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

Breaking Through has engaged over 40 colleges across the country in redesigning programs to help low-skilled adults acquire the skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education and attain credentials. In studies of colleges that scaled up successful pilot programs, Breaking Through participants demonstrated significantly higher rates of retention, course completion, and higher skill gains than non-Breaking Through students. These studies, produced with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, are:

Breaking Through is a collaboration of JFF and the National Council for Workforce Education.

Elisabeth Barnett, Debra D. Bragg, Elaine Delott Baker, and Margaret Puryear

This issue brief describes how the 15 states participating in the Achieving the Dream initiative have concentrated their policy efforts on four key areas: Preventative Strategies, Assessment and Placement, Implementation and Evaluation of Program Innovation, and Performance Measurement and Incentives.

Michael Lawrence Collins
Jobs for the Future

Prepared by CAAL to help advance the recommendations of the National Commission on Adult Literacy, for the Adult Education and Economic Growth Act under development by Congressmen Patrick Kennedy and Reuben Hinojosa.

The Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL)

This brief provides an overview of state adult education policies and programs and recommends ways they can be strengthened to provide better job advancement opportunities for lower-skilled adults and older youth.

Amy-Ellen Duke and Evelyn Ganzglass
Working Poor Families Project

This brief looks at how states can increase access to college for working adults by strengthening their state financial aid policies. It documents the gap between the need for financial aid and what states and federal agencies provide, and it highlights states with exemplary programs. It makes a series of recommendations for state policymakers and groups wishing to retool their financial aid programs to better serve low-income adults.

Derek V. Price and Brandon Roberts
The Working Poor Families Project

In their summary of participant discussions at the Scaling Up Success conference, an invitational research conference on scaling up technology-based educational innovations held at Harvard in 2003 ( and papers in the book that resulted from that meeting, Dede and Honan identified four key themes in adapting an educational innovation successful in some local setting to effective usage in wide range of contexts:

  • Coping with change: context, leadership, and funding
  • Promoting ownership: building constituent support; institutionalizing innovations
  • Building human capacity: working with collaborators and partners; providing professional development
  • Effective decision making: interpreting data; creating and applying usable knowledge

This chapter describes how these themes are articulated in four types of scaling up strategies.

Chris Dede
Harvard University

Some educational interventions successfully “scale up.” Others do not. Little—arguably, almost nothing—is known about the factors that lead to successful scaling up.
The goal of this chapter is to identify a number of these factors through a disciplined and methodologically rigorous approach.
The difficulties associated with scaling up can broadly be summarized as falling into two classes: (1) difficulties associated with interventions (i.e., is a particular program suitable for upscaling?) and (2) difficulties associated with dissemination of the developed intervention (i.e., what geographical, economical, and human contexts are suitable for upscaling?).
There has not been a systematic review of the available knowledge, either at the
level of theory or at the level of empirical evaluation of hypotheses and observations on the process of upscaling. This chapter attempts to carry out a systematic analysis of some of the factors contributing to scalability of a given educational program. The chapter does not claim to address all factors. However, it does attempt to capture and characterize at least some of the critical dimensions of scalability.

Robert J. Sternberg, Damian Birney, Linda Jarvin, Alex Kirlik, Steven Stemler, Elena L. Grigorenko
PACE Center, Yale University

Scale-up is the practice of introducing proven interventions into new settings with the goal of producing similarly positive effects in larger, more diverse populations. Scale-up research examines factors that influence the effectiveness of interventions as they are brought to scale across settings. This article has three objectives. First, it defines the goals of scale-up research with respect to broader efforts to enhance the quality of educational research and promote evidencebased education. Second, it clarifies the importance of context, conceptually and methodologically, in conducting scale-up research. Finally, it suggests practical guidelines that can assist researchers in developing designs that can be implemented in field settings to produce robust, generalizable findings.

Sarah-Kathryn McDonald, Venessa Ann Keesler, Nils J. Kauffman, and Barbara Schneider

This document recommends steps for evaluating and continuously improving career pathways programs.

Davis Jenkins
Workforce Strategy Center

This report covers the wide variety of programs that help community college students succeed and gain credentials. It contains an overview of how colleges supported low-income students when the report was released in 2004. It examines high-leverage methods of providing support, highlights promising programs that employ these methods, and identifies the need and opportunities for additional services.


Rogéair Purnell, Susan Blank, with Susan Scrivener, and Reishma Seupersad