The Carver Early College High School Programs in New Jersey officially began February of 2017 with the approval of the county's first program between Bridgeton Public Schools and Cumberland County College with the induction of 50 students. Since then, the Carver Early College High School Program has inducted over 1000 students across two counties with several other high schools and counties interested in replicating this model in their areas. During the school year 2016-2017, the Bridgeton Board of Education approved 50 eighth grade students to participate in the first cohort from Cumberland County. In 2017-2018, this number grew to 556, nearly doubling in 2018-2019 to 1,022.
The number of students for the 2019-2020 school year was 1,517 students with more districts signing on to launch a program this fall. The "pilot program" in each district has been customized to match the needs of each school district while implementing various components of the national early college high school initiative. All Carver programs started with the 9th-grade class, which built cohorts leading towards earning an associate degree by the end of 12th grade.
In 2018-2019, there were a total of 27 college courses offered to students throughout Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. This data is supported by a report provided by the American Institutes for Research (AIR, September 2019) which clearly demonstrated that students who were engaged in an early college program "were significantly more likely than control students to enroll in college each year between the fourth year of high school and six years after expected high school graduation. Within that time frame, 84.2% of Early College students had enrolled in college, compared with 77.0% of control students."
This was attributed to high school credit accrual through the development of a well-established early college program with participating school districts. As reported by AIR, "Completion of college credits during high school explained approximately 87% of the Early College impact on bachelor’s degree completion within six years after expected high school graduation."
In keeping with this national data, the Carver 2019 Annual Report showed preliminary performance results with New Jersey early college school districts, where 89.3% of the participating Carver students successfully passed their college courses with 100% of the 1,022 students accruing college credits (ranged between 1 to 45 credits) by the end of 2018-2019 school year. Carver's first group of senior high school student graduated in the Spring of 2020 with an associate's degree or up to 60 college credits from two of our nine school districts. These school districts and students are on track to meet and/or exceed the national data presented by AIR.