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

Blog

Thursday June 22, 2017
Maximizing Mobility: Leveraging New Data to Help Low-Income Students Climb the Income Ladder
The story we tell ourselves about upward income mobility is unraveling. The majority of respondents to a New America survey felt that it is harder than ever to attain a foundational element of the “American Dream,” in which children will earn more than their parents. But most respondents still believe another tenet of the American mobility narrative—that going to college creates upward mobility. While it is true that college graduates do better in our economy than non-grads, there is considerable variation in earnings from different college degrees. For low-income students in particular, not...
Tags: Federal Higher Education Policy, Credentials, Developmental Education
Tuesday May 9, 2017
Q&A with John Kerr, Washington state director for Basic Education for Adults
This is the first in a series of periodic conversations with members of the Policy Leadership Trust for Student Success. At the winter 2017 meeting of Jobs for the Future’s Postsecondary State Policy Network, JFF Vice President Michael Lawrence Collins sat down with Jon Kerr, the Washington State Director for Basic Education for Adults, to discuss why community colleges should be more intentional in connecting adult basic education to guided pathways and how federal and state policy could help forge greater ties. Kerr is a member of the Policy Leadership Trust for Student Success, which JFF...
Tags: Developmental Education
Friday April 21, 2017
When we think about college in this country, top-tier institutions like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford come to mind, in part because there is no shortage of media coverage of college rankings and admissions at the top. In the last couple weeks alone there were two separate stories about high school students who got accepted to all eight Ivy League schools. On April 5, 2017, CBS News reported “17-year-old New Jersey teen accepted into all 8 Ivy League schools,” and CNN posted “North Dakota teen gets accepted by all 8 Ivy League schools.” On the same day, news outlets posted a story about four...
Tags: Credentials, Federal Higher Education Policy, Developmental Education
Thursday September 8, 2016
Originally posted on Completion By Design's blog on September 7, 2016. The completion agenda has been effective in shifting the national conversation on postsecondary attainment from access to completion, as reflected in the measurable completion goals set to be achieved by Lumina Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Obama Administration, and numerous states. This is tremendous progress, but for low-income Americans who seek postsecondary credentials to secure employment and advance in our economy, it is not enough to simply complete. Several recent studies from the...
Tags: Credentials, Labor Market Information, Federal Higher Education Policy, Developmental Education
Thursday April 7, 2016
A professor is helping two students in a classroom
Principle 4. Additional academic support should be integrated with gateway college-level course content — as a co-requisite, not a pre-requisite. Principle Four opens the question of what needs to be done for students who enter college with skills so low that it is not likely they can benefit from default placement in a college-level course. The honest answer is that we don’t know. Whatever the eventual solutions, student supports will need to be a central feature. Principle Four focuses on “additional academic support,” but I argue that “additional support” needs to go far beyond the...
Tags: Credentials, Developmental Education, Dropout Recovery, Opportunity Youth