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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
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
Tuesday August 25, 2015
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s brutally frank conversation with Black Lives Matter activists during an August 11th campaign stop in New Hampshire captured several realities of the policy development process. Clinton’s assertions are instructive for anyone trying to change policy, but they are particularly relevant for those of us focused on dramatically improving economic mobility and equity through community college policy reform.   Clinton made three points that were particularly apt: first, it is not enough to win hearts for policy reform. Second, you must change laws, resource...
Tags: State-Local Higher Education Policy
Wednesday August 12, 2015
To reach the ambitious education attainment goals established by President Obama and a host of philanthropic organizations, higher education will need to use all of the tools in the completion toolkit, invent some new ones, and repurpose some of the old and faithful ones to amplify and expand on what they have been able to accomplish historically. One high-leverage, but often-overlooked tool in the completion toolkit is networks. A review of the literature identified mechanisms of social networks that enable change—communication systems, knowledge transfer, alteration of mindset, increasing...
Tags: Developmental Education, State-Local Higher Education Policy