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STEM Early College Expansion Project (SECEP) (2014-2019)


Validated through rigorous study, the Early College model blends high school and college coursework in a supportive environment to set students (especially underrepresented and high-need students) on a clear path to college and career success.

NCREST, partnered with Middle College National Consortium and Jobs for the Future, leads the SECEP project that scales STEM Early College designs at Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut and the Genesee, Washtenaw, Delta-Schoolcraft and Lapeer County Intermediate School Districts in Michigan.

Our goal is to engage students in early college experiences and to improve STEM education in the participating districts.

About the Project

SECEP works to improve college readiness and STEM education for 22,000 high-need middle and high school students and to increase the number of underrepresented students enrolling in dual credit STEM courses. This results in decreasing drop-out rates, boosting college enrollment, improving access to STEM careers and the attainment of postsecondary credentials.  

To accomplish these goals, the SECEP partners will:

  • Assist schools to implement the STEM Early College design, grounded in the early-middle college high school model. The design includes a rigorous college-ready curriculum combined with extensive academic and personal supports from peers and adults to help students achieve success in college preparatory and college courses, with an emphasis on STEM fields of study.
  • Deliver STEM- related professional development and coaching to improve the effectiveness of middle school, high school, and college teachers through activities that build STEM and pedagogical content knowledge. SECEP provides support for collaborative learning and the use of strategies such as problem-based learning, through which students apply their STEM content knowledge to the design of solutions.
  • Develop leadership and key partnerships to fully implement the STEM Early College design. SECEP helps district and college leadership to align current professional development programs, school improvement initiatives, and resources within schools. In addition, SECEP helps schools and colleges to form strong partnerships to facilitate shared responsibility for and collaboration in planning and professional development.

Provide resources that support implementation. SECEP facilitates the scaling of STEM Early College designs by providing services such as collection and analysis of student data and resources such as an online Community of Practice. We also are working to document key practices that are involved in expanding access to STEM education and dual enrollment.

Quick Facts Info Sheet


About our Project Partners

JFFJobs for the Future (JFF) works to ensure that all underprepared young people and workers have the skills and credentials needed to succeed in our economy by creating solutions that catalyze change in our education and workforce delivery systems.


MCNCThe Middle College National Consortium (MCNC) believes that authentic school reform grows out of sustained collaboration among master practitioners, structured communication, and support for perpetual growth of leadership skills for all constituents.




Participating School Districts


LCISD               bridgeport‌     



GISD deltaSchoolcraft



 For more information, contact Elisabeth Barnett,

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