Issue/Policy Brief

Using Assessments to Inform 12th-grade Interventions and Accelerations

Although nearly all states and the District of Columbia have adopted college and career readiness assessments for high school students, few are using the tests to: (1) identify students who demonstrate college readiness and provide these students with opportunities to enroll in advanced coursework during their senior year and (2) identify students who are not college ready and provide these students with interventions to put them back on track toward postsecondary matriculation.

Core Principles for Transforming Remediation Within a Comprehensive Student Success Strategy: A Joint Statement

Building upon a previous publication released in 2012, a coalition of national organizations (including Achieving the Dream, American Association of Community Colleges, Charles A. Dana Center, Complete College America, Education Commission of the States, and Jobs for the Future) convened in November 2015 to revise the core principles for transforming remediation with a focus on scaling practices that promote student success in obtaining postsecondary degrees.

The New Forgotten Half and Research Directions to Support Them

Building upon a previous publication released in 1988, this resource from the William T. Grant Foundation explores some of the key issues surrounding youth who enter but do not complete college and frequently find themselves excluded from jobs in today’s labor market, which typically require a postsecondary degree. This resource also offers suggestions for future research to increase the “new” forgotten half’s chances at economic security and success.

These People Just Keep Trying to Help Me”: Supporting Students to Succeed in College and Career Pathways

Despite national economic growth, many Americans are unemployed or stuck in low-wage jobs struggling to gain the skills and credentials they need to land middle-skill jobs that can lead to careers and enable them to support their families. Jobs for the Future convened education and workforce innovators to share ideas about strategies that best equip underprepared youth and adults to access and succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce, provide employers with qualified workers, and strengthen regional economies.

Promising Practices in Young Adult Employment: Hands-on Multidisciplinary Career Exploration and Mentorships

As the number of young adults disconnected from the workforce continues to rise, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions Young Adult Initiatives aim to test and implement new strategies for targeting America’s young adults, ultimately seeking to develop a deeper understanding of how industry partnerships and employers most effectively engage young adults and to share this information so that employers and workforce development collaboratives across the country can access the potential of and invest in the millions of young adults across the nation.

Effective Schools for Deeper Learning: An Exploratory Study

To become truly well prepared for life after high school, students must develop a combination of intellectual, interpersonal, and intrapersonal capacities, including some that are not measured by multiple choice academic achievement tests. These sets of skills and dispositions have been grouped together under the term deeper learning. This installment of the Deeper Learning Research Series proposes a strategy by which to strengthen the research base on deeper learning so that it can better inform efforts to improve secondary education.

Bolstering Non-Traditional Student Success: A Comprehensive Student Aid System Using Financial Aid, Public Benefits, and Refundable Tax Credits

The attainment of a postsecondary degree is generally regarded as a key stepping-stone to economic self-sufficiency. However, the rising costs of postsecondary education pose a formidable challenge to college persistence and completion, particularly for low-income students.

Toward a Better Future: Evidence on Improving Employment Outcomes for Disadvantaged Youth in the United States

In 2013, only approximately half of the young adult population (ages 16–24) held jobs. An increased investment to strengthen employment prospects for youth is needed to ensure better futures. This MDRC report draws from a review of literature on employment-related programs for youth over the past three decades. The aim of this report is threefold: (1) to look at factors that create high rates of young adult unemployment, (2) to examine the effectiveness of current unemployment interventions for youth, and (3) to discuss future directions to increase stronger employment involvement.

In Search of a Match: A Guide for Helping Students Make Informed College Choices

This guide from MDRC is intended for counselors, teachers, and advisers. It offers strategies for helping low-income families and students identify colleges that are a good fit for their academic profiles and financial needs. Most of the suggestions in this guide come from insights through the College Match Program, a pilot program implemented in Chicago and New York City to address the problem of high school students enrolling in colleges they are academically overqualified for and for students who do not apply to college at all.

Personalizing and Guiding College & Career Readiness

Implementing higher and clearer common expectations in core subjects is a big step forward for American education. However, helping more students reach higher standards will take more than updated core academic programs; it will require more robust guidance and support services as well. The intent of this paper is to clarify the central mission of student guidance systems, sketch the architecture of information systems, and encourage aggregated demand in the hope that it will lead to more investment and innovation in next-generation guidance systems.


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