With support from Lumina Foundation, NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute) has launched the second phase of an initiative to help cities boost local college completion rates. As part of this effort, NLC will provide more intensive technical assistance to up to six cities that have participated in a peer network on postsecondary success.
The YEF Institute serves as managing intermediary for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Communities Learning in Partnership project, which seeks to boost postsecondary graduation rates by better coordinating the services that colleges, schools and cities provide to students. The initiative is part of the Foundation's postsecondary success strategy aimed at doubling the number of low-income young adults who earn postsecondary degrees or credentials by the age of 26. In September 2010, the cities of New York City, San Francisco, Mesa, Ariz., and Riverside, Calif., were selected to each receive $3 million over three years to align academic standards between high school and college, strengthen data systems, implement early assessment and college prep strategies, and create support systems to help dramatically increase the number of students who earn a postsecondary degree or credential. These four cities were selected from seven sites that received $250,000 planning grants in September 2009.
With support from Lumina Foundation for Education, the YEF Institute launched a two-year initiative to engage cities in efforts to help young adults complete postsecondary education. The Municipal Leadership for Postsecondary Success initiative will stimulate and strengthen local collaborations to increase the rate and shorten the time within which residents finish higher education with a degree, certificate, or other credential.
The YEF Insititute has launched a new initiative to help cities better align local early care and education programs with their public school systems. The goal of the initiative is to increase the likelihood that children will be poised for educational success by the time they reach the third grade. Through the initiative, made possible with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and an anonymous donor, and with early support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the YEF Institute will identify, explore and document strong city models for aligning early childhood and K-12 systems.
Striving to help cities reduce dropout rates and improve students' educational outcomes, the YEF Institute, along with its partners in the Association for High School Innovation (AHSI) network and with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, worked intensively with the cities of Indianapolis, Nashville, and Newark to establish new innovation-model alternative schools for students who struggle in traditional high school settings.
This project helped five cities develop and implement strategies for expanding options and alternatives for high school to prepare all students for college, work, and citizenship. Lessons learned from cities' experiences are documented in the YEF Institute report, Expanding Options: City Roles in Creating High School Alternatives for Struggling Students.
This project strengthened the capacity of municipal leaders in six cities to improve the quality of public education. Lessons from these cities' initiatives are available in the YEF Institute's report, Stronger Schools, Stronger Cities.