Talent Hubs

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Albuquerque, N.M.

Lead partner: United Way of Central New Mexico / Graduate! ABQ
Population focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity focus: Hispanics, American Indians, low-income students, incarcerated people, enrollees in adult basic education
Postsecondary partner: Central New Mexico Community College

Albuquerque is building its efforts around Mission: Graduate’s “Adult Transitions to College,” a strategy that aims to boost the number of working-age adults who enroll in postsecondary programs and earn a credential. Known as Graduate! ABQ, the partnership seeks to transform systems so they better serve adults’ educational needs. Collaborating with local agencies such as Central New Mexico Community College and Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico, the partnership will help adults transition seamlessly to postsecondary institutions. This “warm hand-off” means introducing students to advisors, making sure students take measures to stay on track, and eliminating barriers such as hard-to-access information and intimidating enrollment processes.


Boston Back to top ↑

Lead partner: The Boston Foundation
Population focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, low-income students
Postsecondary partners: University of Massachusetts Boston, Bunker Hill Community College

The Success Boston partnership will build on its nine-year-long efforts to create guided pathways for students at Bunker Hill Community College and UMass Boston. The initial pathway will focus on the liberal arts, the most common area of study for graduates of Boston Public Schools who attend these colleges. A citywide college completion initiative, Success Boston will facilitate clear and transparent communication among partners, which in turn will help students enroll, persist, and shorten their time to degree. The partnership will also create academic pathways that integrate career competency, helping boost the completion rate from 51.3 percent to 70 percent by 2020. The liberal arts pathway will inform future pathway creation, while driving changes in campus systems that will benefit not only Success Boston students but many others as the partnership shares its lessons broadly.

Cincinnati (with Covington and Newport, Ky.) Back to top ↑

Lead partner: Strive Partnership (Intergenerational Success Project)
Population focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, low-income students, single-parent families
Postsecondary partners: Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Gateway Community and Technical College

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Talent Hub will drive regional partners to better align programs and supports, working to break the cycle of poverty among a population critical to regional economic development. Building on StrivePartnership’s Cradle-to-Career work, the Intergenerational Success Project takes a two-generation approach to reaching the single mothers of children served by the Strive network of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. Leveraging existing efforts by community organizations, workforce development programs, employers and community colleges, the Talent Hub will remove bureaucratic barriers that hamper women pursuing careers. The partners will guide these women along pathways that end with credentials for stable employment and a living wage. Led by StrivePartnership, regional partners 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 southeastern Indiana Back to top ↑

Lead partner: Community Education Coalition / EcO Network
Population focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity focus: Hispanics, low-income students, immigrants/refugees, limited English speakers
Postsecondary partners: Ivy Tech Community College Columbus, Adult Education Providers

The EcO Network of Southeast Indiana will partner with Ivy Tech Community College and the region’s Adult Education Providers to leverage an established network of employer and community partners across 10 counties to expand and connect programs that are successfully supporting adults with no college. The network will enhance supports for low-income adults, Hispanics, immigrants and refugees and people with limited English proficiency. By better linking partners and programs, the network will accelerate educational attainment, preparing students for jobs in high-demand fields.

Corpus Christi, Texas Back to top ↑

Lead Partner: Citizens for Educational Excellence
Population Focus: Education beyond high school, but no credential
Equity Focus: Hispanic, low-Income, military veterans
Postsecondary Partner: Del Mar College

Corpus Christi is booming, and with an aging workforce, its need for educated and skilled workers is greater than ever. Addressing this need, the Corpus Christi Talent Hub is focused on increasing the postsecondary attainment of individuals with some college and no degree, especially those who are Hispanic and low-income. Ninety percent of students at Del Mar College, the city’s community college, come from and remain in Corpus Christi, making it imperative that enrollment, retention, and success rates improve. Del Mar’s goal is to award 2,300 certificates or degrees and 700 high-quality continuing education credentials by 2020. To reach it, the partnership will develop additional Fast Track programs, complete guided education pathways to high-demand jobs, connect stop-outs with caring adults, re-engage those who have left college, use analytics to monitor progress of students who have re-enrolled, expand the use of prior learning assessments, examine and implement policies to increase completion, and work with employers to increase internship and apprenticeship opportunities.  

Dayton, Ohio Back to top ↑

Lead partner: Learn to Earn Dayton
Population focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity focus: African-Americans, low-income students, individuals with some college experience population
Postsecondary partners: Sinclair Community College, Wright State University, University of Dayton

The Dayton and Montgomery County Talent Hub aligns, maximizes, and expands existing postsecondary attainment strategies for traditional-age students, with particular emphasis on under-represented, low-income students, especially African-American males. The Dayton Talent Hub will also support those 25 years and older who have some college experience but no credential. Dayton will build on proven initiatives with institutional and local philanthropic support that strengthen culturally responsive educational practices, co-requisite remediation, guided pathways, and redesigned academic advising. Grounded in disaggregated data, and committed to using data for continuous improvement, the partnership works collaboratively to close pervasive achievement gaps in their community.

Denver Back to top ↑

Lead partner: Denver Education Attainment Network (DEAN)
Population focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, low-income students
Postsecondary partners: Emily Griffith Technical College, University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University Denver, Community College of Denver

Denver Direct Pathways (DDP) is designed to increase attainment rates and improve outcomes for underserved minority and low-income students. Building on evidence-based strategies employed by Denver Education Attainment Network (DEAN) partners, DDP will help students choose which courses to take, encourage them to select a major or program of study early on, and provide them with intensive advising. DDP is both a college completion and workforce development strategy, offering students clearly articulated paths to high-quality credentials and workforce opportunities. It will also promote opportunities for early certificates, use concurrent enrollment programs, and support early success in gateway courses within guided pathways in four high-demand fields. It will also provide multiple entry and exit points, allowing students to use their credentials in the workforce. In addition, when possible, DDP will facilitate the timely and efficient completion of certificate and/or degree requirements with full transfer capabilities.

Detroit, Mich. Back to top ↑

Lead Partner: Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation / Detroit Drives Degrees
Population focus: Education beyond high school, but no credential
Equity focus: African-American, low-income
Postsecondary partners: Macomb Community College, Wayne State University

The Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation, Wayne State University and Macomb Community College have come together to help 35,000 adults with some postsecondary experience complete their education by 2020. The Detroit Talent Hub is committed to increasing opportunity among African-American and low-income adults. The Talent Hub will draw on successful practices for encouraging adult postsecondary enrollment, persistence and completion, leveraging the strong relationship between Wayne State and Macomb. The Detroit Regional Chamber will expand and systematize these practices with the rest of the region’s two-year and four-year institutions through its Detroit Drives Degrees Education Compact. As part of this effort, Wayne State will institute a new debt-forgiveness policy for returning low-income students, and Wayne State and Macomb will introduce enhanced guided pathways for transferring adults. Overall, the Talent Hub will use four interwoven strategies: Leveraging relationships and reducing barriers to regional collaboration; overcoming barriers to postsecondary attainment for working adults; strengthening academic pathways and practices that support adult attainment; and improving student supports and communities that promote and sustain persistence, educational engagement, and completion

Elkhart County, Ind. Back to top ↑

Lead Partner: Horizon Education Alliance
Population focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity focus: Hispanic, low-income, immigrant/refugee, limited English proficiency
Postsecondary partners: Goshen College, Ivy Tech Community College

Elkhart County’s industry leaders, postsecondary institutions, adult education providers and community partners are working to ensure that the county has a flexible and innovative pathway system with multiple points of entry and diverse delivery systems for adult learners. The collaborative work will increase the number of workers with no current postsecondary experience who attain an industry-recognized credential or degree. The alignment between postsecondary attainment and current workforce needs is central to the model: Postsecondary and adult education partners are working with the county’s highest-demand industries to design training and registered apprenticeship programs that lead to a credential or degree in those fields. The community is especially embedding supports for Hispanic adults; postsecondary partners are designing adult pathway programs that lead to industry-recognized credentials, expanding English language classes that lead directly into degree programs, providing credential programs in Spanish or two languages, increasing tutoring and mentoring for Hispanic students, and building all partners’ capacity to collaboratively and effectively serve Hispanic and low-income adults.  

Fresno, Calif. Back to top ↑

Lead partner: Central Valley Higher Education Consortium / Fresno Compact
Population focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, low-income Students
Postsecondary partners: 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 businesses, postsecondary and secondary institutions, the Fresno mayor’s office and community organizations in a concentrated effort to prepare students for the demands of society and the workplace. By reforming remedial programs and using best practices in co-requisite models, the Fresno Talent Hub will boost completion rates for gateway courses, full-time enrollment, student retention, and degree attainment. The Talent Hub will strengthen current efforts to increase Fresno County’s overall degree attainment, specifically among Hispanic, African-American and low-income populations.

Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley) Back to top ↑

Lead partner: UNITE-LA
Population focus: Education beyond high school, but no credential
Equity focus: Hispanics, low-income students
Postsecondary partner: California State University-Northridge, Los Angeles Community College District

California’s San Fernando Valley region recently developed an award-winning reverse-transfer partnership that started with the L.A. Compact’s Student Success Workgroup convened by UNITE-LA. The partnership seeks to identify students who transferred from three community colleges—Los Angeles Mission, Pierce, and Valley—to California State University-Northridge without earning an associate degree and who later stopped out without finishing a bachelor’s. The partners will work to aggregate the credits these students earned among their institutions to retroactively award associate degrees. As a Talent Hub, the partners are expanding the project to identify and re-engage first-time freshmen who stopped out of Cal State Northridge, helping them earn an associate degree at Mission, Pierce, or Valley while at the same time progressing toward a bachelor’s. With a guarantee of readmission Cal State Northridge, these students will be able to complete their associate and bachelor’s degrees in two years each.

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

Las Vegas, Nev. Back to top ↑

Lead Partner: United Way of Southern Nevada
Population focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity focus: African-American, Hispanic, low-income
Postsecondary Partner: College of Southern Nevada

United Way of Southern Nevada, the College of Southern Nevada (CSN), the Nevada System of Higher Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation will work collaboratively to boost attainment for learners ages 18-24. The Talent Hub will work to scale up and coordinate two main strategies: guided pathways at CSN and integrated postsecondary workforce education and training. The pathways will employ strategies such as intensive onboarding of newly enrolled students, academic mapping, proactive academic and career advising, and instructional support and co-curricular activities. The partnership will also expand work-based learning, including registered apprenticeships and programs leading to work-based credentials. Both strategies emphasize intensive, proactive, and integrated student support and case management.

Mobile, Ala. Back to top ↑

Lead Partner: Mobile Area Education Foundation
Population focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity focus: African-Americans, low-income students
Postsecondary partners: Bishop State Community College, University of South AlabamaCoastal Alabama Community College

Aiming for 75,000 degrees or credentials by 2030, the Mobile Talent Hub will create pathways for students to transfer, receive a credential, and complete their education. The approach will boost completion among traditional 18- to 24-year-olds, specifically low-income and African-American students, with a seamless system of supports at every transition point. Leveraging the 75K Degrees blueprint, which provides recommendations to improve postsecondary outcomes, the Talent Hub will support students in four areas: Increasing persistence and on-time graduation; creating a “transfer culture” at the University of South Alabama; scaling and promoting high-quality certificate programs and pathways with multi-tiered supports for African-American and low-income students; and improving system-level policies that drive attainment.

Nashville, Tenn. Back to top ↑

Lead partner: Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Population focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity focus: African-Americans, low-income students
Postsecondary partners: Nashville State Community College, Tennessee College of Applied Technology—Nashville

The Nashville Talent Hub works to ensure equitable access to the area’s prospering economy through postsecondary attainment that leads to careers. The community will create an environment in which there is no “wrong door” for adults who want to go back to college or enter for the first time. The work will support adult attainment in the city’s poorest areas: Nashville’s Promise Zone neighborhoods. Beginning in the fall of 2018, adults in Tennessee will enjoy free tuition for technical and community college. The Talent Hub will leverage that benefit, along with federal student aid, Middle Tennessee Reconnect (the community’s high-touch advising program), the Financial Empowerment Zone, the mayor’s office and faith- and community-based organizations to align programs and services that increase enrollment, persistence, and success. Nashville State Community College and TCAT Nashville are building a student-centered, completion-oriented culture for adults. Meanwhile, employers will provide students and graduates with internships, learn-and-earn opportunities and careers in high-growth sectors.

New York City Back to top ↑

Lead partner: City University of New York Academic Affairs
Population focus: Education beyond high school, but no credential
Equity focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, low-income students, veterans
Postsecondary partner: City University of New York

New York’s Talent Hub, NYC Career Pathways for Adult Learners, will serve as a central source for academic policies, programs, data and best practices for adult students. It seeks to improve graduation rates for the thousands of New York City adults who have not yet earned a college credential. The Talent Hub will establish a data baseline by conducting a comprehensive evaluation of adult learners to determine the effective and replicable practices and policies. It will implement an improved advising model for adult students, and expand partnerships with employers to create programs and apprenticeships that connect to education pathways for current employees. The Talent Hub will also establish uniform policies regarding credit for professional licenses, co-enrollment programs, and credit for prior learning across all 24 CUNY campuses.

Philadelphia Back to top ↑

Lead partner: Graduate! Philadelphia
Population focus: Education beyond high school, but no credential
Equity focus: African-Americans, low-income students, veterans
Postsecondary partners: Community College of Philadelphia, Temple University, Thomas Edison State University, Chestnut Hill College

Graduate! Philadelphia and four institutional partners will build on existing college completion programs for comebackers, adults with some college but no degree, focusing on low-income adults and military veterans. The institutions—all yellow-ribbon designees with specific programs for veterans—will leverage their capacity for scale, institutional learning, and established practices that have shown success with adults. The Hub aims to make systemic, scalable, and sustainable changes in three key areas: Reverse transfer, prior learning assessment, and guided pathways. It seeks to scale up quality comebacker services, connecting comebackers to colleges and moving them to completion of credentials that lead to family-sustaining careers.

Racine, Wis. Back to top ↑

Lead partner: Higher Expectations for Racine County
Population focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, low-income students
Postsecondary partners: University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Gateway Technical College

Racine’s Higher Expectations includes a partnership among Building Our Future in Kenosha County, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Gateway Technical College to increase postsecondary attainment in Racine and Kenosha counties. The Talent Hub seeks to eliminate barriers to attainment by reforming remediation, improving academic support and advising, maximizing credit transfer, shortening time to degree, creating guided pathways and strengthening community partnerships to support low-income, underrepresented students. Each institution will use the Connecting Credentials framework to strengthen curricular alignment between institutions. By developing reverse transfer options, accelerating or eliminating remediation, implementing a structured approach to course-scheduling, and creating systems that support full-time enrollment the Racine Talent Hub will improve academic preparation, college access, persistence, and success.

Richmond, Va. Back to top ↑

Lead partner: Bridging Richmond
Population focus: Education beyond high school, but no credential
Equity focus: African-Americans, Hispanics, low-income students
Postsecondary partners: John Tyler Community College, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University

Bridging Richmond—a collaboration among John Tyler and Reynolds community colleges, Virginia Commonwealth University, TRIO EOC, and United Way—will accelerate credential attainment by sharing data among institutions and targeting interventions to support adults with some postsecondary experience but no credential. The Talent Hub will establish data-sharing agreements and implement protocols for reverse transfer and degree reclamation among partner colleges serving the same students. The partners will also coordinate targeted advising and financial assistance programs, assisting students a few credits shy of a credential. Partners will also conduct audits of students who have dropped out of college after accumulating enough credits to earn a degree, then provide them with advice about their options. Finally, partners will align community supports and increase the number of micro-grants for needy students who are within one or two semesters of graduating.

Rio Grande Valley, Texas Back to top ↑

Lead Partner: Communities Foundation of Texas / RGV Focus
Population focus: Education beyond high school, but no credential
Equity Focus: Hispanic, low-Income, limited English proficiency
Postsecondary Partners: South Texas College, Texas Southmost College, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

The RGV Focus network strengthens and amplifies current strategies at higher education institutions that have proven effective in re-engaging students who have stopped out, encouraging them to return and helping them attain a credential by 2020. The network will build capacity for awarding degrees to reverse transfer students. By collaborating, sharing best practices and increasing communication with students and parents, the partners aim to increase the number of postsecondary degrees and credentials by almost 1,300 by 2020, and to continue that growth in perpetuity to significantly increase the number of degrees and credentials awarded in the region.

St. Louis, Mo. Back to top ↑

Lead Partner: St. Louis Graduates
Population Focus: Students who enter college out of high school
Equity Focus: African-Americans, low-income students
Postsecondary Partners: Maryville University, Southeast Missouri State University, University of Central Missouri, University of Missouri St. Louis, Webster University

Multiple partners in St. Louis have signed a commitment to eliminate disparities in degree completion by race and income. A report commissioned by St. Louis Graduates/St. Louis Regional Chamber documents how five four-year institutions are graduating low-income and African American students with less debt. St. Louis Graduates is using this research to address two big barriers to student success: lack of sufficient and flexible financial aid, and timely academic support. Five institutional partners—Maryville University, Southeast Missouri State University, University of Central Missouri, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Webster University—are building effective programs on their own campuses and spurring their replication through the Student Success Learning Institute, which includes providing technical assistance for frontline staff in academics and financial aid. An online portal connects students to private scholarship resources, and a business fund will assist seniors who have exhausted their federal aid or have an unpaid balance.

Shasta County, Calif. Back to top ↑

Lead partner: North State Together
Population focus: Education beyond high school, but no credential
Equity focus: American Indians, low-income students
Postsecondary partners: University of California-Davis, College of the Siskiyous, Shasta College, California State University-Chico

Northern California works collaboratively to enhance educational options and boost economic development by re-engaging adults who have left the formal education system. Expanding programs such as ACE, BOLD, STEP UP and the Siskiyou County Adult Ed Diploma, North State Together will support adults who seek credentials or career opportunities. The programs already share features such as structured schedules, guided pathways, case management, cohort support, and worksite learning. By expanding assessments of prior learning, and options for competency-based learning, institutions will award students credit for what they already know and can do. The program will build off successful partnerships with local businesses, tribal communities and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act partners to help adults explore careers through a regional career portal and a virtual job-shadowing program.

Tulsa, Okla. Back to top ↑

Lead partner: Tulsa Regional Chamber
Population focus: No recognized learning beyond high school
Equity focus: Hispanics, low-income students
Postsecondary partners: Tulsa Community CollegeTulsa Technology Center

The Tulsa Talent Hub will work to ensure that its education, workforce, community and economic development institutions make systemic changes that better serve students—specifically adults, Hispanics, and low-income residents. The Talent Hub will connect an array of partners, including Tulsa Community WorkAdvance, operated by Madison Strategies Group, helping them make the best of use of strategies such as 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, and partnerships with employers in high-demand fields. Through these strategies, Tulsa will align postsecondary attainment with employment, ensuring that the target populations get secure, well-paying jobs with opportunities for advancement.