NLC Partners with Kresge Foundation to Promote Postsecondary Success

November 8, 2013

By Andrew O. Moore

Support for NLC’s Municipal Leadership for Postsecondary Success initiative continues to grow, with the Kresge Foundation joining in partnership this fall with the NLC Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute).  Across the initiative, NLC provides assistance to more than two dozen cities committed to working with education institutions to improve outcomes and prepare a 21st century workforce.

The Kresge Foundation, headquartered in Troy, Michigan, works to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities. Its Education Program promotes postsecondary access and success for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students.

NLC’s new partnership with the Foundation has four key aspects.   The YEF Institute will provide intensive technical assistance to three additional cities within the Cities Advancing Postsecondary Success (CAPS) cohort -- Grand Rapids, Houston, and Los Angeles.  Technical assistance will include referrals to national resources and expertise, an ongoing focus on strengthening local multi-sector partnerships with a well-defined municipal government role, and on-site facilitation and sharing of expertise.  Examples of topics on which the three additional cities and other cities in the cohort seek assistance include aligning education offerings with high-demand jobs in the local economy, and sharing data.  For Los Angeles, NLC is advising recently elected Mayor Eric Garcetti on shaping education-related goals for his tenure.

NLC applauded the progress of Houston’s multi-sector postsecondary success partnership at a breakfast with Houston Mayor Annise Parker this week. The Center for Houston’s Future hosted the event.

“We are so pleased that support from the Kresge Foundation enables the National League of Cities to work closely with the City of Houston and its partners, to raise educational attainment rates and build a highly skilled workforce,” noted Audrey Hutchinson, program director for education and afterschool initiatives at the NLC Institute for Youth, Education and Families.

“The strong partnership between the City of Houston and the Center for Houston’s Future, and their joint focus on clear goals and methods such as increasing adult degree completion provides a strong basis for further progress,” Hutchinson added.

Furthermore, with Kresge support, the YEF Institute will enter into partnerships with state and regional college access networks in California, Florida, and Michigan to host statewide mayoral summits on postsecondary success in 2014, as a means of continuing to broaden the support base in those states for college completion.  The new support will also embed postsecondary success as a key focus area for the Mayor’s Education Policy Advisor’s Network (EPAN).  In addition, NLC will collaborate with CEOs for Cities to heighten municipal government involvement in sites competing for the Talent Dividend Prize to be awarded in 2014.

Throughout, NLC will draw upon the “toolbox” of processes and materials provided by Results-Based Accountability (RBA).  RBA focuses performance accountability discussions at the level of change across a whole population, such as a city or neighborhood.  CAPS sites will utilize RBA to develop goals at the population change level, as well as supportive strategies.