Partnering with high schools across the nation to create early and accelerated college pathways to increase the opportunities for social and economic mobility.
The Accelerate ASU initiative team partners with high schools across the nation to create early and accelerated college pathways to increase the opportunities for social and economic mobility. Through the use of Universal Learner Courses (ULCs), this initiative empowers students while they receive vital support in a high school environment. ULCs are a risk-free way for high school learners to explore the college experience and earn college credit. ULCs are offered online at ASU and open to everyone, with the goal of expanding access to engaging college curriculum designed by ASU faculty. Accelerate ASU's pilot partnerships include Yakima School District in Washington, United For College Success and KIPP in Houston, and ASU Prep in Phoenix. The Accelerate ASU Pilot Program in these high schools allows students to gain college experience by enrolling in first-year courses within a familiar and supportive atmosphere. This valuable exposure can significantly increase the likelihood of students attending and successfully completing college. The initiative aims to partner with high schools nationwide.
Organizations / Entities Represented in the Initiative
Yakima School District in Washington State
United For College Success and KIPP in Houston, TX
ASU Prep in Phoenix, AZ
My family doesn’t have a lot of money, so the college credits help me pay off debt, so I don’t have to pay more, and my family doesn’t have to help me. I can do it myself.
- Accelerate ASU Student
ASU Learning Enterprise conducted a nationwide search to identify partner organizations interested in leveraging our at-scale Universal Learning Courses for a college course pathway leading to an AA by the end of the thirteenth year. Three organizations were selected and supported in planning their pathways for an August 2022 launch with students.
Each of the three organizations, Yakima School District in Washington, United for College Success in partnership with KIPP Houston, and ASU Prep in Phoenix, successfully launched their college pathways in Fall 2022. Combined, the pilot is supporting 223 students earning college credit while still enrolled in a full day of high school courses. In alignment with our partner criteria, our pilot partners: serve 70%+ BIPOC and low-income students (Pell-eligible and/or free and reduced lunch) and have designed funding structures that ensure costs are not passed on to students and families.
Schools using a cohort-facilitated model of ULC delivery had strong passage rates in the fall semester. For several of these courses, it was the first college class the students had ever taken, and students were not tracked or screened in any way to join the program. The pilot also includes academic support that works in tandem with the classroom facilitator. The program has generated significant demand among students and parents, with each school reporting waitlists for the current cohorts. All three partners are already engaged in planning for next year’s new cohorts to start, with strong interest and demand from students and parents.