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Policy Guidance & Innovation

Guidance on federal and state policy as well as examples of innovative state and institutional policies.

Monday, September 12th, 3:00 PM EDT

Jobs for the Future hosted a Bidders' Webinar to help design states develop their implementation proposals. The goals of this webinar were to:

  • Create a common understanding of the goals for the Three-year Implementation Phase;
  • Reinforce the high level expectations of states that will be selected to participate; and
  • Address questions about the Request for Proposal.


Maria Flynn, Vice President, Jobs for the Future
Barbara Endel, Program Director, Accelerating Opportunity, Jobs for the Future
Nate Anderson, Senior Project Manager, Jobs for the Future
Randy Wilson, Senior Project Manager, Jobs for the Future
Rachel Pleasants, Project Manger, Jobs for the Future

Streaming recording link:

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Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future

riday, January 13th, 1:00-2:30 PM EST

The purpose of this webinar was to discuss the recent statutory changes to Pell eligibility and collaborate on devising strategies that states can use to mitigate the impact on AO students & states. For more information on the changes to Pell stemming from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2012, please see JFF's January 6th memo.


Maria Flynn, Vice President, JFF
Barbara Endel, Program Director, JFF
Mary Clagett, Director of Workforce Policy, JFF

Streaming recording link:

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Maria Flynn, Barbara Endel, Mary Clagett
Jobs for the Future

Thursday, January 19th, 3:00-4:30 PM EST

This webinar kicked off the implementation phase of Accelerating Opportunity and covered a variety of topics, including important grants management information, an overview of the technical assistance plan, and an update on upcoming events. Each of the partner organizations provided a summary of the TA they would be providing. Participants also had a chance to view a variety of online resources. The four implementation states and their colleges also shared an overview of their goals for the implementation phase.


Barbara Endel, Program Director, JFF
Monique Sheen, Project Manager, JFF
Rachel Pleasants, Senior Project Manager, JFF
Darlene Miller, Executive Director, NCWE
Israel Mendoza, Former State ABE Director/Consultant
Jon Kerr, State ABE Director, SBCTC
Ellen Hewett, Director, NCTN
Kaye Beal, Project Director, World Education, Inc.
Randall Wilson, Senior Project Manager, JFF

Streaming recording link:

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Jobs for the Future, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, Nation Council for Workforce Education, National College Transition Network

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

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

The Policy to Performance Toolkit is designed to provide state adult education staff and key stakeholders with guidance and tools to use in developing, implementing, and monitoring state policies and their associated practices that support effective state ABE to postsecondary transition systems. The Policy to Performance Toolkit is based on the processes and findings from the Policy to Performance Project. The tools and practices utilized in the project were compiled into a comprehensive and interactive Toolkit that provides users with guidance and strategies for strengthening existing or developing new ABE state transition (STET) The Policy to Performance Toolkit offers users downloadable resources and writable tools, as well as provides examples of how participating states applied the tools and processes discussed in the Toolkit.

Judith A. Alamprese & Chrys Limardo
Kratos Learning and Abt Associates Inc.

The Adult College Completion Toolkit was developed by the Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE). OVAE developed the Toolkit to help policymakers at the state and local level implement practical evidence-based solutions that increase the number of graduates who earn high-quality degrees and certificates required to compete for good jobs in the 21st century global economy. College completion is a shared responsibility; this Toolkit also provides resources for adult education administrators, teachers, and students.

The Adult College Completion Tool Kit is designed to connect state administrators and local practitioners to the strategies, resources, and technical assistance tools resulting from the Department’s work. States can use this information to identify and implement state adult education leadership priorities, supported by federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) funds, which encourage and support adult learners transitioning to college.

The tool kit focuses on three areas:

  • Access: Academic preparation, financial resources, and other support students need to enroll in postsecondary education programs.
  • Quality: Evidence-based practices used by programs to ensure their services prepare students adequately for postsecondary education.
  • Completion: Administrative policies and programmatic approaches to encourage student persistence in postsecondary education programs.
Michelle Tolbert, MPR Associates, Inc.,
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education

This guide is a reference point for state policy teams and their colleges as they move through Year One of the implementation stage of Accelerating Opportunity. The structural principles in it provide a framework for state policy work. JFF encourages state policy teams to refer to it often, especially early on, as they implement work plans and long-term goals. Implementation coaches and policy coaches can help answer questions about the

Nate Anderson, Barbara Endel, & Lexie Waugh
Jobs for the Future

This report is a case study of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), and analyzes the key strategies and conditions that have led to the effectiveness of the Board as a coordinating agency over locally governed colleges. The study, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, found that three sets of factors -- state political and economic context, institutional design, and organization and leadership strategies -- explain the success of the Board. The report includes a self-assessment instrument intended for use by other states that seek to improve the effectiveness of their own postsecondary education coordination to better serve students and meet state needs. Click here for the self-assessment instrument.

Accelerating Opportunity states may find this especially useful in understanding the underlying characteristics that helped SBCTC take I-BEST to scale and identifying strategies to promote systems change.

Mary Kirlin and Nancy Shulock
Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy, California State University, Sacramento

This letter highlights the joint commitment of the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor to promote the use of career pathways approaches as a promising strategy to help adults acquire marketable skills and industry-recognized credentials through better alignment of education, training and employment, and human and social services among public agencies and with employers. The Departments encourage states to align state resources to support integrated service delivery across Federal and state funding streams and to ensure that interested partners and agencies – whether focused on education, workforce development or human and social services – are aware of this joint commitment for improved collaboration and coordination across programs and funding sources.

U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor