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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

The Michigan Center for Student Success commissioned this study to determine whether strategies employed to improve adult students' success at 41 Breaking Through colleges nationwide have taken root at Michigan's original colleges and spread beyond them. A statewide survey revisited four of the colleges profiled in previous publications, and the research looked more closely at two additional colleges that have experimented with Breaking Through-type programs. 

In this research, some themes emerged to guide future state investments: 

  • The importance of scaling up from “boutique” programs to serve more students; 
  • The need to create clear pathways between noncredit workforce training and credit programs leading to Associate’s degrees in occupational disciplines; 
  • The significance of investment in upfront program features such as skill assessments and career guidance; and 
  • The role of workforce training programs in incubating student success strategies. 

Based on this research, the Center for Student Success has created a new initiative, Michigan Pathways to Credentials, to broaden the impact of Breaking Through strategies and support the development of career pathways across the state. Supported by a grant from the Kresge Foundation, six colleges will scale up their efforts to support adult students in obtaining credentials leading to family-sustaining careers.

2012
Jennifer B. Schanker & Judith C. Taylor
Jobs for the Future

This Brief, based on a longer review that considers the hypothesis that low-skilled students can learn more effectively and advance to college-level programs more readily through contextualization of basic skills instruction, presents two forms of contextualization that have been studied: “contextualized” and “integrated” instruction. There is more descriptive work on the contextualization of basic skills than studies with student outcome data. In addition, many studies with quantitative evidence on the effectiveness of contextualization have methodological flaws that limit conclusions. Further, only a small number of studies are with college students. However, despite these problems, contextualization seems to be a promising direction for accelerating the progress of academically underprepared college students. The method of contextualization is grounded in a conceptual framework relating to the transfer of skill and student motivation; practitioners who use it observe positive results, and the available quantitative evidence indicates that it has the potential to increase achievement.

2011
Dolores Perin
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

Due to low wages, lack of benefits, and inconsistent employment, many workers are unable to meet their own and their families' basic needs through employment alone. The Annie E. Casey Foundation developed the Center for Working Families® (CWF) concept as a response to the challenges facing such low-income working adults and their families. The CWF approach revolves around offering clients a set of focused bundled services in three overlapping areas:

  • Employment and career advancement - including assistance with job readiness, job placement, occupational skills training, education and career advancement.
  • Income enhancements and work supports - helping clients gain access to public benefits, tax credits, financial aid and other benefits to improve their financial security.
  • Financial and asset building services - workshops, classes, one-on-one counseling and access to well-priced financial products and services to help clients improve their household finances and build assets.

A key aspect of the CWF model is that  programs bundle and sequence services rather than offering just one component, or offering multiple components but leaving it up to participants to discover and seek out additional services. Delivering integrated services requires well-planned program design, the hiring and training of staff with strong skills and backgrounds, and the thoughtful use of technology and data collection. In 2010, the Annie E. Casey Foundation asked CLASP to conduct a scan of federal programs that could potentially be used to support integrated service delivery in these three areas, recognizing the need to access public funds in order to bring this approach to scale. The Federal Funding Integrated Service Delivery Toolkit describe the federal funding programs we identified, with a focus on the components of the integrated strategy that might be publicly supported, the eligible populations and use of funds, and possible issues that might arise.

2011
Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Abigail Newcomer
Center for Law and Social Policy

Less than 5 percent of GED holders ever earn a postsecondary degree. In response, innovative GED programs have begun creating clear, effective pathways to postsecondary education, preparing their students for college and careers.

This white paper by John Garvey and JFF’s Terry Grobe shares lessons from “best in class” GED to College programs that show early, positive results in preparing youth for college and helping them persist once there. It also explores key issues connected to the growth of this programming within the field and lays out a framework for leaders and program staff looking to transform short-term GED programs into more intensive, college-connected designs.

2011
John Garvey, with Terry Grobe
Jobs for the Future

This study focuses on Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), as an important but often overlooked strategy for helping adults progress towards a degree. PLA is the process by which many colleges evaluate, for academic credit, the college-level knowledge and skills an individual has gained outside of the classroom (or from non-college instructional programs).

2010
Council on Adult and Experiential Learning
Council on Adult and Experiential Learning

Employers can improve their fortunes by investing in training and development for their lower-wage employees according. This business brief, released by the National Network for Sector Partners (NNSP), is based on structured interviews with employers around the nation who have achieved significant bottom line benefits by undertaking innovative training and career development efforts targeted at their lower-skilled, lower-wage workers, and providing significant wage increases for those that develop skills the employers value. Many of the employers participate in sector initiatives.

2010
National Network of Sector Partners, The Insight Center for Community Economic Development

The purpose of Findings in ESL is to make CAAL's ESL work more readily accessible to general and ESL audiences who may not have the time to wend their way through the fairly dense full-length reports, items ESL 1 through ESL 5 above.

2008
Forrest P. Chisman
Council for the Advancement of Adult Literacy

This report by FutureWorks and Jobs for the Future to the U.S. Department of Labor looks at innovative practices that offer adult learners more flexible access to postsecondary courses and help accelerate their progress through credential programs. The authors profile programs at community colleges, where most adult learners are enrolled, and conclude with strategies for addressing the barriers institutions face when developing and implementing programs targeted to adult learners.

2008
Victoria Choitz and Heath Prince
FutureWorks/ Jobs for the Future

This document provides guidance on the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program (FSET), including who may be served and how the funds can be used for workforce development.

2008
The Workforce Alliance

Anyone who has directly or indirectly (as a funder) attempted to build a successful social program and then expand it so that a greater number of people benefit from said program knows the myriad challenges inherent in such an endeavor. It is this simple definition of scaling up social innovation that guides this paper. This paper builds on the author's direct experience as a reformer as well as the literature and is intended to generate conversation. The paper is divided into three sections. First, a set of common pitfalls in dissemination models; second, a set of essential elements of successful dissemination as found in the literature; and finally a set of questions that funders might ask relative to dissemination.

2002
Amy Gerstein