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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accelerating opportunity

Monday, August 27th, 2:00 PM EDT

This webinar focused on how AO states can make the best use of the professional development tools and resources available so that faculty and staff are well-trained and well-supported, including external resources (such as SBCTC and NCTN’s online courses) and internal resources (such as state conferences/trainings). Both presenters emphasized the need for long-term professional development plans in addition to the initial training needed to get programs up and running. State coordinators shared what they are currently doing for professional development and discussed some of their capacity gaps.

Moderator: Ellen Hewett, NCTN

Guest experts: 
Jon Kerr, SBCTC: Jon discussed some of the strategies that SBCTC has used to provide PD to I-BEST colleges, including the development of a cadre of expert I-BEST instructors to provide PD and technical assistance across the state. He also shared what PD looks like at the state and college level. 

Andy Nash, NCTN: Andy discussed how states can best take advantage of the online PD developed by NCTN, including how to connect the online courses with other PD activities for maximum effectiveness.

Online courses from NCTN

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Ellen Hewett, Jon Kerr, Andy Nash
Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, National College Transition Network

Wednesday, September 5th, 2:00 PM EDT

This webinar highlighted a new toolkit developed through JFF's Greenways work. Women represent less than 25 percent of the labor force and remain underrepresented in many occupations that offer high wage jobs and career advancement opportunities.  Recruitment is the first step in connecting women to these high quality careers and emerging areas of the economy, and this webinar provides concrete ideas on how to recruit women into training for nontraditional occupations. Lauren Sugerman of Wider Opportunities for Woemn discussed the value of adding a gender lens to outreach and assessment and provided examples of successful strategies that have been implemented by workforce development providers.

The webinar also introduced the Pink to Green Toolkit: Adding a Gender Lens to Green Jobs Training Programs, which provides tools to assist organizations in developing relevant plans, processes, and curricula at each stage of their training programs in order to foster success of women in nontraditional occupations.


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Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc (video)
Chicago Women In Trades Online Manual

Presenters:  Deborah Kobes, JFF and Lauren Sugerman, Wider Opportunities for Women

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*Note: the recording starts about 15 minutes into the webinar.

Deborah Kobes, Lauren Sugerman
Jobs for the Future, Wider Opportunities for Women

Wednesday, August 15th, 2:00 EDT

This webinar focused on approaches to recruiting students into AO programs, including partnering with referring agencies, marketing efforts, and employer engagement. Bill Sperling of Shoreline Community College in Washington shared some of the ways the college has marketed its I-BEST programs, including partnering with workforce agencies, outreach to CBOs and the K12 system, and the creation of marketing materials. The coordinators and college representatives from Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Illinois each shared some of the strategies they have been using to recruit students into AO programs. 

Moderator: Nate Anderson, JFF

Materials and Links

More about Shoreline Community College I-BEST

Shoreline Pathway Diagrams (PPT)

Kansas's Marketing Materials

Kentucky's AOKY Website

From the National Skills Coalition: SNAP Education & Training Guide

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Note: Shoreline's I-BEST video starts at 9:05

Nate Anderson, Bill Sperling
Jobs for the Future, Shoreline Community College

Thursday, September 13th, 2:00 PM EDT

Support services are a critical part of the AO model. While there isn’t necessarily a perfect prescription for support services, there are definitely some ways to standardize what’s offered across colleges. In this webinar we discussed about how supports are being offered, and the way that systems and colleges can create structures that promote successful, sustainable models for providing student supports.  

Moderator: Sandy Goodman, NCTN.

Guest Experts: 
Judy Mortrude and Nola Speiser, Minnesota FastTRAC: Judy and Nola shared how Minnesota has established a single point of contact for students and the state and college structures that have made that model successful. Nola also talked about her experiences as a Navigator and how she was able to make connections across agencies to better serve her students.

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Links to Professional Development Resources for Navigators/Support Services Staff

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Sandy Goodman, Judy Mortrude, Nola Speiser
National College Transtion Network, Minnesota FastTRAC

October 4, 2012

As states start to grow and expand pathways it’s important to think about how to ensure fidelity to the model while allowing for local variations when needed. On this webinar Louisa Erickson of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges discussed how states can create processes to evaluate current pathways and approve new pathways, drawing on the process used for I-BEST programs.

Moderator: Darlene Miller

Guest Expert:
Louisa Erickson, SBCTC: Louisa will talk about the I-BEST program approval process, and how SBCTC works with colleges whose proposed pathways don't meet the approval criteria to improve the pathway design.

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Darlene Miller, Louisa Erickson
Jobs for the Future, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, Nation Council for Workforce Education

March 7, 2013

This webinar was for Arkansas colleges interested in taking part in Accelerating Opportunity. In 2013, Arkansas joined Accelerating Opportunity as an Affiliate Network state; four colleges will take part in a six-month design phase, with the goal of moving into a longer-term implementation phase. This webinar is an overview of the initiative and what Accelerating Opportunity will look like in Arkansas; in particular, how it will weave together this model and the state's existing Career Pathways Initiative.

Mike Leach, Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges
Karon Rosa, Arkansas Career Pathways, Arkansas Department of Higher Education
Jim Smith, Arkansas Adult Education
Barbara Endel, Jobs for the Future

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Mike Leach, Karon Rosa, Jim Smith, Barbara Endel
Jobs for the Future, Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges

On June 14, 2013, Theresa Anderson from the Urban Institute led a webinar discussing some of the early evaluation findings, including the results of the college survey.PLEASE NOTE: there was a miscalculation in the slides used in the recording; the cost per student discussed in slide 30 should be $4,546. The slides posted here have been updated with the correct amount.

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Due to the file size, the PowerPoint is in two parts.
Part I
Part II

Theresa Anderson
Urban Institute & Jobs for the Future

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

The second annual National Conference on Integrated Basic Skills Pathways took place in Seattle, Washington on May 8th and 9th, 2012. There were nearly 200 participants representing over 20 states. 

Conference Objectives:

  • To provide content and support as teams and states continue to implement integrated career pathways
  • To come together as a national learning community committed to providing program re-design fostering student attainment of credentials and family supporting employment
  • For each team and state to gain clear guidance and strategic direction toward the implementation of policies to support the implementation of integrated career pathways
Jobs for the Future

This is a benchmarking and implementation progress guide for Accelerating Opportunity states. The Accelerating Opportunity coaches will use it with state implementation teams to first set a baseline measure of where the state is in relation to the nine elements described below, and then to track progress. As coaches, we will use this matrix to monitor states’ progress toward Accelerating Opportunity outcomes, with a particular focus on these nine elements:

  • Building Integrated Pathways
  • Scale & Sustainability
  • Culture Shift
  • Comprehensive Student Supports
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Professional Development
  • State TA to Colleges
  • Policy
  • Leadership and Staff Commitment
Jobs for the Future