Skip to main content

Evidence-based Practice: Accelerated postsecondary pathways


The WWC recommends that high schools offer courses of study that allow students to earn college credits, with an explicit goal of having a certain number of transferable credits upon high school graduation. Growing research, including studies that meet WWC standards, demonstrates that participation in accelerated postsecondary pathways (such as early college high schools and dual enrollment) have positive effects on high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment and completion. However, the evidence is not consistent for all types of accelerated coursework. In particular, there is mixed evidence on whether taking AP classes alone improves outcomes. Passing an AP exam (earning college credit), however, has positive impacts on college admissions scores and on-time postsecondary degree completion.


The framework's recommendations are based on syntheses of existing research. Please see the framework report for a list of works cited.

This website was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.