The Resource Library is a compendium of tools and resources selected specifically for the Accelerating Opportunity initiative. You can navigate the Resource Library by topic, or by key word (or tag).

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Starts with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Competency Model Clearinghouse provides validated industry competency models and tools to build a custom model and career ladder/lattice for your industry.

Industry competency models promote an understanding of the skill sets and competencies that are essential to educate and train a globally competitive workforce.

U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

This searchable database contains expert-identified and vetted research and planning documents to support Completion by Design colleges through the planning, decision making, and implementation stages.

Completion by Design

Through Courses to Employment AspenWSI investigated the operations and outcomes of six partnerships between nonprofit organizations and community colleges. These types of partnerships represent a nascent field of practice, and nonprofit and community college representatives have noted time and again the value of sharing ideas, strategies and information about the nuts and bolts work of organizing and managing effective partnerships.

AspenWSI has compiled a variety of different types of tools that partnerships have used to support their work on the ground. The tools available today reflect a work-in-progress, and we expect to add additional tools over time. We welcome comments, feedback and suggestions for additions. The tools are organized in three categories:

How do partners organize themselves? Who does what?

What strategies do partners use to provide education and support services?

What kinds of costs are involved in partnership?

Courses to Employment
Workforce Strategies Initiative at the Urban Institute

Certificates have swelled to become the second most common postsecondary award in the U.S.: Over 1 million are awarded each year. In the context of concerns about rising college costs and student loan debt, certificates, which are cheaper and take less time to complete than college degrees, have become of increasing interest to researchers, institutions, and other stakeholders in higher education.

In this report, Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose, and Andrew R. Hanson of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University analyze earnings by field of study, sex, race/ethnicity, and program length. One of the most important factors that affects earnings is whether certificate holders work in the same occupational field they studied in.

The authors also take a close look at the demographic characteristics of certificate holders: sex, race/ethnicity, age, educational attainment, academic preparation/skill, family income, and parents' education.

Last, the authors analyze the institutions that most commonly award certificates—such as community colleges and for-profit institutions—and the states where certificates are most prevalent and provide the highest earnings returns.

Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose, and Andrew R. Hanson
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

As a result of new research and promising practice, we have more clarity than ever about how we can fundamentally transform our developmental education system to improve success for all students. To propel the movement forward, this statement offers a set of clear and actionable principles that, although not the final word on dev ed reform, sets a new course that can dramatically improve the postsecondary success of millions of students across the nation. 

To be clear: The principles that guide this statement advocate changing current dev ed systems so that all students, no matter their skill levels or background, have a real opportunity to earn a college credential. Some may see this statement as supporting changes that discourage or divert students from their pursuit of a college credential. Nothing is further from the truth. Rather, we believe the systemic changes we propose, all of which can be found in some colleges and state systems around the country, are much more likely than current practice to provide a clear path that all students can follow to achieve their academic and career goals.

In the end, the strategies we propose increase overall college completion rates, particularly among students who have traditionally been underserved by our postsecondary institutions.

Charles A. Dana Center, Complete College America, Inc., Education Commission of the States, & Jobs for the Future

Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) integrates the teaching of basic skills and technical content in order to accelerate basic skills students’ transition into and through a college-level occupational field of study.

The study reported on here represents the final phase of a multi-year evaluation of the I-BEST model that began in 2009, conducted by CCRC in collaboration with MPR Associates and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Based on fieldwork undertaken in spring 2011 on 16 I-BEST programs at eight colleges, this report builds on CCRC’s earlier qualitative and quantitative research by seeking to understand those aspects of I-BEST that best support student learning, progression, and completion.

In addition, the report considers the I-BEST student experience and presents the results of a cost-benefit analysis of the program. The findings and recommendations highlighted in the report will be of interest to funders, policymakers, and practitioners in other states who are considering transition interventions similar to the I-BEST model.

John Wachen, Davis Jenkins, Clive Belfield, and Michelle Van Noy with Amanda Richards and Kristen Kulongoski
The Community Collge Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

This toolkit provides information for state governments on promising state and local practices as well as available U.S. Department of Education resources.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education

In this brief, Crossing the Finish Line: A National Effort to Address Near Completion, IHEP lays out a framework through which higher education leaders, federal and state policymakers, institutional administrators, and private sector executives can effectively address near completion as part of the larger call for accomplishing America’s goal to increase the number and diversity of people who complete college. Based on a series of focus groups held across the country, a national summit, and individual interviews with a range of key college completion stakeholders, IHEP’s agenda focuses on dealing with four issues that impede the success of near completers: (1) Recruitment, (2) Assessment, (3) Affordability, and (4) Recognition of Completion.

Institute for Higher Education Policy

This article examines the role counseling plays in adult learner transitions from adult education programs to postsecondary education. In recent years, there has been a growth in the research on adult learner transitions to postsecondary education. In this brief, the research findings and recommendations are shared on the role of counselors in successfully transitioning adult learners to postsecondary education and ensuring they are successful in meeting their educational goals of entering postsecondary education.

Cherise G. Moore, Ph.D.
California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project

Amidst the worst downturn since the Great Depression, Congress included the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund in the 2009 Recovery Act to help states cover the costs of providing more assistance to low-income families suffering from the ill effects of the downturn.  The Fund provided $5 billion over two years for increased state or federal TANF spending in three categories of aid to TANF-eligible families with children:  (1) basic assistance, (2) non-recurrent, short-term (or emergency) benefits, and (3) subsidized employment. 

The fund expired on September 30, 2010.  Some 39 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and eight Tribal TANF programs received approval to use $1.3 billion from the fund to create new subsidized employment programs or expand existing ones.  The remaining $3.7 billion in the fund was approved to cover increased costs associated with providing basic assistance and non-recurrent, short-term benefits, such as assistance to avoid eviction and potential homelessness.  

This paper presents the results of a telephone survey of the subsidized employment programs funded all or in part with funds from the TANF EF, conducted by staff from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) during the summer and fall of 2010. 

The paper concludes by highlighting the following lessons that can be drawn from states’ experiences:

  • It is possible (though challenging) to get large-scale, countercyclical job creation programs up and running relatively quickly and to engage the private sector in creating job opportunities.
  • Subsidized jobs targeted to disadvantaged individuals benefit not only participating workers and businesses but also entire communities and society at large.
  • Flexibility makes success possible in many different environments.
  • New targeted funding can provide the catalyst for innovation and increased collaboration.
  • Subsidized employment programs can be implemented at reasonable cost.
  • Subsidized employment programs serve a variety of purposes; their performance should be judged on measures that are consistent with their purpose.
LaDonna Pavetti, Ph.D., Liz Schott and Elizabeth Lower-Basch
Center on Budget Policies and Priorities; Center on Law and Social Policy