Albuquerque, N.M.

Lead Partner Organization: United Way of Central New Mexico (Graduate! ABQ)
Population Focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity Focus: Hispanics, American Indians, Low-income households, Incarcerated populations, People enrolled in Adult Basic Education
Postsecondary Partner: Central New Mexico Community College

Albuquerque’s proposal is built around Mission: Graduate’s “Adult Transitions to College” strategy, which aims to increase the number of working-age adults in central New Mexico who enroll in and complete a postsecondary credential. Key to this effort is a partnership called Graduate! ABQ. Working collaboratively with Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico (Central New Mexico’s American Job Center), Graduate! ABQ has a dual purpose: 1) to coach adults seeking guidance on enrolling and succeeding in postsecondary; and 2) to transform the systems within Workforce Connection to better serve the educational needs of adults. This transformation is in line with requirements, both state and federal, of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Additionally, working collaboratively and in alignment with local postsecondary institutions, most notably Central New Mexico Community College, Graduate! ABQ ensures a seamless transition for adults through the “warm hand-off” to postsecondary institutions. This warm hand-off, which includes introducing adults to advisors at the institutions and assisting in follow-up measures to ensure student retention, works to eliminate barriers to education that adults may face, such as lack of access to information and intimidation of the enrollment process. In addition, postsecondary partners, especially CNM, are making strategic changes to processes and policies to better support adult student success.

Austin, Texas

Lead Partner Organization: Quality of Life Foundation of Austin (Austin Chamber of Commerce)
Population Focus: Some college experience
Equity Focus: Hispanics, Low-income households, Unemployed and underemployed adults
Postsecondary Partner: Western Governors University, Austin Community College

Austin’s work will ensure that approximately 70,000 adults with some college and no degree can complete the education and training they need to compete for good jobs. The community will collaborate to:

  1. Survey and conduct focus groups with stop-outs and re-enrolled stop-outs to help tailor messaging and programming to support re-enrollment, completion, transfers, and reverse transfers support for returning students.
  2. Execute digital messaging, geo-fencing, and dual language social media campaigns to target stop outs with a special focus on targeting low-income, Hispanic and underrepresented stop outs in good academic standing and with Pell eligibility.
  3. Partners will engage Workforce Solutions, the area workforce board, the City of Austin, Travis County and major employers to help promote re-enrollment and financial aid support to unemployed adults, and those with some college and no degree.
  4. Utilize case management approaches to remove process barriers for adult re-enrollment in certificate/degree programs with labor market demand.
  5. Improve certificate/degree completion support by providing targeted enrollment/retention assistance to returning adult students and connecting them to resources as needed, i.e. financial aid, emergency aid, low-cost or affordable childcare via area partners.
  6. Evaluate program results on enrollment, persistence/retention, transfers, reverse transfers, completions, UI wage and employment outcomes to support continuous improvement and integrate successful program elements into future talent development plans.


Lead Partner Organization: The Boston Foundation
Population Focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, Low-income households
Postsecondary Partner: University of Massachusetts Boston, Bunker Hill Community College

Success Boston will build on its nine-year partnership to create guided pathways for students at Bunker Hill Community College and UMass Boston. The first pathway will be a liberal arts pathway, the most common major for graduates of the Boston Public Schools who attend these colleges. As the pathway is planned and rolled out, it will be paired with Success Boston coaching which will support clear and transparent communications among partners, and by extension better serve students through increased enrollment, enhanced persistence and retention, and reduced time to degree completion. Intentional academic pathways with deliberate career competency integration will be the next large-scale systems change that will help us to attain the community’s goal of a 70% completion rate (which has grown from the original baseline of 35.5% to today’s 51.3%). The initial pathway will inform the creation of other “meta major” pathways and drive systems-level change at each campus. This will benefit not only Success Boston students but a much broader group of students enrolled at these two institutions. Lessons learned will be shared with other colleges and universities as well as city and state-level policymakers to inform policies related to college affordability, accelerating time to degree completion, and transfer.

Cincinnati (Covington, Ky.; Newport, Ky.; Cincinnati)

Lead Partner Organization: Strive Partnership (Intergenerational Success Project)
Population Focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, Low-income households, Single-parent families
Postsecondary Partner: Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Gateway Community and Technical College

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Talent Hub will serve as a catalyst for core regional partners to create stronger alignment between programs and supports, working collectively to achieve a common regional goal for a population that is critical to regional economic development and will also change the trajectory of the next generation to break the cycle of poverty. Building on StrivePartnership’s Cradle-to-Career (C2C) continuum work, the Intergenerational Success Project will use a two-generation approach to reach the single mothers of children served within the Strive network of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. Building on existing efforts of community-based organizations, workforce development training programs, employers, and community colleges, this high-performing ecosystem will guarantee the seamless collaboration among these stakeholders and the removal of bureaucratic barriers that are particularly challenging for women who decide to pursue their career aspirations. In doing so, the Project will focus on the primary goal of motivating and supporting cohorts of these women to pursue a credential that leads to stable employment with a living wage and to persist along guided pathways that lead to long-term economic stability for their families. The secondary goal of the Project is to inspire academic achievement by the children of these women, especially in math and science, through a two-generational pursuit of education attainment in their homes. Led by StrivePartnership, core regional partners in the Project include Brighton Center, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Gateway Community and Technical College, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, and the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Columbus and Southeast Ind.

Lead Partner Organization: Community Education Coalition / EcO Network
Population Focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity Focus: Hispanics, Low-income households, Immigrants/Refugees, Limited English proficiency
Postsecondary Partner: Ivy Tech Community College Columbus, Adult Education Partners

The EcO Network of Southeast Indiana, will partner with Ivy Tech Community College and the region’s Adult Education Providers to leverage a strong, established network of employer and community partners across ten counties, to expand and connect existing, successful programs in support of adults with no college. Through this work, the community will provide enhanced supports for low-income adults, Hispanic community members, immigrants/refugees and those with limited English proficiency. By better connecting these partners and programs, the partnership will accelerate the educational attainment rates in the region, leading to high demand jobs in the manufacturing, healthcare and IT sectors. The EcO Talent Hubs will focus on the following strategic themes:

Talent Attraction

  • Employer engagement with Ivy Tech’s Achieve Your Degree
  • Hispanic community organizations
  • Recruitment strategies aligned with Adult Ed Providers and United Way

Talent Development:

  • Aligned pathways: Adult Education, WorkINdiana Certifications to postsecondary
  • English Language Learning services
  • Beyond Financial Aid: Expanding “Wrap-around” services

Talent Engagement:

  • Engage employers to identify Powerhouse Credentials
  • Community Foundations “Barrier Busting” funds
  • Ivy Tech Commit to Finish Program to partner with Latino Mentoring
  • Data and analytics for continuous improvement

Dayton, Ohio

Lead Partner Organization: Learn to Earn Dayton
Population Focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Low-income households, Some college experience population
Postsecondary Partner: Sinclair Community College, Wright State University, University of Dayton

The Dayton and Montgomery County Talent Hub aligns, maximizes, and strategically expands existing postsecondary attainment strategies for traditional-age students with a particular emphasis placed on under-represented, low-income students, and especially African-American males who are disproportionately and tragically behind at every important juncture as they progress through school, Dayton’s work will also support a secondary opportunity population—adults 25 years and older with some college experience, but no credential. Key partners include Sinclair Community College, which has already increased the number of credentials from 3,292 in 2013 to more than 4,600 in 2017. Wright State is a four-year public university, which just completed a 17 million-dollar Student Success Center. The University of Dayton will continue its historic commitment to creating new opportunities for low-income and minority students. Other key partners include 16 school districts with a strong emphasis on high-poverty and schools serving students of color. To ensure long-term sustainability, Dayton will build upon proven successful initiatives which have extensive institutional and local philanthropic support. The Team selected initiatives to strengthen, including the use of culturally responsive educational practices, dual enrollment, co-requisite remediation, bridging programs, guided pathways, and academic advising redesign. These initiatives are grounded in the collection of disaggregated data metrics and a commitment to use data to make continuous quality improvements to close postsecondary attainment gaps.


Lead Partner Organization: Denver Education Attainment Network (DEAN)
Population Focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, Low-income households
Postsecondary Partner: Emily Griffith Technical College, University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University Denver, Community College of Denver

Denver Direct Pathways (DDP) is an attainment and equity strategy designed to increase attainment rates for all students and improve outcomes for underserved minority and low-income populations. Building on evidence-based strategies utilized by Denver Education Attainment Network (DEAN) partners, the DDP will guide student choices about which courses to take, encourage students to choose a major or program of study early (first or second semester), and provide more intensive advising. Furthermore, developing these pathways will better meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body. Each college partner and Denver Public Schools have been engaged in pathway development for several years: the DDP will knit together these individual efforts into a cohesive, broad-scaled strategy to see more students through to credential completion. The DDP is a college completion and a workforce development strategy. It will provide students clearly articulated paths to high-quality credentials, providing access to many more workforce opportunities and economic stability. Students will understand each step and required progression in their area of study, which will reduce the average time to degree and the average credit accumulation upon degree completion. To start, the DDP will enhance guided pathways in four high-demand areas —IT, Business, Health and Advanced Manufacturing. Each pathway will begin in high school. The DDP will promote opportunities for early certificates, utilize concurrent enrollment program, support early success in gateway courses, and provide multiple entry and exit points, allowing students to utilize credentials in the workforce and facilitate the timely and efficient completion of certificate and/or degree requirements with full transfer capabilities when possible.

Fresno, Calif.

Lead Partner Organization: Central Valley Higher Education Consortium / Fresno Compact
Population Focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, Low-income Households
Postsecondary Partner: CSU Fresno, Clovis Community College, Fresno City College, Reedley College, West Hills Coalinga, West Hills Lemoore

The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and The Fresno Compact bring together regional businesses, post-secondary and secondary educational institutions, City of Fresno Mayor’s Office and community-based organizations in a concentrated collaborative effort to prepare students for the increasing demands of society and the workplace. Through remediation reform and utilizing best practices co-requisite models (English and math), the Fresno Talent Hub will facilitate student success through an increase in gateway course completion, an increase in full-time enrollment and an increase in retention Fresno County’s degree attainment rates. The Fresno Talent Hub will strengthen efforts currently underway to increase Fresno County degree attainment rates, overall, and specifically among Hispanic, African-American, and low-income populations.

Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley)

Lead Partner Organization: UNITE-LA
Population Focus: Some college experience
Equity Focus: Hispanics, Low-income households
Postsecondary Partner: California State University-Northridge, Los Angeles Community College District

The San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles recently received an Award for Innovation in Higher Education for the development of a reverse transfer partnership which originated through the L.A. Compact’s Student Success Workgroup convened by UNITE-LA. The reverse transfer partnership seeks to identify students who transferred from three Los Angeles Community College District colleges—Los Angeles Mission, Pierce, and Valley—to California State University-Northridge, without earning an associate degree, and subsequently stopped out without finishing a bachelor degree. The partners will work together to aggregate credits earned between their institutions to retroactively award students their associate degree, ensuring students are able to reap the benefits associated with postsecondary education completion. Partners are expanding the project to identify and re-engage first-time freshmen who stopped out of Cal State Northridge and will help them enroll into an Associate Degree for Transfer pathway at Mission, Pierce, or Valley College to complete an associate degree while simultaneously making progress toward a bachelor degree. Students will receive an admissions guarantee back into Cal State Northridge and will be able to complete their associates in two years and their bachelor degree in an additional two years.

New Partnership Helps CSUN Transfer Students Earn Community College Degrees | CSUN | Oct. 25, 2017

Louisville, Ky.

Lead Partner Organization: 55,000 Degrees
Population Focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, Low-income households,
Postsecondary Partner: University of Louisville, Jefferson Community and Technical College

Louisville will build upon a decade of focused work to increase postsecondary attainment by supporting the development of the Louisville Promise Scholarship. The program will be developed with two primary goals: first to provide a message of hope that postsecondary education is within reach of everyone in the community and second to remove cost as a barrier which has prevented too many from pursuing higher education. The Louisville Promise scholarship will implement holistic and intrusive success coaching to aid in addressing financial, social, and academic barriers which negatively and disproportionately impact the likelihood of postsecondary attainment for students of color and from low-income backgrounds. Proposed work will support the Rise Together Initiative, a partnership between 15,000 Degrees, the community’s focused effort supporting African-American attainment, and Jefferson Community and Technical College focused on increasing successful postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and graduation for African-American students who live in one of Louisville's five Zones of Hope (ZOH) neighborhoods and expanded to include Simmons College. Focused work will include transition to college support, a college retention partnership, and robust community mobilization to build the needed networks and skills to help students successfully enroll, persist and graduate in postsecondary education.

Nashville, Tenn.

Lead Partner Organization: Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Population Focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Low-income households
Postsecondary Partner: Nashville State Community College, Tennessee College of Applied Technology—Nashville

Nashville’s work will ensure equitable access to Nashville’s prosperity through postsecondary education attainment leading to careers. Working together, the community will build an environment where there is no “wrong door” for adults who desire to enter or re-enter college. Proposed work will support adult postsecondary attainment in the highest need areas of the city: Nashville’s Promise Zone neighborhoods. By leveraging Tennessee’s free technical and community college tuition for adults (beginning Fall 2018) and Federal Student Aid, coupled with Middle Tennessee Reconnect community’s proven model of high-touch advising services and resources, leveraging the Financial Empowerment Zone, Mayor’s Office and faith and community-based organizations, the community will align programs and services to increase college enrollment, persistence and success. Nashville State Community College and TCAT Nashville are committed to building a student-centered, completion-oriented culture for adults. Employers will also play a key role in the Talent Hub by providing students and graduates internships, learn-and-earn opportunities, and full-time careers in high-growth sectors upon completion of a postsecondary degree or credential.

New York City

Lead Partner Organization: City University of New York Academic Affairs
Population Focus: Some college experience
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, Low-income households, Veterans
Postsecondary Partner: City University of New York

The NYC Career Pathways for Adult Learners (NYCPAL) Talent Hub will serve as a central source for academic policies, programs, data, and best practices for adult students. Ultimately, the policies and best practices implemented under the proposed work will improve the graduation rates for thousands of New York City adults with incomplete college degrees and credentials, who are often from underrepresented communities. To meet this goal, this effort is designed to execute a comprehensive work plan including research, analysis, implementation, and reporting. The activities of the Hub will include:

  1. Completion of a comprehensive Adult Learner 360 evaluation, which will serve as the data baseline for the Hub
  2. Focus groups with relevant Talent Hub initiatives and programs to determine the best practices and policies which can be replicated throughout the adult learner ecosystem in NYC
  3. Implementation of an advising model for adult students
  4. Implementation of an education technology strategy designed to accommodate the schedules of working adults
  5. Establishment of CUNY-wide policies regarding credit for professional licenses, co-enrollment programs, and credit for prior learning assessments
  6. Expansion of employer-driven partnerships to create programs for working adults, such as apprenticeships
  7. Annual reports to inform the University’s colleges and external partners of promising practices utilized by the Hub and influence the development of CUNY, city, and state policies that support adult students


Lead Partner Organization: Graduate! Philadelphia
Population Focus: Some college experience
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Low-income households, Veterans
Postsecondary Partner: Community College of Philadelphia, Temple University, Thomas Edison State University, Chestnut Hill College

Graduate! Philadelphia and four institutional partners will build on existing adult college completion programming for comebackers, adults with some college but no degree, with a targeted focus on low-income adults and Veterans. Institutional partners will leverage their capacity for scale, institutional learning, and established practices that have shown success with adults. All are yellow ribbon institutions, with specific programs for veterans. Philadelphia’s proposed work focuses on three major areas for expansion with the end goal of systemic changes in policies that are sustainable and can be scaled in order to support more Comebackers: reverse transfer, prior learning assessment, and guided pathways.

The proposed initiative will focus on scaling up quality Comebacker services, connecting Comebackers to colleges, moving to completion with preparation for family-sustaining careers upon completion of credentials along the way and the college degree. Measures include an increase in the number of individuals served, enrolled and progressing to completion, as well as an analysis of the programmatic interventions that work at scale and implementation of the resulting findings and recommendations.

Racine, Wis.

Lead Partner Organization: Higher Expectations for Racine County
Population Focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, Low-income households
Postsecondary Partner: University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Gateway Technical College

Racine’s Higher Expectations (HE) Postsecondary Education and Training Network (PSET) Completion Action team represents a formal partnership between Higher Expectations for Racine County, Building Our Future in Kenosha County, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Gateway Technical College to increasing postsecondary attainment in Racine and Kenosha County.

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Gateway Technical College predominately serve residents of Kenosha and Racine County, therefore, there is significant swirl between institutions. Proposed work will eliminate both institutional and cross-institutional barriers to attain significant improvements in post-secondary completion.

Proposed work is focused on 5 key strategic areas: remediation reform, academic support and advising, maximizing credit transfer and shortening time to degree, creating guided pathways and strengthening community partnership to support low-income, underrepresented students.

Each institution has committed to utilizing the Lumina beta credentialing framework to strengthen curricular alignment between institutions and identify reverse transfer options, accelerate or eliminate remediation, implement a more structured approach to course scheduling, create structures and systems that encourage and support full-time enrollment and strengthen community partnerships to improve academic preparation and increase overall support for students.

Richmond, Va.

Lead Partner Organization: Bridging Richmond
Population Focus: Some college experience
Equity Focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, Low-income households
Postsecondary Partner: John Tyler Community College, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University

Bridging Richmond partners, including John Tyler and Reynolds Community Colleges, Virginia Commonwealth University, TRIO EOC, and United Way, are collaborating to accelerate regional credential attainment by establishing data-sharing agreements and implementing targeted interventions to support adults with some postsecondary experience but no credential.  Although postsecondary partners enroll many of the same students, the colleges have not shared student data in order to proactively identify those students who may be eligible for reverse transfer and degree reclamation.  Proposed work will enable the postsecondary partners to establish data-sharing agreements and implement reverse transfer protocols.  The partners will also coordinate targeted advising and financial assistance programs.  These programs will assist students who are within a few credits of earning a credential at their home institutions. Partners will also conduct degree audits of students who have dropped out from college after accumulating enough credits to earn a degree and contact them with advice concerning degree options.  Finally, partners will align community supports and expand awarding of completion micro-grants to students with financial need who are within one or two semesters of graduating.  Bridging Richmond partners are committed to closing equity gaps for African-American, Hispanic, and low-income students, who are more likely to drop-out of college for financial reasons and would, therefore, benefit the most from the system changes established through the proposed work.

Shasta County, Calif.

Lead Partner Organization: North State Together
Population Focus: Some college experience
Equity Focus: American Indians, Low-income households
Postsecondary Partner: University of California-Davis, College of the Siskiyous, Shasta College, California State University-Chico

Northern California has linked together through North State Together (NST) to enhance educational options and economic development for all populations in the region. Building off best practices including ACE, BOLD, STEP UP and the Siskiyou County Adult Ed Diploma, NST will celebrate adults wishing to obtain degrees, credentials or skill-building opportunities for continual growth. All programs identified share common attributes including structured schedules, guided pathways, case management, cohort support, and worksite learning. The expansion of prior learning assessments and competency-based learning options will honor adults for what they know and are able to do and ease barriers to the attainment of high-quality certificates and degrees. The region recognizes that the high rate of adults with some college and no degree is a direct reflection on the current systems, and not reflective of the skills and abilities of residents in the north state. Working as a collective impact group, NST’s intention is that the switch in the culture surrounding education and learning will re-engage adults that had left formal systems. For those adults that are renewed by innovative educational programming and would like to continue along educational pathways, options for BA’s and advanced degrees will also be developed. This program will build off successful partnerships with local business/industry partners, Tribal Communities and WIOA partners to support adults with career exploration through a regional career portal and a high-quality virtual job shadowing program that will continue to raise awareness of viable careers in the north state.

Tulsa, Okla.

Lead Partner Organization: Tulsa Regional Chamber
Population Focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity Focus: Hispanics, Low-income households
Postsecondary Partner: Tulsa Community College, https://tulsatech.edu/

Tulsa will fully weave together the efforts currently underway, build capacity, and identify remaining gaps and fill them to ensure that Tulsa’s workforce, education, community and economic development institutions implement systemic change to serve today’s students, specifically for adults, the Hispanic community, and residents with low-income. The community will connect an array of partners, including Tulsa Community WorkAdvance, operated by Madison Strategies Group, to apply intentional use of wrap-around supports, career navigators, matching philanthropic dollars, tuition and fee forgiveness, stacked and latticed credentials, Prior Learning Assessment, flexible schedules, contextualized learning for English Language Learners (ELLs), and employer partnerships in the high-growth sectors of IT, professional services, transportation, distribution and logistics, and manufacturing. Through these strategies, Tulsa will align postsecondary attainment with employment, ensuring that priority and equity populations get jobs that pay well, provide benefits, offer opportunities for advancement, and are less likely to face elimination during an economic downturn.