IN THIS ISSUE
- BACK ON TRACK TO COLLEGE
- STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING
- COLLEGE PLACEMENT TESTS
- GREEN JOBS
- FEDERAL POLICY UPDATE
- JFF IN THE NEWS
- ON THE ROAD
Aaron Dale is a full-time paralegal in his mid-20s and pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. His success thus far, though, is actually a comeback story that begins with a run-in with the law at age 17. His path from prison back into education and on to a career was fraught with obstacles. But he persisted and excelled, thanks in part to X-Cel Adult Education, a program that puts disconnected youth back on track to college success.
After serving 14 months in prison for assault, Aaron couldn’t reenroll in high school because he had a criminal record and was too old. He couldn’t save for college because he needed to work just to make ends meet. Still, Aaron never lost sight of his goal. He earned his GED and a career certificate and entered a program supported by JFF and others that gave him the tools to navigate college.
Learn how X-Cel Adult Education is helping Aaron pursue his degree. Plus read how the use of JFF’s three-phase Back on Track through College model—enriched prep, postsecondary bridging, and first-year supports—in dozens of similar programs nationwide helps thousands of young people. Read more . . .
As school districts embrace student-centered learning, the movement’s leaders share their thoughts on implementation and priorities. Watch these 2- to 4-minute interviews in which leading researchers and funders, all affiliated with JFF’s Students at the Center initiative, relate how students’ individual needs can help shape the design and delivery of curricula. More interviews are coming later this year. Also, read all nine research papers on what’s known about student-centered learning to date. Read more . . .
For years, colleges have used placement exams to determine whether to deem incoming students “college ready” or assign them to developmental education. But emerging information reveals the tests have little correlation to students’ future success, casting doubt on their use even as the high stakes for students of taking remedial courses become clear. In response, states are exploring reforms ranging from deemphasizing test scores to adopting or developing new tests. JFF’s brief Where to Begin? lays out various state responses and alternatives to placement exams, as well as next questions for researchers. Read more . . .
More and more colleges are using real-time information to identify what good jobs are available locally and statewide and determine how to best prepare their students for them. In Innovations in Labor Market Information and Their Application, Myriam Milfort and Jeremy Kelley show how green career training programs supported by JFF’s GreenWays initiative use new technology to gauge what skills their regions’ employers need most and guide their trainees into the highest-demand jobs. Read more . . .
For nearly a decade, JFF has researched, developed, and facilitated practices and policies that enable low-income, off-track, and out-of-school youth to succeed in college and careers. Recently, JFF submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on strategies to improve outcomes for disconnected youth. Read JFF’s comments for information on:
- Key elements to providing seamless pathways for disconnected youth into and through college and careers;
- Examples of strong community partnerships that are leading this work and how they are structured; and
- Recommended success metrics and federal policies that can foster the growth of these types of pathways and community partnerships. Read more . . .
Aug. 16: Education Week featured the success of early college high schools in Guilford County, NC, including three schools with 100% graduation rates. JFF’s ECHS Initiative boasts 270 schools that enable students to earn high school and college credit for the same courses. These schools serve mostly minority and low-income youth. “Something about the prospect of accelerating to who you want to be motivates students,” said JFF early college leader Joel Vargas.
Aug. 13: The Chronicle of Higher Education featured JFF’s Credentials that Work initiative, helping community colleges see what local jobs are available to their students with real-time labor market info.
Jul. 31: The Chronicle of Higher Education announced JFF’s report on college placement test reform (Where to Begin?). The news was quickly picked up by The New York Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via the Texas Tribune), The Hechinger Report, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Examiner.com, The College Puzzle, EdSource, Education Week, Education News, Getting Smart, and Community College Week.
Jul. 31: Education Week published a commentary by JFF’s Nancy Hoffman, Adria Steinberg, and Rebecca Wolfe on student-centered learning.
Sep. 19, Opportunity Nation Summit, Washington, DC:
- JFF VP Maria Flynn joins a high-powered panel to discuss the training young adults need to “Stay Ahead of the Curve” and fill tomorrow’s jobs.
Oct. 2, National Council of La Raza Workforce Development Forum, Los Angeles, CA:
- GreenWays program manager Deborah Kobes is presenting “Lessons from Detroit: Building a Union/Community Pre-apprenticeship Program.” Joining her are national AFL-CIO building trades rep Art Lujan and Detroit environmental official Paul Carter.
Nov. 9, Donnell-Kay Foundation Hot Lunch Series, Denver, CO:
- JFF President & CEO Marlene B. Seltzer will speak about JFF’s efforts to prepare the nation’s most at-risk youth for the workforce and postsecondary life.