Bringing College Courses to Disadvantaged High Schools

Leaders at selective colleges and universities often say that they want to recruit high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds—but can’t find them. A new program that brings college coursework into some of the nation’s poorest high schools is providing students with college credit and a pathway into higher education. And it’s creating a hybrid model for online and classroom learning that could be adapted more widely amid the Covid outbreak.

Last fall, 277 students in 11 cities completed the inaugural College-in-High School course, learning American poetry—from Walt Whitman to Kendrick Lamar—from a Harvard University professor. About 90 percent of them received college credit. They include students from an Indian reservation in New Mexico, the Louisiana bayou, and big cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

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