recruiting, those who were interviewed advanced numerous benefits of the Fast Track Program. Advantages. All participating in telephone interviews were asked to name the advantages of the program for the students and for the institutions involved. The quantitative results of those interviews are summarized in Table 4.12. Again, many of those interviewed cited more than one advantage. Responses indicated that the chief advantage of the Program was that it helped students advance their pace toward college and career while also enabling them to make a smoother transition to attending college on a full-time basis. The second most frequently stated advantage was that the program met the needs of overachievers and gifted students, thus keeping them from being bored. The expansion of the high school curriculum offered through the Fast Track Program was also cited as an advantage. Colleges emphasized the advantage of enhanced public relations

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Table 4.12 Advantages of the Fast Track Program Number of Respondents Citing students Parents counselors Principals superintendents Colleges Total Head start on college/ transition 6 8 8 6 5 3 36 Meeting needs of G/T students 2 3 4 5 3 1 18 Expands curriculum 2 2 4 4 1 2 15 cutting cost to students 3 1 2 6 Good PR 3 3 Financial benefit to institutions 1 2 3 Quality students in class 2 2 Motivation 1 1 Enlarged perspectives 1 1 TOTAL 10 14 19 16 12 14 85 ..... U1 w

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154 resulting from using the program. Interestingly, financial benefit was not frequently cited by any of the responding groups. Interviews with superintendents, principals, counselors, students, their parents, and college admissions personnel furnished different perspectives on the Fast Track Program's advantages for students. Although one superintendent said the program offered no great advantage to the district, most of the respondents agreed that the districts and high schools did benefit from the program. These benefits included: advanced status in college for students, a positive impact on college performance of participating students, increased motivation to pursue a college education, a program for meeting the needs of gifted students, a way to expand the curriculum, cutting costs to students, fulfilling the mission of the institution, and enhanced public relations. The most frequently discussed advantage was that it allowed students to advance their status in college and provided a smoother transition from high school to college. student comments centered around the opportunity to have a "taste" of college life. One superintendent reported that he had two daughters who had participated and he felt the program gave them an

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155 advantage at college entrance. A parent commented that his son was able to transfer many credits which put him ahead of his class upon entering college. Finally, a counselor said that most college students typically attend college for more than four years (eight semesters) in order to receive a degree. Fast Track offered the opportunity to decrease that time. Counselors and students who had graduated from participating high schools were interviewed by telephone to gather data on the impact of the Fast Track Program on college performance. counselors were asked: Are students better prepared for college as a result of participation in the Fast Track Program? Of the 13 counselors interviewed, seven said that students were better prepared, and one said that they were not. Three were unsure, and two responded that they had not had any students in the program recently so they could not respond. In addition to these answers, comments by coun-selors gave further insight about the impact of the Fast Track Program on college performance. A counselor at one high school felt that the program gave the students some social experience which helped them make the transition to college. Becoming

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156 familiar with the process and "getting some classes out of the way" were other advantages mentioned by a counselor. A third counselor said, "It gives students a taste of college. Even those who don't do well learn from it, although it may give them a college transcript with an F on it." Two counselors were less enthusiastic about the preparation for college provided by participation in Fast Track. One said that it depended on the class. She felt that a computer class might be helpful, but had doubts about the advantages of a college aerobics class. Another counselor in a small school said that taking the college course at the high school was less pressure than at the college, so it didn't really mirror the college experience. He questioned whether the high school grade was comparable to a college grade. A student who had participated in Fast Track also said that, in retrospect, the college class she took at the high school wasn't really like a college class. However, seven of the 10 students who had participated in Fast Track and who were interviewed in the summer of 1988 said that they did feel that the Fast Track Program had improved their college performance. Three were unsure of whether

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157 participation in Fast Track had impacted their performance. One of the three had taken a class out of her major, and another was retaking the same course at the college. Comments from the seven students who had responded positively about the program were enthusiastic and included: "It helped me to get more organized." "I knew how to register." "It let me know what to expect." "The program gave me more experience and got me used to college." "Fast Track got me psyched up for college." "English Composition helped me in college." A college admission director in a small college also felt that it was an advantage to the institution to have these motivated, more capable students in classes. The majority of the comments indicated that the program largely built the student's confidence and helped with the transition from high school to college. For some students, Fast Track provided a motivational advantage. Several parents and principals said that the program kept students interested in schooling. one parent said that high school was not

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158 stimulating for his son, and the Fast Track Program had challenged him. A mother commented that her daughter was getting lost in the high school system, and it didn't look like she was failing if she went to college. She found success in the college courses. Part of this motivation, said a principal, is that the students are able to take courses they want to take. A student added that Fast Track created an enthusiasm for college in the fall. A superintendent said that Fast Track gave some students incentive to go to college, which enhanced the district's percentages in that area, and a mother confirmed that as a result of the program her daughter did go to college instead of getting married. Principals said the Fast Track Program provided more opportunities for gifted students, which was an advantage to both the school and the students. In several schools, students took both Advanced Placement and Fast Track classes which provided them with abundant challenges. Principals offered that the program provided challenges to the overachievers and kept them from getting bored. A principal added that the opportunities offered by the Fast Track Program for more in-depth study, especially in science and math, were advantageous to students. A counselor

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159 emphasized that the program benefitted not only the academically oriented students, but also those who took art and music classes at the college. Related to the opportunities for gifted students was the opportunity offered to all students through the expansion of the curriculum. The program met the needs of students who were more mature than others their age, while still allowing them the privileges of the high school, according to one counselor. Principals and counselors in small rural schools indicated that the wider variety of courses was especially beneficial for their students. One student was taking classes at the college because she wanted more stimulation, and another had exhausted the coursework in her area of interest at the high school and Fast Track provided another option. A final advantage cited for students, and also for their parents, was financial. Although this was not emphasized by students and parents, both agreed that an advantage did exist. A principal said that parents tuition costs were cut, and in the case of college classes being offered at the high school, transportation costs were minimized as well. Another parent cited a small savings, but added, "every little bit helps." A counselor in a participating school

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160 said that students saved as much as $500 on tuition, and a parent said he had saved about 12% in tuition costs. one superintendent said that it was cheaper than adding courses at the high school. Only one of the directors who were interviewed cited a financial benefit to the college in the form of increased FTE. Two other college admissions directors felt that the Fast Track program helped the institution to fulfill its mission. One director said that a comprehensive college should be associated with all vectors of community education and the Fast Track Program was one of those vectors. Another felt that the program not only exposed high school students to the demands of college classes, but also familiarized college personnel with the preparation and abilities of the students so that those students needs could be met. A counselor at a high school which offered the college courses in the school also commented that the program helped the teachers because it allowed them to become involved in some higher level classes. In that Fast Track offered the aforementioned benefits, it is probable that it would fulfill the missions of all of the participating institutions. The program also produced some good public relations for the participating institutions. A

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161 superintendent said that it was a good selling point for people moving to the district. A counselor added that Fast Track prompted cooperation between districts which relied on each other to offer various college classes. The public relations advantages were strongly emphasized by college personnel. A college director said in a telephone interview that he felt the program was good publicity and that it might attract those students to the college after they graduated from high school. A second college director observed that even if a student did not attend the college after high school, a good experience at the college would prompt them to tell others about it and thus provide positive publicity. Although these comments and other data indicate that the Fast Track Program has had a positive impact on student status and performance in college, motivated them to pursue college educations, met the needs of gifted students, provided for expansion of the curriculum, cut costs to students, fulfilled the mission of the institutions, and enhanced public relations, little follow-up on impact has been done by districts or colleges.

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162 Follow-Up studies The researcher questioned the 10 students interviewed regarding the institution they were currently attending. Of the 10 students, eight were attending universities in Colorado and two were attending private colleges in Colorado. Two of the students had gone to universities for their freshman year in college, but for their sophomore year of college, they planned to go back to the small local college they attended during their senior year of high school. Both students said that it was difficult for them to be away from home. Personnel in participating high schools and districts were asked if they had done any tracking on the students who participated in Fast Track. No figures or studies regarding the program were available. College admission directors also were asked in interviews if they had done any studies of the effectiveness of the program. All of the directors interviewed said that no studies had been done. One director said that he thought teachers and counselors had a general idea about the effectiveness of the program. Two other directors said that too few students were involved to justify a tracking system.

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163 Although no documentation of effectiveness is available, the advantages cited above and the enthusiasm of the participating students who were interviewed indicated probable merit in the program. However, this study has shown participation to be minimal. Reasons for nonparticipation are examined in the next section of this chapter. Nonparticipation Data on nonparticipation in the program were collected through surveys sent to districts, schools, and colleges. Quantitative data collection was concerned primarily with the answer to the question, "Do you use the Fast Track Program?" A "No" response indicted nonparticipation. Those respondents who reported nonparticipation were asked to check reasons for nonparticipation including: cost, lack of student interest, lack of information, another program used, and other. Tables with frequency distributions for the reasons checked were constructed. These quantitative results, combined with the data gathered from comments on surveys and answers to interview questions, give insight to the reasons superintendents, principals, and college personnel advanced for not implementing the Fast Track Program.

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Research question three: What reasons do districts, schools, and colleges give for not using the Fast Track Program? Superintendents 164 The initial survey was sent to all superintendents in Colorado. From the 143 surveys returned, lOS districts were identified as not participating in the Fast Track Program. Those superintendents who checked "No" were asked to check the reasons for nonparticipation from among those provided in the survey. Twenty-five (16% of responses) superintendents indicated under Other that distance was a significant factor influencing nonparticipation. Lack of student interest and lack of information were also contributing factors cited by superintendents. Cost was not a major reason for nonparticipation, according to these superintendents. (In addition, six superintendents indicated nonparticipatJ on on the follow-up survey, but reasons for nonparticipation were not requested on that survey.) Many surveys were returned with more than one reason checked. Table 4.13 includes multiple responses.

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165 Table 4.13 Nonparticipating Superintendents' Reasons for Not Implementing the Fast Track Program: Initial survey Number of Reason Responses Lack of student interest 38 Lack of information 28 Cost 25 Another type of program 25 Other Distance 25 No eligible students 9 Miscellaneous 6 TOTAL 156 Principals Percent of Responses Checked 24% 18% 16% 16% 16% 6% 4% 100% Principals in the 38 participating districts identified on the initial survey were surveyed to determine the extent of involvement at the high school level. Twenty-one of the 45 responding principals said they did not participate; their reasons for nonparticipation are summarized in Table 4.14. Several checked more than one reason, and these mul\tple responses were included in the table. No single major factor influencing nonparticipation emerged, although

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Table 4.14 Principals in Participating Districts--Reasons for Nonparticipation Number of Times Percent of Responses Checked Responses Other Program not in Disttivy 1 3.7% Lack of student awareness 1 3.7% Inconvenience, travel 1 3.7% Existing diversity of challenge 2 7.4% Scheduling difficult 1 3.7% Current requirements cant be met 1 3.7% Lack of student interest 6 22.2% Lack of information 6 22.2% Cost 3 11.1% Use another program 5 18.6% TOTAL 27 100% 166 lack of student interest, lack of information about the program and use of another program together constituted 63% of all responses to the reasons provided. Cost and distance from a college were emphasized less by high school principals than by superintendents. Only one principal said that students inability to

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167 complete requirements was the reason for nonpartici-pation. In addition to the principals in participating districts, 67 principals in districts identified as nonparticipating or nonresponding from the initial survey were randomly selected to be surveyed. The survey asked if they had implemented the Fast Track Program. If they checked No, they were asked to identify the reason(s). Nine of the 61 responses received indicated participation. The responses of the remaining 52 are summarized in Table 4.15. Several checked more than one reason. The primary reasons given were lack of student interest and lack of information. Distance from a college was also checked as a reason by 10 of the 52 principals. Table 4.15 Principals in Nonparticipating Districts--Reasons for Nonparticipation Reason Number % of Responses Other Credits not finished 6 9% Distance to college 10 16% Misc. Other 5 8% Lack of student interest 17 26.5% Lack of information 13 20% Cost 8 12.5% Another program used 5 8% TOTAL 64 8%

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168 College Admissions Directors College admissions personnel were asked about reasons for nonparticipation. Surveys were sent to all 27 institutions of higher education in Colorado, and 25 were returned. Sixteen college admissions directors indicated no participation in the program, but not all of those checked any of the reasons for nonparticipation listed on the survey, and some checked more than one reason. Table 4.16 summarizes the reasons indicated. Table 4.16 College Admissions Directors' Reasons for Nonparticipation Reason Number Cost o Lack of student interest 1 Lack of requests from district 9 Lack of program information 4 Other o TOTAL 14 Percent of Responses 0% 7.2% 64.2% 28.6% 0% 100%

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Overview: survey Data on Reasons for Nonparticipation The responses from .district.;:;, schools, and colleges are totaled in Table 4.17. Lack of Student Interest (checked 62 times) was the most 169 frequently given reason for nonparticipation in the Fast Track Program. Qualitative data were examined to see if these reasons for nonparticipation were supported by interview and survey comments. Table 4.17 Reasons Given by Superintendents, Principals. and College Admissions Directors for Nonparticipation Number of Times % of Reason Checked Total Lack of student interest 62 23.8% Lack of information 52 19.9% Use of another program 37 14.2% Cost 36 13.8% Distance 36 13.8% Credits not completed 17 6.5% Misc. other 12 4.6% Lack of requests from the districts 9 3.4% TOTAL 261 100.%

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170 Interview Data: Nonparticipation Telephone interviews were conducted with superintendents, principals, and college admissions personnel. Five superintendents who had checked cost and five who had checked lack of information on the initial survey were selected for telephone interviews. six principals who indicated nonparticipation (three from districts identified as participating, and three from districts identified as nonparticipating on the initial survey), and three college personnel who had said the school or college did not participate were also interviewed by telephone. An admissions director from one of the large universities which did not respond on the survey was one of those interviewed. These interviews yielded additional data on reasons for nonparticipation. Responses were analyzed in the general categories of distance, requirements cost, lack of information, lack of student interest, alternative programs used, and a miscellaneous category. Distance. Superintendents and principals' surveys yielded numerous comments citing distance as a reason for not implementing the Fast Track Program. Some of the comments from superintendents on the initial survey were very general, citing "distance,"

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171 "location," or "rural" as a reason for nonpartici-pation. Other superintendents emphasized inaccessibility to an institution of higher learning. Travel was mentioned as a concern, as was liability for transportation. One superintendent wrote that "constant driving increases the risk of an accident." A superintendent in another district stated that the nearest college was 40 miles away, and another stated that his district was 120 miles from the nearest college. He added: We obviously would abide with this law, if the situation arose. We have never had a chance, given the geographical distance from the closest college, to implement a relationship. Given our remote location, our kids obviously can't walk across the street to a meaningful higher education experience. Principals in nonparticipating districts who were surveyed as to reasons for nonparticipation concurred that living in an isolated location discouraged participation because of the inconvenience and the need for students to pay for transportation. In a telephone interview, one nonparticipating principal said that his school was 50 miles one way from a college, so participating in the Fast Track Program was not possible. Likewise, principals of schools in participating districts, but not participating in Fast Track,

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172 commented that the distance to a college or geographic location were reasons for not implementing the program. one principal said that transportation costs would prohibit students from traveling to the nearest college to take courses. These superintendents and principals were generally in small, isolated districts. In the interviews, they did not address the possibility of arranging for a college to offer courses on the high school campus. Requirements. Distance was largely a concern of rural districts, but the completion of requirements was listed by both urban and rural districts as a reason for nonparticipation. Five superintendents stated on the initial survey that students did not or could not complete requirements prior to the beginning of the 12th grade. one superintendent wrote that 12th grade English was required, and another simply that high school courses for graduation were required during the senior year. One superintendent added that students usually don't have time because graduation requirements are too high. High school principals in districts that had been identified as participating in Fast Track also gave difficulty in completing requirements as a reason fer not initiating the program. Most indicated that

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173 students had to complete requirements during the senior year. This may be a function of educational policy for, as one principal wrote, "We prefer students to be in school four years and set up our credits/graduation policy accordingly." Principals who were in nonparticipating districts also advanced the credit requirements as a reason for not using the Fast Track Program. Two principals of schools in the same district responded similarly. One said simply, "Our kids don't qualify," while the other principal responded, "We just don't have that many students who finish the credits required for early graduation." Two principals said that their program required 3.5 years of the students, and several principals reported requiring from. 22-25 credits for graduation. Three schools had a senior history class requirement, and three others, a senior English requirement. These survey comments emphasized that students have difficulty finishing requirements before the beginning of second semester of their senior year. Telephone interviews with nonparticipating principals and college personnel re-emphasized this. A principal in the metropolitan area said that it would be extremely difficult to complete requirements before

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174 the senior year, and a principal in a small town commented, Based on personal needs and career plans, two kids who wanted to graduate early, but couldn't, attended college and parents paid. We require 24 credits for graduation, so students can't get out early. There are too many credits to complete. This was confirmed by a college counselor who claimed the college had difficulty attracting students because of stringent requirements at the high school. Requirement completion, however, was not frequently checked on the surveys as a reason for nonparticipa-tion. Cost. Because cost was checked twice as fre-quently as requirements on the initial survey, five superintendents who had checked cost as a reason for nonparticipation on the initial survey were interviewed by telephone to gather more data on this reason. All were asked: 1. What did you estimate the additional cost to the district to be? 2. What would be the major cost item? 3. What special characteristics of your district makes this a high cost program? The answers to the first question on cost to the district ranged from $400 to $1,890 per year per student. The estimate of $1,890 was based on the

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175 amount budgeted for the vocational students who were sent to the college for courses. Two of the superintendents figured the cost of transportation in their estimate, and one, whose high school was 75 minutes from a college, estimated $40 per day for a driver and gas. All five superintendents interviewed estimated that no more than five students would participate. Three of the five cited tuition as the major cost item in answer to the second question, and four of the five mentioned transportation as an additional cost item. These five superintendents were then asked what would make the Fast Track Program a high cost program to the district. Three of the five said that distance to a college was a major consideration. One superintendent felt the cost to parents for transportation would be too high. Another said that students did not want to leave the high school campus because of the distance to the college. Two of the superintendents emphasized that their district was currently in a financial bind and that the Fast Track program would only increase that bind. "Obviously," said one superintendent in an interview, "districts are sensitive to losing authorized revenue base."

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176 The concern about the cost of the Fast Track Program to the district was echoed by principals and a college counselor. one principal wrote that the tuition cost to students was the reason the high school did not participate. In an interview, another principal said that the school board did not allow students to participate; the board did allow students to apply two college credits toward graduation, but the students had to pay tuition. That particular school had 25 students graduate in January, some of whom were early graduates and some were students who had been scheduled to graduate the previous June. The principal of that school said, "If the district would have to pay college costs for those students, it would be prohibitive." Finally, one college counselor commented that, although the college had presented the program to school districts, there were no takers because the school districts would have had to pay the tuition. Although survey respondents did not identify cost as a major reason for not implementing the program, follow-up interviews did show cost to be a real concern, especially for superintendents who are responsible for the fiscal well-being of the district. Some cost implications were misinterpreted by n

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177 superintendents and principals, which relates directly to another, more frequently cited reason for nonparticipation. Lack of information. Lack of information was checked by 28 superintendents on the initial survey as a reason for nonparticipation in the Fast Track Program. Five superintendents who indicated on the initial survey that lack of information was their reason for not using Fast Track were interviewed by telephone in Spring, 1988. The superintendents were asked: 1. Since the initial survey, have you gained more information about the program? 2. If you had more information about the program, would it be feasible for your district? 3. Would you be interested in receiving a copy of this report to increase your data on the program? Of the five superintendents interviewed, four said that they had gained no further information since completing the initial survey in Spring, 1987. One commented that "the state has not provided a lot of input, especially at the board-superintendent policy meetings." The one superintendent who had gained more information said that the one high school in the district offered a computer class which students could

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178 take for either college or high school credit. The students paid for the course, and when they passed the course, the district reimbursed the cost. Thus. one of the five had become a modified participant in the program. When asked if the program might be feasible for the district, the responses were divided. Three superintendents said that they were open to the idea. Said one superintendent, 11Since the district's main philosophy is to meet kids' needs, if there were a need for the program, we would do it.11 Another superintendent said that the Fast Track program might be feasible for the district as the parents in the district had high expectations. One of the two superintendents who had responded negatively noted that the district had received no information on CRS 22-34-101 or on HB 1244. The second superintendent felt that the program was something that could be best implemented by the colleges, but said that the two colleges in the immediate vicinity had never contacted the district about the program. Finally, in answer to the question about receiving a copy of this report to increase the knowledge base in the district, one said 11No,11 three said "Yes," and one said "Perhaps."

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179 Some survey and interview information received from principals also revealed lack of knowledge of the program. on the surveys returned, one principal wrote that the program was not implemented because of lack of student awareness and added, "We desperately need more information." Another principal wrote, "Please send more information. I am interested in this!" A principal who had indicated nonparticipation on the survey commented in an interview that she had called the university in the city to get information three years ago and that the university had sent her some very outdated information. At that time, two students had indicated interest, but no participation took place. She, too, asked to receive information on the program. on the opposite side, one nonparticipating principal said in an interview that the school had never heard of the program and that he knew nothing about Fast Track or HB 1244. This was the same principal who had written that he didn't believe that it would be appropriate for the board of education to pay college tuition. Finally, four college counselors who had indicated nonparticipation on the survey were interviewed,

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180 and two of them said that they were not familiar with the program. said one counselor, "It is not a program that is really promoted either at the district or at the college level. There is no reason to recruit." The comments on surveys and in interviews demonstrate that lack of information about the Fast Track Program has had an impact on the level of implementation. Districts have not promoted the program for a variety of reasons, and colleges have not pushed the program, although it would appear to be to their advantage to do so. Consequently, the information that the program is available is not communicated to the students it would benefit. Lack of student interest. Are the students interested? The most often checked reason for nonparticipation was lack of student interest. Although this was a frequently cited reason for nonparticipation on the surveys, only three comments alluded to students being uninterested in the Fast Track program. one superintendent wrote on the initial survey that he had had no requests for the program. When interviewed in the summer of 1988, another superintendent said, 11The kids haven't seemed interested." In addition, interviews with nonparticipating college admissions counselors indicated a lack of interest as

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181 a reason, but pointed to two different parties. One counselor said that the college had presented the program to districts, but had no requests for Fast Track offerings. However, students did come of their own volition to take classes at that college at their own expense. In this case, the lack of interest in college classes appeared to be on the part of the district, rather than the students. Another counselor did feel that students were not really interested in the program. "There are not many kids that age who are anxious to get going with college. They want to enjoy their senior year and would rather socialize than work.11 The number of cowuents regarding lack of student interest, while interesting, were relatively few when compared with cost and distance comments. Alternative programs used. Administrators in districts and schools tiot participating often made comments about the alternative programs they offered, some of which were modifications of the Fast Track concept. A number of those surveyed cited the presence of an alternative program as a reason for nonparticipation. The alternatives cited by superintendents, principals, and college counselors ranged from alternatives within the high school,

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182 including Advanced Placement classes, to courses offered at the colleges. Two superintendents listed the Honors and Advanced Placement programs in their districts as alternatives; two principals also confirmed the presence of strong Advanced Placement programs in their schools. One principal wrote that two students spent their senior year as exchange students, and this was considered an alternative to the Fast Track Program. In other schools some in-school alternatives were present. One superintendent said the district was planning to use a satellite dish system for Advanced Placement classes. An eight-period day as an alternative was also mentioned by a superinten-dent. Another commented, We have established an Academy which encompasses a broad range of educational opportunities for kids and adults year round. One component of the Academy is a formal relationship with a college which allows people in town to take courses for credit through them. In a sense, we have our own college right here! Kids are encouraged to take these courses. As of yet, no one has. We do have some kids doing correspondence work with universities for high school credit. We're flexible. Interestingly, a number of comments indicated that some schools did have relationships with colleges which allowed some type of participation, although one of those was not recent. "We allowed one credit

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183 for junior college 12 years ago." In two other schools, students took classes on their own time and at their expense. A superintendent stated, We have a program where students can take college courses at the college free of tuition cost if they have a 3.0 GPA, are a senior, and have the approval of the building principal. In another district, students were allowed to take courses at the local junior college during the academic day, provided conflicts were avoided. Those students also had to complete the required courses at the high school. College counselors also indicated some interest on the part of students for taking college classes. One junior college provided three options open to students: Fast Track, HB 1244, and students paying their own tuition. The only high school students enrolled at that time in that junior college were those in the latter category. Two other college counselors also reported having high school students enrolled, and paying their own tuition. One large college located in the Metro area had two students enrolled in 1987-88, for whom the school districts paid tuition. There are some alternatives to Fast Track avail-able to high school students. Many of those districts identified as nonparticipating on survey

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184 returns were participating in some sort of coopera-tive program with a college other than the Fast Track Program. Miscellaneous reasons for nonparticipation. Additional comments on surveys and interviews focused on other reasons for nonparticipation. A principal, in a district identified as participating on the initial survey commented, "I do not think it would be appropriate for a Board of Education to pay college tuition. I do not support the program." A second principal in a nonparticipating district indicated he felt that all students should have four years of high school. Other principals cited student needs as a reason for nonparticipation. A in a participating -. district wrote, Only special, talented students can do this. Very seldom does this happen. It is also difficult to schedule a college class in with the high school classes even though the college is just across the street. Another principal in a nonparticipating district some distance from a college cited the inability of students to participate in both the Fast Track Program and extracurricular activities as a hindrance. A superintendent who was interviewed was more concerned with losing those students. "We don't want colleges

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185 to scrape the 'cream' of our leaders." He also worried that teachers' positions might be cut if the program were implemented to any significant degree. In spite of all these concerns and reasons for nonparticipation, a few comments on surveys by superintendents and principals indicated a desire to implement the program at some future time. Two superintendents and one principal wrote that they might implement the program in 1988-89. Summary As of the 1987-88 school year, approximately 21% of the school districts in Colorado, the majority located along the Front Range, and approximately 13% of the public high schools in Colorado were participating in some form in the Fast Track Program. over 300 students participated in the program or a modification thereof in 1987-88. Fifty-nine percent of the institutions of higher education in Colorado were reported to be involved in a cooperative program with high schools during that same year. Analysis of policies and of procedures, as reported on surveys and in interviews, showed that students usually learned of the program through a friend or from a high school counselor.

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186 Requirements for participation usually involved a minimum 3.0 grade point average, and attendance in a specified number of courses at the high school. Tuition was paid by the districts and students were responsible for fees, books, and transportation in most participating districts. Most courses were offered at the college for college credit only, and colleges did not usually provide special assis-tance for those Fast Track students enrolled at their institution. Superintendents, principals, high school counselors, students, their parents, and college admissions directors were asked to cite advan-tages and disadvantages of the program. Disadvantages included lack of student motivation and maturity, scheduling and paperwork problems, a negative impact on teachers, expense to the district, and lack of recruiting advantages for the colleges. Advantages listed by those interviewed were: the provision of advanced status in college for students, a positive impact on ensuing college performance, increased motivation to pursue higher education, a way to meet the needs of gifted students, a means of expanding the curriculum, decreased costs to students,

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187 mission fulfillment of the institution, and enhanced public relations. Superintendents, principals, and college admissions directors were asked why their institutions were not participating in the Fast Track Program. The major reasons cited included: lack of student interest, lack of information, use of another program, difficulty in completion of high school requirements, expense, and distance to an institution of higher education. Superintendents' and principals' responses indicated that options to Fast Track were available in a number of public high schools in the state.

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CHAPTER V SUMMARY AND FINDINGS The Fast Track Program is an accelerated program which was legislated by CRS 22-34-101 (Appendix A) in 1981. The law provided early admission to college for high school seniors who had fulfilled graduation requirements. Those students could take one or more college courses at a state-supported institution of higher education, and the local school district was required to pay the tuition. No evaluation of the impact of that legislation had been done, and since the educational and financial impact could be significant, this study was developed to provide followup on the Fast Track Program. This study, conducted in 1987 and 1988, sought to determine the extent of implementation of the Fast Track Program in Colorado, and to describe the impact of the program on participating students and institutions up through the 1987-88 school year. In addition, reasons for nonparticipation in the program were examined. The methodology and findings of the study are summarized later in this chapter, which

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also presents conclusions based on the data and describes recent Colorado legislation on acceleration. Methodology 189 A complementary processes model which used both surveys and interviews to gather data and which employed quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis provided the structure for the research. To determine feasibility of the study, an initial survey (Appendix B) designed to measure participation and to assess reasons for nonparticipation was sent to all 176 school superintendents in Colorado in 1987. Thirty-eight of the 143 surveys returned indicated participation and, based on that, the researcher undertook data gathering to answer the following questions. Research Questions 1. How many districts and public high schools in Colorado have implemented the Fast Track Program? 2. What policies and procedures have those districts and schools developed? 3. What reasons do districts, schools, and colleges give for not using the program?

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190 4. How many students finish graduation requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year? To what degree do those who do finish participate? 5. Are size and location of schools related to implementation? 6. To what extent do institutions of higher education participate in the program? 7. What impact has the program had on students, schools, and colleges? Data Collection Following the initial survey, follow-up surveys (Appendix C) were sent to the 38 superintendents who had indicated participation to determine the extent of district participation. Thirty-three surveys were returned. Data on principals' knowledge of the Fast Track Program and on the number of students participating were collected from the 45 surveys (Appendix D) returned from the 48 high schools in the districts identified as participating. In addition, 67 principals in nonparticipating or nonresponding districts were randomly surveyed to test the validity of the initial survey responses. sixty-one (91%) surveys were returned, and five of those were from large

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metropolitan districts that did not respond to the initial survey. 191 Finally, admissions directors at the 27 institutions of higher education in Colorado were surveyed (Appendix E) to measure participation by higher education. Twenty-five surveys were returned. To supplement and verify the survey data, over 80 participants and nonparticipants in the Fast Track Program were identified from the surveys and were interviewed by telephone using structured interview questions (Appendix F). Superintendents, principals, counselors, students, and parents who were in districts identified as participating were interviewed. In addition, college admissions directors from institutions which cooperated with participating districts were interviewed about participation by higher education. Those interviews focused primarily on the procedures used in implementing the Fast Track Program and on the perceived impact of the program. Superintendents, principals, and college admissions directors who said on the surveys that they did not participate in the Fast Track Program were also interviewed to gather information on reasons for nonparticipation.

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192 The data gathered from the surveys and interviews were hand recorded by the researcher in a Research Log. Descriptive data were tallied and put into tables and other data were recorded in anecdotal form. Data Analysis Analysis of the data combined both quantitative and qualitative methods to yield a descriptive narrative of the Fast Track Program. The extent of participation was determined primarily through analysis of survey data, while information on procedures and impact relied on interview data. Participation. Participation analysis focused on school/district participation, student participation, the demographics of participants, and participation by institutions of higher education. Participation was defined initially by the number of superintendents and principals responding affirmatively to the survey question, "Do you use the Fast Track Program?" A district-by-district comparison of responses by superintendents and principals was then made. superintendents and principals' survey responses regarding payment of tuition by the district and completion of graduation requirements by students provided information for identifying those districts

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193 in full compliance with CRS 22-34-101. Comments on surveys and in interviews furnished further information. Research Question Four, which asked how many students finished requirements prior to the beginning of their senior year and how many participated, was answered from the survey responses of superintendents, principals, and college admissions directors. In addition, students were asked whether they had finished requirements prior to participating and how many classes they took at the high school and at the college. Research Question Five addressed the influence of district size and location on participation. Surveys returned by superintendents and principals in participating districts and schools were classified by size, as measured by student population, and by location. Participation by institutions of higher education was examined in Research Question Six. This information was collected from survey responses of superintendents and college admissions directors who had indicated participation. Tables were constructed and superintendents and college admissions directors responses were compared.

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194 Impact. Impact analysis consisted of two parts: policies and procedures related to the Fast Track program (Research Question TWo), and the impact of the program as viewed by participants (Research Question Seven). In examining policies and procedures, the 17 documents received were reviewed. In addition, superintendents, principals, counselors, students, their parents, and college personnel were interviewed about procedures for tuition payment, cost, requirements, credits granted, and finance. Impact analysis involved a description of the disadvantages and advantages of the program as reported by the participants. Nonparticipation. Finally, Research Question Three addressed the reasons for nonparticipation given by superintendents, principals, and college admissions directors. Surveys furnished the data from which frequency distributions of reasons were constructed. Interviews supplemented the survey data. The use of a complementary processes model employing both surveys and interviews yielded a broad view of the implementation and impact of the Fast Track Program in Colorado.

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195 Findings The analysis of data furnished information on participation by districts and schools, students, and institutions of higher education. The impact of the Fast Track Program was examined, and reasons given for non-participation in the program were summarized. Participation District/school participation. The surveys returned from 38 superintendents in participating districts and from 106 principals in Colorado identified approximately 21% of the districts in Colorado as participating in the Fast Track Program in 1988. It is possible that more districts were participating because not all districts responded and some returns were incomplete. The surveys received from principals in both participating and nonparticipating districts indicated that at least 34 high schools (about 13% of the public high schools in Colorado) were participating in the Fast Track Program in 1987-88. These estimates are conservative. CRS 22-34-101 required that tuition be paid by the district and that students complete graduation requirements prior to participation. survey data indicated that only six high schools in three

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196 districts were in full compliance with those criteria. The remaining districts were in modified compliance, especially with regard to completion of requirements. Interviews with participating superintendents, principal, students, and college admissions directors confirmed that graduation requirements generally were not met by participants, even in those districts identified as being in full compliance from survey data. Participants usually were concurrently completing high school requirements and taking college courses. Student participation. A fairly small number of students participated in the Fast Track Program, and those who did were enrolled in an average of one or two college classes. Superintendents and principals estimated that an average of 300 students (about 2% of the high school seniors in Colorado) participated annually in the program, and that about 130 students per year finished graduation requirements early. College admissions directors, however, reported an average of 172 students participating annually. Reported participation was less than the 400-2000 students that legislators had thought would take advantage of the program (Senate Hearings, 1981) and less than in Minnesota, where a similar program serves

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about 5400 students (5% of the high school seniors in the system) per year (Shanker, 1989). Demographic characteristics of participants. 197 The number of schools and districts on the Front Range of Colorado that reported participation was almost double the number of schools and districts on the Western Slope that reported participation. Small districts and high schools participated to a slightly greater degree than did larger districts and schools, even though large districts usually had easy access to institutions of higher education. Higher education participation. Of the 27 institutions of higher education in Colorado, 16 reported participation in some form of cooperative program with high schools in 1987-88. Impact Impact data included the policies and procedures used to implement the Fast Track Program, and the disadvantages and advantages of the program as described by those participating. Policies and procedures. A review of documents on the Fast Track Program, supplemented by interviews with superintendents, principals, counselors,

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students, their parents, and college admissions directors furnished data on information delivery, eligibility requirements, financing, and course presentation in the program. 198 Receiving information from counselors or hearing about the Fast Track Program from someone else was cited by students and parents as the usual way of learning about the program, but principals and superintendents emphasized using written media to convey information about the program. Some school and college officials admitted that no significant effort was made to deliver information about the program. Generally, acceptance by a college, completion of the required high school courses, and a 3.0 GPA were criteria used to determine eligibility for the Fast Track Program. Senior status was also required. Colleges usually relied on recommendations from high school officials for student admission. Generally, tuition was paid for by the districts. That payment was modified because of some budgetary constraints in several districts. Districts did not, as a rule, pay for students' transportation, fees, or books. The ten participating superintendents interviewed were asked to estimate the cost of the

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199 program to the district. Those q!stimates ranged from under $500 to over $5000, and costs per student ranged from $300-$1800. Interestingly, most participating students and their parents said that cost or the opportunity to save money were not fa.ctors in their decision to participate. The majority of the Fast Track participants indi-cated that the courses were offered at the college and were taught by college professors. College credit was the most favored type of credit, although dual credit (both high school and college credit) was awarded in some cases. Disadvantages. In analysis of impact, the information on policies and procedures was supplemented by interview data on the disadvantages and advantages of the Fast Track Program as perceived by the various participants. Over one third of those interviewed indicated that there were no problems with the pro Lack of motivation and immaturity of students were difficulties encountered by some school officials, in that some students were not prepared to accept the responsibility for college-level work. Scheduling of both high school and c .ollege courses also was a problem, sometimes resulting in student overload, and administrative difficulties such as

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200 coordinating school calendars and documenting attendance were cited as disadvantages. Minimal impact on teaching positions was reported by superintendents in participating districts. Advantages. The rationale for the development of the Fast Track Program, as outlined in Chapter I, emphasized a monetary savings for students and preventing "senioritis.11 Although these were mentioned by students, neither was their primary motivation for participation. The chief advantages of the Fast Track Program, as reported by all participants, were that it allowed students to get a head start on accumulating college credit and enabled them to make a smoother transition from high school to college. The program also helped schools meet the needs of overachievers and gifted students and expanded the curriculum. Slightly over one half of the counselors said they felt the program helped students to perform better in college, and 7 of the 10 participating students interviewed said they felt the Fast Track Program improved their college performance. Although parents and students indicated there was a financial advantage, this was not stressed. Colleges emphasized the public relations value of the program, but the recruitment possibilities

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201 advanced in the literature were not confirmed by college personnel. Lave's (1984) study showed one half of the students continued to attend the college where they were early entrants, but students interviewed in this study attended different institutions after graduation. College admissions directors and superintendents interviewed reported that no documentation of effectiveness of the program and no formal tracking of students in the Fast Track Program had been done. Nonparticipation Data on nonparticipation were collected from survey responses supplemented by interviews. Survey respondents checked as reasons for nonparticipation: cost, lack of student interest, lack of information, and another program used. Of the 105 superintendents reporting nonparticipation on the initial survey, the reason checked most often was lack of student interest, followed by lack of information. Principals in nonparticipating schools echoed this. Many superintendents and principals reported that distance to an institution of higher education was a major impediment to participation, especially for small, isolated schools. College admissions directors, on the other hand, reported that the major reason for

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202 nonparticipation was a lack of requests from school districts. Conclusions This study measured the degree of implementation and the impact of CRS 22-34-101, known as the Fast Track Program, in Colorado. Analysis of the data gathered from surveys and interviews indicated that, although the program was viewed positively, participation has been minimal. From the findings, several conclusions about the implementation and impact of the Fast Track Program are warranted. 1. The motivation for implementation of the program depended on the demographics of the district. For small districts within a reasonable distance of an institution of higher education, the Fast Track Program provided a to enlarge the curriculum. Large school districts, on the other hand, used the program primarily to accommodate the wishes of students, since an expanded curriculum, usually including Advanced Placement courses, was already in place. 2. The Fast Track Program was a positive means of acceleration for students, even though a small number actually participated in the program. It

PAGE 218

expanded opportunities and made the senior year in high school a challenge for those students. 203 3. Although the Fast Track Program was politically desirable and was attractive to some school districts because of the expanded opportunities it offered, the loose interpretation of CRS 22-34-101 and the lack of supervision by the Colorado Department of Education and other state agencies resulted in a variety of modifications of the legislation. Some of those modifications prevented implementation and some simply adapted the program to meet the needs of the district. 4. House Bill 1244 was drafted in 1988 to close the loopholes found in CRS 22-34-101. The low participation in the Fast Track Program and the questionable conformance with the requirements of CRS 22-34-101 probably were driving forces in initiation of this legislation. House Bill 1244 In the spring of 1988, after the data for this study were collected, the Colorado legislature enacted House Bill 1244 (Appendix H). This bill expanded the boundaries of accelerated programs in Colorado.

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204 House Bill 1244 allows any student under 20 years of age, enrolled in the 11th or 12th grades, to apply to take college classes while still in high school. students must give their school districts notice of intent to apply at least two months prior to enrollment and must be accepted by the college. The rationale for such legislation was that students need to be challenged academically and for some students there is less challenge during the last two years of high school. Also, there is a high dropout rate at the 11th and 12th grade levels. The feeling of the supporters of House Bill 1244 was that this legislation would provide more options to students and that courses offered in a different setting might stimulate student interest (House Bill 1244, 1988). Under House Bill 1244, participating students can receive high school and/or college credit and do not have to pay tuition for any courses accepted as high school credit. The students, however, must pay tuition for any credit that is only college credit and must provide and pay for transportation to the institution of higher education. The bill does not apply to summer school work.

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205 High schools may deny acceptance of college credit toward the high school diploma if that credit is inappropriate: however, that denial must be upheld by the local and state boards of education. Otherwise, the district must pay tuition for students taking college courses. Also, if a student takes three or more courses at the college, the Department of Education will withhold one half of the authorized revenue base for that student and pay tuition directly to the college. Participating colleges are restricted to public institutions and colleges must make a cooperative agreement with the high schools for the funding of pupils. The courses offered must be three or more credit hours to qualify. Colleges may limit enrollment on a space-available basis, and tuition is to be paid by the school district or the state. The college can, as a rule, count students as a part of the college full-time enrollment. The bill has some interesting additions. School districts are required to make information about postsecondary options available to students and their parents. In addition, the Department of Education is required to make a report on the implementation of this program to the state legislature in 1991.

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206 Finally, no money was appropriated to implement the bill (House Bill 1244, 1988). Money also was not appropriated to implement the Fast Track Program in 1981. However, in that program, schools were not required to distribute information about Fast Track, and no provision was made for follow-up or implementation. The results of this study on Fast Track may have implications for the implementation of House Bill 1244. Recommendations Several recommendations are in order. 1. Each educational entity should take some responsibility for implementing legislation. The state agencies, such as the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Association of School Boards, and the Colorado Association of School Executives, should institute in-depth educational programs on new legislation. Paragraph summaries in bulletins are not sufficient and do not provide the exchange of ideas necessary to avoid loose interpretation of legislation. Information on accelerated programs should also be widely distributed by institutions of higher education and school districts instead of waiting for requests for those programs.

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207 2. Districts and schools, in a cooperative effort with institutions of higher education, should begin to search for ways to implement legislation. This cooperative effort might result in new ways of addressing cost and procedural problems by which all involved could benefit. This approach would be more productive than searching for ways to avoid participation. 3. A system of tracking and measuring the performance of high school students who participate in accelerated programs should be developed to determine the effectiveness of such programs. Paralleling this, follow-up should be performed on all legislation, and criteria for that. follow-up should be a part of the legislation. HB 1244 has moved in that direction. 4. Finally, as the legislature becomes increasingly involved in education, it seems imperative that more attention be given to the cost of implementing the programs mandated by legislation. Neither CRS 22-34-101 nor HB 1244 provided funds for implementation. To simply mandate a program, telling the districts to 11make it happen" is no longer feasible. Each piece of legislation should be accompanied by cost estimates and feasibility studies before enactment.

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208 Recommendations for Further Research This study raised some questions which were not answered by the research. Some suggestions for further research follow. 1. While the monetary savings of such accelerated programs was not emphasized by those participating, cost did appear to be a real concern for districts. A study of the actual expenditures required to implement House Bill 1244 and the financial procedures for handling those costs would benefit districts and schools. 2. A case-study of accelerated programs would yield more in-depth information about participants. Ideally, this would involve teachers and professors, in addition to those interviewed in this research, as that feedback is important in determining the impact of the program. 3. The literature contained several instances of articulation between private high schools and institutions of higher education. A comparison of the articulation of public and private high schools with institutions of higher education in Colorado might give more insight to methods of financing accelerated programs.

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209 Reflections The Fast Track Program created an opportunity for a small number of students to accelerate their education by taking college courses while still in high school, and the enthusiasm of those participants indicated that it was a valuable program for students. However, the loose interpretation of CRS 22-34-101, and the ensuing modifications, limited use of the program. House Bill 1244 has attempted to close some of those loopholes, but if the program is not positively presented to the school districts, and if institutions of higher education do not cooperate in implementation, it is likely that modifications of House Bill 1244 also will occur, and that participation will be minimal.

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REFERENCES Adelman, c., & Reuben, E. (1984). students: Promising approaches education. Washington, D.C.: on Excellence in Education. Starting with in American higher National Commission Babbie, E. R. (1973). Survev research methods. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Publishing. Boyer, c. M., & McGuinness, A. c., Jr. (1986, February). State initiatives to improve undergraduate education: ECS survey highlights. American Association for Higher Education Bulletin, pp. 3-7. Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. (1971, summer). Less time, more options in higher education. School and Society, 99, 285-86. Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. (1973). Continuity and discontinuity. New York: McGraw-Hill. Colorado State Board of Education. (1986). Status of K-12 public education in Colorado, 1986. Planning and Evaluation Unit. Colorado State Legislature. (1981, March through July). Taped legislative sessions on Senate Bill 248, CRS 22-34-101. Covarrubias, A. (1989, Monday, January 2). High schoolers get a leg up on college in Upward Bound. Rocky Mountain News (Denver, Colorado), p. 8. Daemon, D. (1987). An evaluation of the impact of the Child Protection Act of 1975 on Colorado school districts. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado.

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211 Douglas, P., Powers, s., & Choroszy, M. (1983, November). Developing pre-college programs for high ability secondary students at the university level. Journal of College Student Personnel, 24, 540-545. Doxey, W. (1980). An academic analysis of the articulation of early admissions students, 1971-74. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Utah. Elofsen, s. (1986, March). Interview with researcher on education legislation in the Colorado State Legislature, Denver, Colorado. Ferguson, G. (1980). Statistical analysis in psychology and education. New York: McGraw-Hill. Final project description: HEADS project -otis School District R-3. (1986, December). Presented at the Colorado Association of School Boards Conference, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Fund for the Advancement of Education. (1957, October). They went to college early. School and Society, 85, 293-294. Greenberg, A. (1982, May). High school/college articulated programs: Pooling resources across the abyss. National Association of Secondary Schools Bulletin, 83-87. High school board of education denies teen prodigy diploma. (1989, Saturday, April 15). The Denver Post (Denver, Colorado), p. 7A. House, E. (1977). The logic of evaluative argument. Los Angeles: Center for the Study of Evaluation, University of California at Los Angeles. Ishler, R. E., & Leslie, E. c. (1987, April). Bridging the gap between a public school system and a university. Phi Delta Kappan, 68(8), 615616. Jones, Q. (1981, March). Advanced placement representative speaking to the Colorado Legislature in hearings on Senate Bill 248. Taped transcripts of the Colorado State Legislature.

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212 Kaylor, P. E. (Ed.). (1978). The early colleqe in theory and practice. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges. Lave, J. (1984). Advance college project final evaluation report: 1983-84 school year. Bloomington: Indiana University. Lick, D. w. (1985). Rural school partnerships with higher education and the private sector. Washington, D.C.: Department of Education. Lieberman, J. E. (1985). Combining high school and college: LaGuardia's Middle College high school. New Directions for Teaching and (24), 47-57. Maeroff, G. J. (1983). School and college: Partnerships in education. Princeton: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Mark, M. M., & Shetland, R. L. (1987a, Fall). Alternative models for the use of multiple methods. New Directions in Program Evaluation, 35, l-5. Mark, M. M., & Shetland, R. L. (l987b, Fall). Multiple methods in program evaluation. New Directions in Program Evaluation, 12, 95-100. Parnell, D. (1985, October). high school community college connection. Chronicle of Higher Education, 31, 27-31. Parnell, D. (1985). The neglected majority. Washington, D.C.: Community College Press. Phillips, E. (1988, February). Sportsmanship is on the rise at Elizabeth. Administrators Viewpoint (Colorado Association of School Executives), 1(4), 9. Reader, w. (1987). An analysis of the leader behaviors and task priorities of effective curriculum directors in mid-sized school districts in Colorado. Unpublished doctoral University of Colorado.

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Rising seniors program--guidelines for non-college student enrollment. (1986). Greeley, Colo.: AIMS Community College. Saul, D. (1987, June 20). Telephone interview with Colorado Department of Education official. 213 Shanker, A. (1989, sunday, January 22). Choice plan can bolster public schools. New York Times, p. E.9. Whitlock, B. W. (1978). Don't hold them back. New York: College Entrance Examination Board. Wilbur, F. (1982, September). College courses in high school: New opportunities for the twelfth year. The Practitioner, 61-70. Wilbur, F. P., Lambert, L. M., & Young, M. J. (1988). School-college partnerships--a look at the major national models. Reston, Va.: National Association of Secondary School Principals.

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APPENDICES

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APPENDIX A CRS 22-34-101

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216 High School Fast Track Program 22-101 ARTICLE 34 High School Fast Track Program 22. Hiqh school fast track prograe. (1) A school district may negotiate a written agreement w1th an accred1ted state institution of higner education in Colorado .nereby anx pupil in the district who fulfills the requirements for graduation from hign school may take one or more higner education courses during nis twelfth grJde year The college course may be taught at the nigh school facility or on tne college campus depending on the course requirements and the agreement between the locJI school district and the state institution of higher education. For purposes of determining the enrollment of a state institution of higher education, tne pupil shall be counted as a student of a state institution of higher education in accordance with the number of course hours in which he is enrolled. (Z) Any high school pupil taking college credit at a state institution of nigner education pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be eligible for all n1gh school activities only at the nigh during tne academic year. Pupils complying with the provisions of this section snail considered eligible 'or all sanctioned high school and interscholastic activities of 3ny recogni:ed association of schools organizing and controlling such activities, until the time of graduation of the student's senior class, if the student attains the required standards of the association for eligibility to participate. The nigh school pupil shall have none of the rights and privileges of any regularly enrolled student at the state institution of higher education. (3) Nothing in this section shall mandate a school district to develop Jffiliation agreements with one or more state institutions of higher education located in this state to permit college courses to be taugnt in a nigh school facility or on a college campus. (4) The school district of residence of a pupil taking courses at a state institution of higher education pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be entitled to state support for sucn pupil on the same basis as under section ZZ-50 (l) and (Z). The school district shall forward to the state institution of higher education tne amount of tuition to which the institution would be entitled on behalf of a regularly enrolled student taking such courses, up to seventy-five percent of the scnool district's authorized revenue base per pupil. Nothing in this article shall be construed to authorize a school district to pay the costs of transportation, room and board, fees, books, or equipment, or any other costs of taking higher education than tuition. (5) Any high school teacher who teaches a nigher education course in the program under this section shall remain an employee of the school district JJ!:984

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APPENDIX B INITIAL SURVEY

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218 DeLorab Jil Blnder February 16, 1987 Dear Superintendent: Could you take one or two minutes to fill out the surwy below for me? I a currently doing research on the implementation of CRS 22-34-101, paaaed in July, 1981, and known a.s the "fast track" bill. Briefly, the bill authorites high school pupils vho baw fulfilled graduation nquiremeata be fore beginning the twelfth grade to take one or .,re c:ollep c:ounea at a statesupported inltitution. The local school diatrict reimburau the collep for tuition from ita ARB. The student is still conaidered a high acbool student and has none of the privileps of a collep student. I a surveying all superintendents ia Colorado as a part of ay dissertation. Please fill out the survey on the bottom of the page and return it to me in the encloaed a tamped, ae lf-addreued enw lope. Thank you for your help! S inc:e rely, ;4t..-l. 'fl .u_. Deborah Jil Iinder ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------FROM: Check here if you would a c:opy of aurvey results. __ 1. Does your achool district aake use of the fast track program as outlined in CRS 22-34-101, vhich allows high school aeniou who haYe COIIplated high school to take college courses for credit? Yea. ___ 2. If YES, could you supply me with a copy of the diatrict policy on this and tile nof a contact penon vho can g1w me infonaation on your program? Addreu:, _________ No. ___ If NO, could you check below th! miin naaon vhy you haw oot implemented the program? coat -lack of ltudent interest -lack of information on th! "m -another type of accel!rated. pr;:r< .::: -i be in& u1ed. _Other (pleaH apecifyl: P.O. Ba 582-.M.dLt, Calor:wlo 81143-(303) 256.4037

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APPENDIX C FOLLOW-UP SURVEY

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220 DEBORAH BINDER Dear Superintendent: On a survey sent out ln April, your district indicated that it participated in the Fast Track Program as outlined in CRS 22-34-101. I would appreciate it if you could take time to provide some follow-up information by answering the questions below. A self-addressed envelope is provided for convenience. Thank you for your help! Si n.c ere 1 y, ,. treborah .Jil Bi11.ier -----------------------------------------------------------1. I h:Jve for the program. survey in April, listed as your contact person If this has changed since the initial 1987, please provide the information below: Name: Addre_s_a_: ______________ Phone: ____ 2. How many years has the Fast Track Program been in use in your district? ______ 3. On the average, how many high school students in your district participate in the Fast Track each year? ____________ 4, Did students t3klng college classes complete '111 district requirements prtii to the beginning of their senior year ln high school? Yes___ No ___ 5. Is tuition for participating students paid by the district? Yes ___ No ___ 6. With which institution(s) of higher education do you cooperate in the Fast Track Program? College: Contact Person: ____________ Phone Number: ____________ __ Additional Institutions: -----------------------------------------------------------7. If you did not have a policy in April have one now, or if you did not send a copy of your policy in April, please enclose a copy with this survey. (:m)-04127

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APPENDIX D PRINCIPALS' SURVEY

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222 DEBORAH BINDER Dear Pr i ncipa 1 1 am currently conducting a study on the implementation of the Fast Track Program, as outlined in CRS 22-34-101, in Colorado. Briefly, the bill authorizes high school pupils who have fulfilled graduation requirements before beginning the grade tn take one or more college courses at a !nstitutian. The local school district reimburses the college for tuition from its ARB. The student is considered a high school student and has none of the privileges of a college student. 1 am surveying high school principals in Colorado to determine tielr of the program and specifics on its implementation. 1 would appreciate your filling out the brief survey below and returning it to me in the enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope. Thank you for your help! "". Deborah Binder -----------------------------------------------------------SURVEY OF PRINCIPALS Please answer the following questions to the best of your knowledge: 1. How maily students in your school, on the average, finish their high school requirements before the beginning of their senior year? 2. Is the Fast Track Program utilized in your school? Yea_ No_ 3. If your answer to number 2 vas YES, How many students, on the average, participate in the program each year? Year in which the prog_r_a_m __ w_a_s implemented in your school: ----4. If you do not participate, please check the major reason below: coat lack of student interest lack-of information use another pr;gram other (please specify)_ --(ll3)..e-4127

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APPENDIX E COLLEGE ADMISSIONS DIRECTORS' SURVEY

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224 DEBORAH BINDER Dear College Admissions Director : I am currently conducting research for a doctoral dissertation on the implementation of CRS 22-34-101, passed in July, 1981, and known as the "fast track" bill. Briefly, the bill authorizes high school pupils who have fulfilled graduation requirements before beginning the twelfth grade to take one or more college courses at a state-supported tnstitution. The local school district reimburses the college for tuition from its ARB. The student is still considered a high shcool student and has none of the privileges of a college student. This is a survey of all college admissions directors in Colorado. Please fill out the enclosed survey and return it to me in the stamped, self-addressed envelope which is provided for your convenience. Thank you for your help! Si,.nc.erely, / .' /1 I I L.....;; Deborah Jil Binder -----------------------------------------------------------QUESTIONNAIRE FOR COLLEGE ADMISSIONS DIRECTORS 1. Is your college or university working with one or more school districts in the Fast Track Program as outlined in t::RS 22-34-101? Yes_ 2. If please a. The number of students who participate annually on the average. No_ students participate. b. The name of a contact person who could provide more lnformation on the program. Name=------------------Phone: Addres_s_: ______________ __ c. The name of the district(s) If So p le a s e check below the primary rea-son you have not the pro gram cost :::lack of student interest lack of requests --to do so from schoo 1 districts lack of informa-tion on the program other (please --specify) with which you participate: ________________________ __ -----------------------------------------------------------(ll3 )-43>-4127

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APPENDIX F STRUCTURED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

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QUESTIONS FOR STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS PARil Ci FATING SUPERINTENDENTS I, What procedures does your district use to finance tuition costs for students in the Fast Track Program? 2. What has the program cost the district annually? 3. What are the advantages of the program to the districP 4. What aN the disadvantages of the program? s. In what ways have colleges been cooperative in initiating a program? PARTICIPATING HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS 1. What do you see as the advantages of the program at the bu i 1 ding hve 1? 2. What problems have you encountered with the program? 3. Are high school students required to take a certain 226 number of hours or courses at the high school? How many? 4. Where are the courses held? 5. Who teaches the coursts your students take? 6. Are there any cases where teaching positions have been cut as a result of the program?

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227 HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELORS 1. How students made aware of the fast track opportunities when they are in ninth or tenth 2. What ar-e the advantages of the progr-am from tht guidance perspective? 3. What pr-oblems have you encountered with the program? 4. How are credits counted (dual, frozen, etc.>? 5. Are students, in your opinion, better prepared for college as a result of participation in the program? STUDENTS 1. How and when did you find out about the program? 2. What are the advantages of the program for students? 3. What problems did you encounter with the program? 4. Did you find this made a difference in your college performance? . 5. How many college classes did you 6. How many high school classes did you 7. Did you anticipate a monetary savings? STUDENTS' PARENTS 1. How and when did you find out about the program? 2. What are the advantages of the program? 3. What problems do you see with the program? 4. Did you anticipate a monetary savings?

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228 COLLEGE ADMISSIONS DIRECTORS I. What are the advantages of the program for the college? 2. What problems have been encountered by the college? 3. What provisions have you made for students in this program? 4. What are admissions requirements for fast track students? S. How are credits handled 6. What are the costs of the programs to the students? 7. What data have you gathered to document the effectiveness of the program? SUPERINTENDENTS-NONPARTICIPATING DISTRICTS COST: On the initial survey, you indicated that cost was a major factor in the district/s decision not to implement the Fast TracK Program. I. What did you estimate the additional cost to the district to be? 2. What would be the major cost item? Ci .e., tuition, transportation, etc.> 3. What characteristics of your district makes this a high cost program? LACK OF INFORMATION: I. Since the initial survey, have you gained more information about the program? 2. If you had more information on the program, would it be feasible for your district? 3. Would you be interested in receiving a copy of this report to increase your data on the program?

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APPENDIX G DISTRICT SIZE AND LOCATION CATEGORIES

PAGE 245

::: s > = :I) 5 '-;n = 0 0 -';/J .. 0 "0 ltl 1-1 0 r-1 0 t) r::: .-I r::: 0 .-I +I ltl u:::l\0 "'CX) 1110'1 r-1 t) .-1 .. ..-IS:: .00 :::1.-1 Ill+' Ill N t) r-1:::1 1"0 0 0 Ul"' ::Il-l +'Ill Ill 0 tl.l (I) S+' Oltl 1-1+1 fz.ltl.l 230

PAGE 246

From Status State Board .... of of COUJilAIJO (!OliN"I"IES/IJISUli(!TS LEGEND: I Joinl School Ooslricla Counly Ooundare School OiSioiciBoundaiiea .. 0 hi q I i' ... K-12 Public Education Education, 1986). in a t' ';'I . ,.,,, .... ....... 1 . I ... I I I Colorado, 1986 (Denver: Colorado N w

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APPENDIX H HOUSE BILL 1244

PAGE 248

HOUSE BILL NO. 1244. BY REPRESENTATIVES Bond, Faatz, K. Williams, Knox, Ament, Anderson, Berger, Carpenter, Oyer, Ent,, Epps, Gillis, Grampsas, .Grant, -P. Hernandez, T. Hernandez, Hume, Lawson, Pankey, Philips, Ruddick, Rupert, Shoemaker, Taylor-Little, Tebedo, Thiebaut, Trujillo, Ulvang, and S. Williams; also SENATORS Meiklejohn, Allard, Bishop, Hopper, Lee, McCormick, Norton, Pastore, P. Powers, Schroeder, Strickland, Trujillo, and Wham. CONCERNING POSTSECONDARY ENROLLMENT OPTIONS AT STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS ENROLLED IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. !!, .U. General Assembly .2f. !M 2!. Colorado: SECTION 1. Title 22, Colorado Revised Statutes, as amended, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW ARTICLE to read: ARTICLE 35 Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act 22-35-101. Short title. This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act. 22-35-102. Legislative declaration. The general ass!mDly hereby finds, determines, and declares that high school pupils need to be continually challenged in order to maintain their academic interests; that such challenges must include rigorous academic pursuits: that, for some students, exposure to such academic challenges declines during the last two years of high school as pupils complete their graduation requirements: that there 15 a high rate of dropouts at the eleventh and twelfth grade levels: that, for some students, courses not offered in high school or courses offered in a different setting may stimulate or maintain their interest; that providing a wider variety of options to high school Capital letters indicate new material added to existing statutes: dashes through words indicate deletions existing statutes and such material not part of act. 233

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pupils by encouraging and enabling secondary to enroll full-time or in courses at state institutions of higher education provides new and exciting academic challenges to such pupils; and that such enrollment opportunities provide access to excellence in education. 22-35-103. Definition. For the purposes of this article, "institution of higher education" means the university of southern Colorado, Adams state college, Mesa college, Metropolitan state college, Fort Lewis college, Western state college of Colorado, all independent area vocational schools, all junior college district colleges, the university of northern Colorado, Colorado school of mines, the university of Colorado at Denver, the university of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the university of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado state university, and all community colleges governed by the state for coMmUnity colleges and occupational education. 22-35-104. Enrollment in institution of hi her education cooperative agreement. Any pupi who is not more than twenty years old and who is enrolled in the eleventh or twelfth grade of a school district, as defined in section 22-30-103 (9), is eligible to apply to an institution of higher education to allow such pupil to enroll in courses offered at such institution of higher education. (2) Any pupil desiring to enroll in an institution of higher education pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall give written notice to the school district of the pupil of the intent to enroll at least two months prior to such enrollment. (3) The school district of the pupil and the institution of higher education in which the pupil desires to enroll shall enter into a cooperative agreement regarding the enrollment of and the funding method for the pupil in such institution of higher education, including, but not limited to: (a) The academic credit to be granted for course work successfully completed by the pupil at the institution of higher education, which credit may qualify as high school credit or credit at the institution of higher education, or both; (b) The requirement that such course work qualify as credit applicable toward earning a degree or certificate at the institution of higher education; (c) The requirement that any pupil shall not be required to pay any tuition for courses accepted for high school credit; and PAGE 2-HOUSE BILL NO. 1244 234

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235 (d) The financial provisions to be applicable to such agreement upon consideration of the provisions of section 22-35-105. (4) Each high school pupil enrolled in a course at an institution of higher education who completes the requirements of the course shall receive appropriate credit toward a high school diploma unless such credit is denied by the high school in which the student is enrolled, and such denial is upheld by the local board of education and the state board of education on the basis that high school credit is inappropriate. (5) For purposes of this article, unless the context otherwise requires, 11Courseu means a three-or four-semester-hour course offered at an institution of higher education which is taken for two semesters, or its equivalent. 22-35-105. Financial provisions -payment of tuition. (1) The provisions of this section are guidelines to be used for the financial provisions referenced in section 22-35-104 (3) {d) unless the school district of the pupil and the institution of higher education mutually agree upon alternative financial provisions. (2) If more than three pupils of any school district are enrolled pursuant to the provisions uf this article in the same course at the same institution of higher education and if any such pupil is receiving high school credit for such course: (a) The pupil shall be included in the attendance entitlement of the school district in which such pupil is enrolled as determined pursuant to the provisions of section 22-50-104. (b) The institution of higher education in which such pupil is enrolled shall not include such pupil in determining the number of full-time equivalent students enrolled in said institution pursuant to the provisions of title 23, C.R.S. (c) The school .district shall forward to the institution of higher education the amount which is specified in the cooperative agreement made by the school district and the institution of higher education. (3) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, if pupils of any school district are enrolled pursuant to the provisions of this article in any institution of higher education and: (a) If the pupil so enrolled is receiving high school PAGE 3-HOUSE BILL NO. 1244

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I I I I I l I credit for such course and is enrolled in one or two courses at such institution of higher education: (I) The pupil shall be included in the attendance entitlement of the school district in which such pupil is enrolled as determined pursuant to the provisions of section 22-50-104. (II) The institution of higher education in wh1ch such pupil is enrolled shall include such pupil in counting full-time equivalent students pursuant to the provisions of title 23, C.R.S. (III) The school district shall forward to the institution of higher the amount of tuition to which the institution of higher education would be entitled on behalf of a regularly enrolJed student taking such courses. (b) If the pupil so enrolled is receiving high school credit for such course and is enrolled in three or more courses at such institution of higher education: (I) The pupil shall be included in the attendance entitlement of the school district in which such pupil is enrolled as determined pursuant to the provisions of section 22-50-104. (II) The institution of higher education in which such pupil is enrolled shall include such pupil in counting full-time equivalent students pursuant to the provisions of title 23, C.R.S. (III) The department of education shall annually withhold an amount equal to one-half of the authorized revenue base of the school district for each pupil enrolled in an institution of higher education pursuant to the provisions of this article. From such withheld amount, the department of education shall forward to the institution of higher education the amount of tuition to which the institution would be entitled on behalf of a regularly enrolled student taking such courses. Any withheld moneys not used to pay for tuition pursuant to the provisions of this subparagraph (III) shall be credited to the general fund of the state. (c) If the pupil so enrolled is not receiving high school credit for such course: (I) The institution of higher education in which the pupil is enrolled shall include such pupil in. counting full-time equivalent students pursuant to the provisions of title 23, C.R.S. PAGE 4-HOUSE BILL HO. 1244 236

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237 (II) It shall be the responsibility of the pupil to pay the amount of tuition to which the institution of higher education would be entitled on behalf of a regularly enrolled student taking such courses. 22-35-106. Transportation. The school district of a pupil who is enrolled in an institution of higher education pursuant to the provisions of this article shall not be required to provide or to pay for transportation for such pupil to or from said institution of higher education. 22-35-107. Institution of higher educationenrollment limitations. Any institution of higher education to which a pupil has applied for enrollment pursuant to the prov1sions of this article may allow such pupil to enroll in courses offered at such institution of higher education. Any institution of higher education may limit the number of such pupils which the institution to enroll based on space available. Any pupil who 1s allowed to enroll pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be included in the number of full-time equivalent students enrolled in the institution of higher education for the purpose of any limitation imposed on the total number of full-time equivalent students which may enroll in such institution of higher education. 22-35-108. Exclusion -summer school. The provisions of this article shall not apply to pupils enrolled in institutions of higher education during the period from the termination of the regular school term in the spring until the regular school term convenes in the fall. 22-35-109. School districts distribution of information. Every school district shall make information available to the pupils enrolled in the school district and to their parents about the postsecondary enrollment options for eligible pupils pursuant to the provisions of this article. 22-35-110. Report to general assembly. The department of education shall collect and analyze information concerning the implementation of this article and shall submit a report to the general assembly based on its findings prior to January 15, 1991. The institutions of higher education specified in section 22-35-103 shall provide the department of education with such relevant information as said department may request. SECTION 2. No appropriation. The general assembly has determined that this act can be implemented within existing appropriations, and therefore no separate appropriation of state moneys is necessary to carry out the purposes of this act. SECTION 3. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby PAGE S-HOUSE BILL NO. 1244

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238 finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety. Carl B. Bledsoe SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PAGE 6-HOUSE BILL NO. 1244 T ecn::str1Ckiirld PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE omer Joan M. Albi SECRETARY OF THE SENATE RNOR OF THE STATE OF COLORADO

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APPENDIX I VITA: AL NELSON, PH.D.

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CURRICULUM VITA Allen Herbert Nelson 2925 Ridge Rd. St. Anton SR, Nederland, Colorado 80466 Phone (303) 494-0183 BIRTHDATE: July 25, 1940 BIRTHPLACE: Brooklyn, N.Y. EDUCATION 1976 Ph.D. Quantitative Psychology University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. 1969 B.S. Electrical Engineering University of New Haven, West Haven, CT. SPECIALTY AREAS Research and Evaluation Psvchometrics and Statistics Computer Applications Manpower Analysis CURRENT POSITION 240 Independent Cons.ultant, Owner and Director, NELSON ASSOCIATES. Provide services io the foUowing areas: Research and Evaluation io Health Related Areas, Research and Statistical Consultation, Test Development and Statistical Analysis, Data Processing and Computer Applications Software for Scheduling and Staffing io Nursing Service and Seminars io Computing, Statistics, and Measurement. SELECTED CONSULTING EXPERIENCE ASSOCIATION OF OPERATING ROOM NURSES Project director of AORN OR Staffmg Study. Served as research and statistical consultant on numerous projects between 1978 and present. ALBERTA COORDINATED HOME CARE PROGRAM Principal Investigator, Home Care Client Classification Project. Completed July, 1985. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ORTHODONTICS Consultant and data analyst on several natiowide surveys of orthodontic practice, and treatment procedures, 1983 through present. CITY OF BOULDER ENERGY DEPARTMENT Data analyst for energy conservation survey, 1985 CHILDREN'S TELEVISION WORKSHOP Consultant and data analyst for evaluation of pilot TV series, 1985. AMERICAN t-.'URSES ASSOCIATiON Statistical consultant to project studying productivity of doctorally prepared nurses. ASSOCIATION OF CRITICAL CARE NURSES Consultant and data analyst to Delphi Study to determine research priorities in Critical Care Nursing. DIVISION OF NURSING, DHSS Served both as :;ite reviewer and as member of peer review committee for research grants. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO Statistical consultant to project to study predictors of success in nursing. OREGON HEALTH SCIENCES UNIVERSITY Consultant and data analyst on several independent including: l)Robert Wood Johnson Evaluation of Nurse Practioner Fellowship Program, 2)Study of Num: Shortages in the State of Oregon, 3)Maternal Role Project, 4)General research consultation to the School of Sursing.

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241 NAVAJO NATION Research coasultaal to project to study traditiooality ud the effects of prOYiding culluraUy relevant care to pregnant Navajo women. VA. MEDICAL CENTER, BUFFALO, N. Y. Research consul!Zlllt and data analyst to Delphi Study to determioe research priorities within the V. A. system. MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY Research ud Statistical coasultut to project to develop theory related to nursiog in sparsely populated areas. LATIN AMERICAN RESEARCH AND SERVICE AGENCY PrOYidcd statistical coasultation and data analysis for a study of political altitudes in the Denver Hispanic commlll1ity. ROSE MEDICAL CENTER Provided analysis for nurse staffillg requirement study. Designed ud installed computerized pc:rsoiUICI management system for Nursing DepartmenL WICHE Consultant to Nursing Research Instrument Compilation Project and to Project for Evaluating Intern Programs. UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA Consultant to Manitoba Nursing Studards Project PORTER HOSPITAL Data Analyst for study of Nurse's altitudes towards the Clioical Career Ladder. UNIVERSITY 01': COLORADO HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER. General consultation in psychometrics and data analysis. PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE 1976-1979 Senior Staff Associate for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Employed on the following proj-.:ts: 1978. Planning Project for Developing Regionalized Education in Optometry. Respoasibilities were to collect and analyze manpower data and predict future Optometric manpower supply for the Western United States. 1978. Hw:oan Services Utilization Demand Projection System. Took responsibility for developing aad testing a methodology for analyzing costs and services for Wyoming State lastitutioas. 1976-1978. Regional Program for Nursing Research lJevelopmeut. Responsibilities included providing consultation to numerous Nursing Rc.search groups, preparing and analyzing reseach data, assisting in iostrumeot development, preparing computer software, compiling and writing survey reports, and assisting in the preparation or grant proposals. 1970-1974. Research and teaching assistant in statistics and computer programming in the Department of Psychology, llaiversity of Colorado.

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PROFESSIONAL AFFilA TIONS Member initial Board of Governors SPSS Software User's Group-19n-78. American Psych.,Jogical Association American Educational Research Association National CoWicil on MeasurcD!ent in Education Western Society for Research in Nursing P:.JBUCATIONS 242 Gottlieb, Nelson, A.H., and Vogels, D .S. 1989 Orthodontic Practice Study: Part 1 Trends, Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, Vol. 23, No. 9, pp 618-626, September, 1989. Goutieb, G.L., Nelson, AH. and Vogels, D.S. 1987 ORTHODONTIC PRACTICE STUDY: ECONOMICS AND PRACTICE ADMINISTRATION. Boulder, Colorado, Index Publishers Corporation, 1987. Nelson, A H Determining Research Priorities for Orofacial Myology.lntemational Journal of Orofacial Myology, Voll3, No.3, pp 14-15, November, 1987. Gottlieb, G.L., Nelson,A.H., and Vogels, 0.5.1987 Orthodontic Practice Study: Part 3 Practice Growth, Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, Vol. 21, No. 10, pp 705, October, 1987. Reprinted in the Japanese Journal of Orthodontic Practice, Janurary, 1988. Gottlieb, G.L., Nelson, A.H., and Vogels, D.S. 1987 Orthodontic Practice Study: Part 2 Practice Success, Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, Vol. 21, No. 9, pp 646-653, September, 1987. Gottlieb, G.L., Nelson, A.H., and Vogels, D.S. 1987 Orthodontic Practice Study: Part i Trends, Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, Vol. 21, No. 8, pp 507-519, August, 1987. Nelson, A.H. Research in Orofacial Myology. International Journal of Orofacial Myology, Vol 13, No. 2, pp 10 12, July, 1987. Gottlieb, G.L., Nelson, A.H., and Vogels, D.S. 1986 JCO Study of Orthodontic Diagnosis and Treatment Procedures: Part 2 Selected Breakdowns, Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, Vol 20, No. 10, pp 694-709, October, 1986. Gottlieb, G.L., Nelson, A .H., and Vogels, D.S. 1986 JCO Study of Orthodontic Diagnosis and Treatment Procedures: Part 1 Overall Results, Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, Vol 2D, No.9, pp 612-625, September, 1986. Gottlieb, G.L., Nelson, A.H., and Vogels, D.S. 1985 Orthodontic Practice Study: Part 3 Years in Practice, Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, Vol 20, No. l, pp 31, January, 1986. Gottlieb, G.L., Nelson,A.H., and Vogels, D.S.198SJCO ORTHODONTIC PRACTICE STUDY: ECONOMICS AND PRACTICE ADMINISTRATION. Boulder, Colorado, Index Publishers Corporation, 1985. Nelson, A.H. and Hanson. R.L. OPERATING ROOM STAFFING STUDY. F"mal Report, Denver, Colorado, AORN, 1985 Gottiieb, G .L., Nelson, A.H., and Vogels, D.S. 1985 JCO Orthodontic Practice Study: Part 2 Practice Success, Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, Vol. 19, No. 12, pp. 863-870, December, 1985. Gottlieb, G.L. Nelson, A.H., and Vogels, D.S. 1985 JCO Orthodontic Practice Study: Part 1 Trends. Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, Vol. 19, No. 11, pp. 799, November, 1985. Reprinted in the Japanese Journal of Orthodontic Practice, March, 1985.

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243 Nelson, A.H. and Hanson, R.L. OR Cost Swvey: Results of a Nationwide Swvey. AORN Journal, Vol. 41, No. 3, pp. 569-577, 1985. Nelson, A.H. and Hanson, R.L .. AORN Operating Room Staffing Study: Operating Room Cost Survey Report, Denver: AORN, 1984. Nelson, AH. and Hanson, R.L .. Classification of Perioperativc Skill and Knowledge Requirements, AORN Journal, Vol 41, No. 6, pp.1078-1088, 1985. Hanson, R.L. and Nelson, A.H .. A Model for Evaluating OR Productivity, AORN Journal, Vol 41, NO. 6, pp. 1070-1076, 1985. Hanson, R.L. and Nelson, A.H . Results of an OR Observation Study, AORN Journal, Vol 42, NO. 3, pp. 376-387, 1985. Nelson, A.H. Characteristics of Active and Inactive Registered Nurses in Oregon Based Upon the OHSU School of Nursing 1980 Survey. REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE ON THE OREGON NURSING SHORTAGE. November, 1980. Klein, S.D., McConnell, W.R., and Nclson,AH. VISION MANPOWER NEEDS 1N THE WESTERN STATES. Boulder, Colorado: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, 1979. Nelson, A.H. An Empirical Approach to Defining Quality of Nursing Care. Summary of Group Outcomes: Methodological and Conceptual Summary. COMMUNICATING NURSING RESEARCH, 11:40-43,1978. Krueger, J.K., A.H., and Wolanin, M.O. NURSING RESEARCH: DEVELOPMENT, COLLABORATION AND UTILIZATION. Germantown, Maryland: Aspen Systems Corporation, 1978. Nelson, A.H. Computing Mixed-Variable Associations. PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIRST ANNUAL SPSS USERS AND COORDINATORS CONFERENCE, Chicago, 11Jn. Krueger, J.K., Lindeman, C.A., and Nelson, A.H. NURSING RESEARCH RESOURCES AND THE NEED FOR DOCTORALLY PREPARED FACULTY IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE WEST. Boulder, Colorado: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, 1977. Campos, R.G., Hagan, D.E., and Nelson, A.H. NURSING RESEARCH SUPPORT IN COMMUNITY HEALTH AGENCIES IN THE WEST. Boulder, Colorado: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, 1976. Nelson, A.H. MIXED VARIABLE CLUSTER ANALYSIS. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Colorado, 1976. CONFERENCES PRESENTED AT International Association of Orofacial Myology, 15th Annual Conference, Chicago, 1987. Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN), 32nd Annual Congress, Dallas, TX, 198S. Western Society for Research in Nursing (WSRN) Conference, Seattle, WA, 1985. AORN, 31st Annual Congress, Atlanta, 1984. WSRN Conference, San Francisco, 1984. Sigma Theta Tau, Grantswriting Conference, Portland, OR, 1984. Conference on the Oregon Nursing Shortage, Portland, OR, 1980. WSR:-1 Conference, Portland, OR, 1978. AORN, 24th Annual Congress, Anaheim, CA, 1977.