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About Our Areas of Work
We organize our work into three areas to help low-income youth & adults:

Blog

Thursday October 1, 2015
The goal of most college-goers is to find work that is meaningful and pays well enough for a middle class life. (There are of course other goals as well.) And getting a “good job” rather than just any job may have more to do with social capital—being part of and using social networks, knowing the ropes of job application and interviewing protocols, being aware and armed with strategies to counter racial, class, and ethnic discrimination—than with where you go to college and what you know about college rankings. All the information in the world does not make up for an empty checking account,...
Tags: Credentials, Opportunity Youth
Wednesday September 30, 2015
President Obama has taken a bold step with his proposal to make two years of community college free. However, those of us who work in or with higher education know that there is no silver bullet or simple solution to fix our nation’s history of denying college access and success for low-income students, students of color, and underprepared students. Free community college—if designed carefully—might expand access to college. But that is only part of the answer given that community colleges graduate far too few students. We need to do far more than simply expand access, which is akin to...
Tags: Career Pathways, Credentials, Opportunity Youth
Thursday September 24, 2015
Across the nation, there is a significant decrease in the number of teachers entering into and completing teacher preparation programs. This trend is particularly troubling in states like California facing high rates of retirement in their current teaching force.  According to the California Teachers’ Association, approximately one third of the teaching force will retire over the next decade. An annual report by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) reports a 26% decrease in new teaching credentials issued over the past five years.  Thousands of jobs will soon open and...
Tags: Career and Technical Education, Career Pathways
Tuesday September 22, 2015
Students Recount Experiences in Adult Education Pathways Programs  In honor of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, JFF is sharing two profiles of Accelerating Opportunity students. Their experiences and accomplishments demonstrate the difference that education can make for both individuals and their families. We hope that you will find their stories as inspiring as we do. Erin Chavez is a single mother who successfully completed a certificate program in the Healthcare Foundation through Accelerating Opportunity and is now currently pursuing her RN degree with the support of...
Tags: Career Pathways, Career and Technical Education, Manufacturing, Health Care, Adult Basic Education
Monday September 21, 2015
Originally published on Completion by Design's blog. After a decade of dozens of national completion efforts, many states and colleges are feeling the weight of initiative fatigue. The financial support and technical expertise that have accompanied the many initiatives have been a welcome contribution, but the dizzying array of reporting requirements, data requests, expectations, and timelines is also daunting. The reality on the ground is further complicated because, all too often, similar but distinct initiatives operate in silos rather than as aligned conversations where the sum is...
Tags: State-Local Higher Education Policy