The purpose of this case study was to examine and extrapolate the primary design elements of middle/early colleges in Minnesota that are most likely to support expanded statewide implementation of the model. These middle/early colleges are presently located in Anoka and Rochester and on the Iron Range in the northeastern region of the state. Through a case study analysis of each location, the cultural attributes of each community or region influencing the structural design of each early/middle college were examined in the context of the common design elements represented in the review of literature. A cross-case analysis examined the themes that emerged as common design elements at each early/middle college in Minnesota. This qualitative research study found that in all three locations, the early/middle colleges emerged as an expression of a broad-based strategy to increase college and career readiness, strengthen job creation, and enhance the overall economic vitality and competitiveness of the community. By designing and implementing a new structural design promoted expanded access to career and technical education options for students, community leaders and educators asserted that the overall workforce readiness of the community or region was enhanced through the operation of the early/middle college. Given the community-based origins of the early/middle college model that emerged through this study, leaders from the state's post-secondary and K-12 systems should consider building upon the momentum established in Anoka, the Iron Range and Rochester, to expand the early/middle college strategy as a catalyst for increased college and career readiness, and elimination of persistent achievement gaps.


Candace Raskin

Committee Member

Melissa Krull

Committee Member

Barbara Wilson

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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