2015 Publication Archive

MassGrad summary brief: Alternative pathways to a high school diploma

From the brief's introduction:

This brief shares promising practices, successes, and challenges from the “alternative pathways” programs implemented in 17 high schools during the 2011–12 through 2014–15 school years. It is one of five briefs based on evidence-based strategies for dropout prevention utilized by schools that received “Implementation Awards” through the MassGrad initiative.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and implemented by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), MassGrad’s primary goal was “to substantially increase the number of students who earn a high school diploma.” MassGrad targeted the 133 schools from 76 districts that exceeded the statewide annual dropout rate of 2.9 percent during the 2008–09 school year.

In its MassGrad Implementation award materials, ESE described the alternative pathways strategy as the development of new programs or schools that create smaller, more tailored environments to address the specific needs of certain populations of students and provide alternative pathways to a high school diploma. These programs or schools could run during the school day, after school, or at community-based organizations. 

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