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How Federal Policy Can Support Career Pathways and Bridge Programs for Lower-Skilled Adults

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Presentation on funding career pathways and career pathway bridges given at Education Works! event hosted by United Way Central Iowa.

Presentation on funding career pathways and career pathway bridges given at Education Works! event hosted by United Way Central Iowa.

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  • Career pathway bridges are a newer innovation to increase nontraditional student success. Many low-income, nontraditional students lack the basic academic or English language skills needed to succeed in college programs. Career pathway bridges are simply an extension of the career pathways concept to meet the needs of lower-skilled adults and youth.These bridges provide targeted basic skills and English language education to help lower-skilled students enter and succeed in specific occupational programs and career pathways. While many variations of career pathways bridge models exist, they share some common elements. Career pathway bridges typically:Combine basic skills and career-technical content, including general workforce readiness skills, pre-college academic and English language skills, and specific occupational knowledge and skills, supported by comprehensive student services.Contextualize basic skills and English language content to the knowledge and skills needed in a specific occupation or groups of occupations.Use new or modified curricula with identified learning targets for both the academic and occupational content, articulated to the next level in the college and career pathway.Change how classes are delivered using such strategies as dual enrollment in linked basic skills and occupational courses; integrated, team-taught basic skills and occupational courses; and, enrolling students in cohorts (also known as learning communities or managed enrollment).Support student success through comprehensive student services, often including a single point of contact who helps students navigate through college advising and financial aid services, connects students to other public benefits, and works with students to problem-solve as challenges arise that could derail progress. Connect to local employer and community needs by engaging key partners in design and implementation of bridges, such as employers, unions, workforce development boards, community-based organizations and foundations.Career pathway bridges are a relatively new approach to basic skills and career-technical education. Consequently, little independent research has been conducted yet on their effectiveness, though local programs report promising early results.
  • A top-down approach helps ensure a clear message and sets guidelines/standards for how students are served.State and federal funding that flows through the state can be better targeted to support these types of interventions.All about scale and sustainability.Often, local innovation comes first or can be used as a foundation.
  • We think of data and performance measures as being able to support career pathways in a few different ways:- Data on students and their baseline progress to figure out what students need in career pathways, e.g., where are they falling through the cracks, what types of programs and supports do they need?Data on student career pathway progress to see how well (or not well) they are progressing and what parts of the CP need improving. Continuous improvement stuff.- Data to monitor student progress and career pathway effectiveness- Measures to track and to set realistic goals.- Measures to possibly provide perf funding
  • CLASP developed the Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges Toolkit in 2010 in response to increased state efforts to braid funding amid declining federal and state funds yet an increasing interest to work together collaboratively to improve outcomes for lower-skilled students, particularly adults returning to school.
  • Workforce Investment Act ReauthorizationWIA has been up for renewal since 2003. Prospects for action this year or next are dim. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on multiple employment and training programs, released in early 2011, has garnered a lot of attention and framed the debate about reauthorization. This report—an update to previous GAO reports—identified 47 federal workforce programs that provide some form or some level of employment and training services. Critics have interpreted the report as evidence that workforce programs are duplicative even though the GAO report did not say it. Since the release of the GAO report, there has been minimal progress toward reauthorization.A bipartisan Senate HELP bill stalled during the summer.The House Education and Workforce Committee has been holding a series of hearings. It is not clear whether this will result in a bill or multiple bills. Keep in mind that current appropriations bills (FY 2011) extend the authority to provide training by contract with a college or other eligible provider. This is an opportunity for bridge programs in some cases.
  • Workforce Investment Act ReauthorizationWIA has been up for renewal since 2003. Prospects for action this year or next are dim. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on multiple employment and training programs, released in early 2011, has garnered a lot of attention and framed the debate about reauthorization. This report—an update to previous GAO reports—identified 47 federal workforce programs that provide some form or some level of employment and training services. Critics have interpreted the report as evidence that workforce programs are duplicative even though the GAO report did not say it. Since the release of the GAO report, there has been minimal progress toward reauthorization.A bipartisan Senate HELP bill stalled during the summer.The House Education and Workforce Committee has been holding a series of hearings. It is not clear whether this will result in a bill or multiple bills. Keep in mind that current appropriations bills (FY 2011) extend the authority to provide training by contract with a college or other eligible provider. This is an opportunity for bridge programs in some cases.
  • Workforce Investment Act ReauthorizationWIA has been up for renewal since 2003. Prospects for action this year or next are dim. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on multiple employment and training programs, released in early 2011, has garnered a lot of attention and framed the debate about reauthorization. This report—an update to previous GAO reports—identified 47 federal workforce programs that provide some form or some level of employment and training services. Critics have interpreted the report as evidence that workforce programs are duplicative even though the GAO report did not say it. Since the release of the GAO report, there has been minimal progress toward reauthorization.A bipartisan Senate HELP bill stalled during the summer.The House Education and Workforce Committee has been holding a series of hearings. It is not clear whether this will result in a bill or multiple bills. Keep in mind that current appropriations bills (FY 2011) extend the authority to provide training by contract with a college or other eligible provider. This is an opportunity for bridge programs in some cases.
  • Given the stalemate in Congress, there is interest in administrative action that can move the pathways and bridges agenda. Recent guidance from federal agencies is supportive of career pathways and integrated education and training programs that combine occupational skills training with adult education services. Examples include:Beyond federal formula funds, other opportunities exist to support career pathway bridges or their components. These opportunities are unique, competitive, and often require coordination among partners.Priorities for first round of TAA grants:1. Accelerate Progress for Low-Skilled and Other Workers; 2. Improve Retention and Achievement Rates to Reduce Time to Completion; 3. Build Programs That Meet Industry Needs, Including Developing Career Pathways; and 4. Strengthen Online and Technology-Enabled Learning.
  • Workforce Innovation FundThe FY 2011 Continuing Resolution includes nearly $125 million for a Workforce Innovation Fund to be administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Key features:Provides for competitive grants to states, consortia of states and other entities (regional partnerships)Is designed to seed and test innovative workforce strategiesFocused on aligning various programs and leading to better outcomes for participants and employersIs likely to allow for additional waivers and flexibility needed to implement proposed strategiesRequires data collection and evaluation This is probably one of the best new opportunities to develop and expand career pathways and integrated service delivery strategies. Colleges should probably think about partnerships with WIBs, state workforce agencies and other cross-program partnerships. The notice for grant applications is expected to be released by the end of the year. Innovation Blog - Submit your Innovations!
  • American Jobs ActPresident Obama’s jobs proposal features an expanded payroll tax cut for workers, tax incentives and reductions for businesses, and additional investments in infrastructure. The proposal would continue federal emergency unemployment assistance that is currently set to expire at the end of 2011. The proposal also includes several items of particular interest to colleges and workforce agencies: $5 billion for the modernization, renovation or repair of existing community college facilitiesThis is primarily for community (or technical) colleges but is potentially available to four-year institutions offering sub-baccalaureate degrees or certificates. States would have flexibility in allocating funds to institutions within their states.  $5 billion for Pathways Back to Work, including: $2 billion for paid work opportunities for unemployed adults$1.5 billion for youth employment opportunities, and $1.5 billion for competitive grants for promising and research-based training strategiesThe competitive grants are the best opportunity for colleges. They require a local partnership that could include a college. They are intended for sector-based training and programs that lead to industry-recognized credentials—also adult education services and integrated education and training models that lead to a credential. Programs that are already up and running would have the best shot at this. The prospects for the jobs package are uncertain at best. The likely common ground includes provisions that are in place and expire by the end of the year—e.g. payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance extension. There is also interest in transportation infrastructure investments whether as part of a transportation reauthorization or not.
  • Administrative Actions to Support Career PathwaysGiven the stalemate in Congress, there is interest in administrative action that can move the pathways and bridges agenda. Recent guidance from federal agencies is supportive of career pathways and integrated education and training programs that combine occupational skills training with adult education services. Examples include: From OVAE:A 2010 policy memorandum from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education clarifies that adult education funds can support relevant portions of integrated education and training programs.Performance Accountability changes will impact the way progress is measured for students. Programs must move from a goal-setting model to a cohort model for some students. (Will be implemented July 2013.From DOL:A 2010 guidance letter from the Employment and Training Administration emphasizes credential attainment by participants in the public workforce system.There is likely to be additional guidance on bridges and pathways. Stay tuned!
  • The federal budget debate is protracted and unpredictable.Despite fiscal austerity, options remain to transform existing funding streams into vehicles to support pathways and bridge innovations for low-skilled adults.Braided funding is increasingly important on the federal, state, and local levels.

Transcript

  • 1. How Federal Policy Can Support CareerPathways and Bridge Programs for Lower-Skilled AdultsEducation Works! Strategies Linking Adult Literacy with Workforce SkillsDes Moines, IA Marcie Foster, Policy Analyst November 1, 2011
  • 2. CLASP: Policy Solutions that Work forLow-Income People• CLASP develops and advocates for policies at the federal, state and local levels that improve the lives of low-income people.• Our Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success seeks to improve policy, increase investment, and strengthen political will to increase the number of low-income adults and youth who earn the postsecondary credentials essential to open doors to good jobs, career advancement, and economic mobility. 2
  • 3. Overview• Economic Imperative for Iowa to Grow a More Skilled Workforce• Introduction to Career Pathways Bridges• State Policy Levers to Implement Bridges• Finding Federal Funding for Career Pathways and Bridges Using A Braided Approach• Update on Special Funding Opportunities
  • 4. Increase in demand forhigher educated workers and payoff for a postsecondary degree Need to provide more and better opportunities for adult workers to upgrade their skills, access postsecondary education.Decreased in the number of HS graduates 4
  • 5. Career Pathways 5
  • 6. Career Pathway Bridges• Help lower-skilled adults and youth earn the skills to enter and persist in postsecondary education by combining basic academic and English language content with postsecondary occupational content.• Features of bridges:  Combine basic skills and career-technical content,  Contextualize basic skills and English language content to the knowledge and skills needed in a specific occupation or groups of occupations.  Use new or modified curricula articulated to the next level in the college and career pathway.  Change how classes are delivered (paired or integrated courses)  Support student success through comprehensive student services  Connect to local employer and community needs 6
  • 7. Why State Policy?• A top-down approach helps ensure a clear message and sets guidelines/standards for how students are served.• State and federal funding that flows through the state can be better targeted to support these types of interventions.• All about scale and sustainability.• Often, local innovation comes first or can be used as a foundation. 7
  • 8. Core Policy Levers to Embed CareerPathway and Bridges • Raise awareness • Developing a Common Vision • Inclusion of Adults in the Completion Agenda Lever #1: • Set goals and measure Providing Lever #2: progress Leadership Defining the and Regulatory Strategic Environment Direction Lever #4: Lever #3: Identifying Using Data and and Integrating Performance Funding Measures Streams 8
  • 9. Core Policy Levers to Embed CareerPathway and Bridges • Change the rules and regulations within and across agencies to support and embed career pathways • Common programs/policy Lever #1: areas: Providing Lever #2: • Workforce Investment Act Leadership Defining the • Postsecondary Education and Regulatory • Temporary Assistance to Strategic Environment Needy Families Direction Lever #4: Lever #3: Identifying Using Data and and Integrating Performance Funding Measures Streams 9
  • 10. Core Policy Levers to Embed CareerPathway and Bridges Lever #1: Lever #2: Providing Defining the Leadership Regulatory and Strategic Environment Direction Lever #4: Lever #3: Identifying Using Data and and Integrating Performance Funding Measures Streams • Strengthen data systems • Analyze and document skill levels and outcomes for low-skilled adults 10
  • 11. Core Policy Levers to Embed CareerPathway and Bridges Lever #1: Lever #2: Providing Defining the Leadership Regulatory and Strategic Environment Direction Lever #4: Lever #3: Identifying Using Data and and Integrating Performance Funding Measures Streams • Multiple sources of funding • Use different sources for different phases of your initiative. 11
  • 12. System-Level Challenges to Linking AdultLiteracy with Workforce Education• Adult Education programs (WIA Title II) are desperately underfunded yet the demand for services is growing.• Basic skills programs are administratively disconnected from other state education, workforce, and human services systems.• Program funding dictates structure and is often silo’d and may even have conflicting performance accountability systems and goals. 12
  • 13. Funding Challenges to Scale andSustainability• Generally funded with one-time grants • Foundation grants, WIA discretionary funds, State general revenue, Federal special grants.• Often within just one agency or system • Key partners missing from the initiative.• Remains an innovation, never “new normal” • Pilot funding vs. FTE’s, ADA’s, and ITA’s • Programs must do many “work-arounds” of existing policies.
  • 14. Funding CP/CP Bridges Toolkit  State-level administrators in interagency teams can identify federal resources to support career pathways and pinpoint state policy changes needed.  Local programs can use program summaries to better understand federal resources that can be used at the regional or local level. 14
  • 15. Federal Programs• Workforce Investment Act Title I (Adults and Youth)• Workforce Investment Act Title II (Adult Education and Family Literacy Act)• Trade Adjustment Assistance• Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship• Employment Service (Wagner-Peyser Act)• Pell Grant• Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act• Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) 15
  • 16. Workforce Investment Act: Title I• The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) authorizes the Opportunities Limitations nation’s federally funded workforce development Industry engagement Required to fund training using ITAs, with some exceptions. system.• WIA provides funding for Cannot be used for curriculum “one-stop” career centers in Tuition development. which employers and job seekers can access a wide Restricted to individuals unable to Case management obtain other grant assistance (Pell) array of employment and or need additional grant support. training services. Support services 16
  • 17. WIA Title II:Adult Education and Family Literacy Act• AEFLA provides states with funding for a variety of services to Opportunities Limitations help adults develop basic skills and English language State Funds can be used to incent career competency. pathways: RFP, incentive funding, Funds can only be used for services below the postsecondary level. enhanced funding for partnerships.• The services it supports can open doors to career pathways programs for those whose low States cannot commingle funds from Contextualize academic content to particular skills or limited English might occupational areas. separate funding streams (but can use in conjunction with other funds). otherwise keep them out.• Funds must only be used for students who: Create new delivery models, such as co- Eligibility is restricted (but broader than most instruction and IET that help students speed think).  lack a high school diploma or its their progress through pathways. equivalent, or  function below that level (even if the student has a high school Dual enroll students in adult education/ English language services and diploma), or postsecondary education and training.  be unable to speak, read, or write the English language. 17
  • 18. Carl D. Perkins Career and TechnicalEducation• The Carl D. Perkins Career and Opportunities Limitations Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) supports secondary State funds can supporting partnerships Federal dollars may be used for the and postsecondary programs among local institutions, adult education delivery of prerequisite courses but not that build the academic, career, providers, and other entities those that are remedial. and technical skills of young people and adults. State funds can help providing Any course funded under Perkins IV professional development opportunities also must meet all parts of the new• Eighty-five percent of funds go for CTE teachers and faculty. definition of CTE. to local secondary and postsecondary institutions; 15 Local funds may be used for critical percent is reserved for state implementation activities such as : leadership activities. •provision of mentoring and support services,• Must ensure access for special •expansion of flexible delivery formats that make CTE accessible to all populations. students. 18
  • 19. Did You Know?• In Washington, Perkins leadership funds were instrumental in the development of I-BEST. Leadership funds supported ten I-BEST demonstration projects in 2004-2006 and have been used over the years to support I-BEST professional development opportunities.• Arkansas invests about $12 million in federal TANF funds annually to help low-income parents earn credentials in career pathways at the two-year colleges across the state. The Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) model provides a network of campus- based case managers at 25 campuses who assist low-income parents to persist in their studies.• Wisconsin initially supported career pathways with state adult education funding. Currently, the state is expanding them with additional resources. 19
  • 20. Funding Minnesota’s FastTRAC • 2008-2009 – Developed ABE occupational bridge courses leading to postsecondary customized training  Joyce Foundation  AEFLA (WIA Title II)  WIA Title IB • 2010-2011 – Developed ABE occupational bridge courses leading to credit- bearing postsecondary pathway education  Joyce Foundation  AEFLA (WIA Title II)  WIA Title IB  Human Services  United Way  MnSCUSource: Minnesota FastTRAC (October 2011) 20
  • 21. Funding Local I-BEST Programs State Legislated Workforce Postsecondary Perkins ARRA FIPSE Funding Investment Act Source 1.75 Opportunity reimbursement Grants that Curriculum per I-BEST help low- Development FTE income adults train for high- Improvement wage, high- of program Staff time for a demand General selection, part-time careers up to program costs registration, coordinator 45 credits. and support Students may processes. also be able to access Other Start-Up additional Costs supports.Source: Community College Research Center, How I-BEST Works: FindingsFrom a Field Study of Washington State’s I-BEST Program (September 2010). 21
  • 22. Special Federal Opportunities (Recent)• DOL/ED/HHS Career Pathways Institute  Funded several states to develop interagency teams and develop a plan to implement career pathways.• Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants (TAACCT)  $2B funding opportunity; at least $2.5 million will go to each state.  First round of grants released in October 2011.  Additional rounds may be announced soon. 22
  • 23. Special Federal Opportunities (Potential)• Workforce Innovation Fund  Provides for competitive grants to states, consortia of states and other entities (such as regional partnerships).  Designed to seed and test innovative workforce strategies.  Notice for grant applications expected by the end of this year.  Innovation Blog – submit your innovations!• Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants (TAACCT)  $2B funding opportunity; at least $2.5 million will go to each state.  First round of grants released in October 2011.  Additional rounds may be announced soon. 23
  • 24. American Jobs Act• Largely focused on an extended payroll tax cut, and other tax incentives, investments in infrastructure, and an extension in unemployment insurance.• Other components that may support pathways efforts:  $5 billion for Pathways Back to Work Fund, including: o $2 billion for paid work opportunities for unemployed adults o $1.5 billion for youth employment opportunities, and o $1.5 billion for competitive grants for promising and research- based training strategies.• The American Jobs Act is still in play! 24
  • 25. A New Federal Focus on Pathways andBridges• ED Office of Vocational and Adult Education:  Non-regulatory guidance describes how states can use Adult Education and Family Literacy Funds on Integrated Education and Training Models (June 2010)  Performance accountability changes will impact the way progress is measured for students. Programs must move from a goal-setting model to a cohort model for some students. (Will be implemented July 2013)• DOL Employment and Training Administration: • A 2010 guidance letter from the Employment and Training Administration emphasizes credential attainment by participants in the public workforce system. (December 2010) 25
  • 26. A Word About the Federal Budget• The federal budget debate is protracted and unpredictable.• Despite fiscal austerity, funding options remain.• Braided funding is increasingly important on the federal, state, and local levels. (And don’t forget CBOs!) 26
  • 27. Questions for Discussion• What partnerships have you already set in place that could serve as a foundation for interagency collaboration to improve outcomes for low-skilled adults?• What are the challenges that you see to developing adult education, community college, and workforce partnerships?• Have you tried pursuing a braided funding model? What did you encounter?• Are there particular types of services that are harder to fund? (tuition, transportation, emergency funds) 27
  • 28. Where To Find Us• Email  Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Updates and In Focus Posts: All new reports and upcoming events plus CLASP commentary on state and federal policy developments and the latest research on postsecondary and economic success. (Click and sign up to receive updates.)• Social Media  Facebook  Twitter: @CLASP_DC 28