Higher Achievement provides middle school students year-round academic training and extends learning opportunities for middle school youth, guaranteeing underserved yet motivated students equal access to success in both school and life. Research from across the nation consistently shows middle school to be a time of extraordinary risk for children. As early as 1975, the founders of Higher Achievement saw the gross educational inequities and the vulnerability of youth during middle school transition. In response, they developed an intensive, rigorous, year-round academic enrichment program for middle school youth that promotes a culture that values academic achievement and a theory of change that is rooted in academic opportunity. Higher Achievement is partnering with new communities to bring its model to address the middle school challenge and the achievement gap in disadvantaged, urban communities
The organization has received numerous awards, but the most important measure of success is the results achieved by the Higher Achievement scholars. These results have driven a national growth plan to expand to multiple cities. Pittsburgh is Higher Achievement's third replication community. Higher Achievement hired its Affiliate Executive Director for Pittsburgh in July 2011 and opened its first Achievement Centers in June 2012.