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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: U.S. Congress
    Reference Type: Statute
    Year: 1964

    This statute established a number of programs to improve the self-sufficiency of the poor, including Job Corps and other work training programs, community action programs to fight poverty at a local level, adult basic education programs, and Vista, a youth community service program. It also created loan programs for farms and small businesses, and pilot work-experience programs.

    Public Law No. 88-452 (1964).

    This statute established a number of programs to improve the self-sufficiency of the poor, including Job Corps and other work training programs, community action programs to fight poverty at a local level, adult basic education programs, and Vista, a youth community service program. It also created loan programs for farms and small businesses, and pilot work-experience programs.

    Public Law No. 88-452 (1964).

  • Individual Author: Kazis, Richard; Liebowitz, Marty
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    In recent years, interest has grown in the role of community colleges in helping low-skill and low-income individuals advance out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency. In part, this interest is a reaction to the shortcomings of traditional workforce and adult education programs. It also reflects the impressive efforts of innovative community colleges to focus resources and leadership attention on strategies to improve postsecondary attainment, persistence, and program completion for lower-income working adults.

    MDRC’s Opening Doors to Earning Credentials project and its early reports echoed the conclusions of Norton Grubb, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and others regarding the potential of community colleges — that community colleges are the local educational institutions with the greatest potential for helping low-wage workers earn skills and credentials that lead to both educational and career advancement. At the same time, Opening Doors identified serious obstacles to realizing that potential, including the characteristics of the low-wage...

    In recent years, interest has grown in the role of community colleges in helping low-skill and low-income individuals advance out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency. In part, this interest is a reaction to the shortcomings of traditional workforce and adult education programs. It also reflects the impressive efforts of innovative community colleges to focus resources and leadership attention on strategies to improve postsecondary attainment, persistence, and program completion for lower-income working adults.

    MDRC’s Opening Doors to Earning Credentials project and its early reports echoed the conclusions of Norton Grubb, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and others regarding the potential of community colleges — that community colleges are the local educational institutions with the greatest potential for helping low-wage workers earn skills and credentials that lead to both educational and career advancement. At the same time, Opening Doors identified serious obstacles to realizing that potential, including the characteristics of the low-wage workforce, the institutional structure and priorities of most community colleges, and the external policy environment in which they operate.

    MDRC has identified three strategies that might enable colleges to be more effective in helping working adults obtain college credentials. These are: (1) financial incentives that can address the high cost of college for low-income individuals; (2) student supports that can help working adults cope with academic, personal, and other problems that often result in their dropping or stopping out; and (3) program and curricular innovations and redesign that can cope with the severe time constraints, skill needs, and job advancement hopes of working adults.

    MDRC asked Jobs for the Future to look at curricular and program redesign strategies being used in community colleges today to speed advancement from lower levels of skill into credential programs and to shorten the time commitment that earning a credential demands of students. This paper presents a framework for understanding the range of experimentation with program and class reformatting and redesign. It identifies programs that exemplify promising approaches. The paper concludes with issues and questions that MDRC will need to address in assessing whether to proceed with a research program focused on program redesign efforts geared to working adults’ needs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Eyster, Lauren; Stanczyk, Alexandra ; Nightingale, Demetra S.; Martinson, Karin ; Trutko, John
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    This is the first report from the evaluation of the Community-Based Job Training Grants (CBJTG) being conducted by the Urban Institute, with its partners Johns Hopkins University and Capital Research Corporation. The CBJTG program focuses on building the capacity of community colleges to provide training to workers for high-growth, high-demand industries. The evaluation began in July 2008 with the purpose of documenting the different models and projects that are operating with grant funds, examining and assessing the implementation of grant-funded projects, and identifying innovative features and promising strategies. This report is based on a review of proposals and reports from 211 grantees available through the end of 2008. The information provides a comprehensive picture of the grantee organizations and the activities planned for their CBJTG-funded projects. (author abstract)

    This is the first report from the evaluation of the Community-Based Job Training Grants (CBJTG) being conducted by the Urban Institute, with its partners Johns Hopkins University and Capital Research Corporation. The CBJTG program focuses on building the capacity of community colleges to provide training to workers for high-growth, high-demand industries. The evaluation began in July 2008 with the purpose of documenting the different models and projects that are operating with grant funds, examining and assessing the implementation of grant-funded projects, and identifying innovative features and promising strategies. This report is based on a review of proposals and reports from 211 grantees available through the end of 2008. The information provides a comprehensive picture of the grantee organizations and the activities planned for their CBJTG-funded projects. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Chisman, Forrest
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    This paper provides specific steps the adult education system can take to develop and implement career pathways systems of learning that move low-skilled adults through work-oriented adult education programs and onto postsecondary programs. First, it briefly reviews how the basic skills problem in this country affects our economy and explains why the present response of the adult education system is inadequate to meet that problem. Second, it presents an overall vision of how a more comprehensive career pathways learning system that meets our nation’s education and skill needs could be constructed, and the role that an Adult Education for Work system should play in that broader system. And third, it details specific measures that adult education programs can take (through the identification of quality elements) to make that vision a reality, focusing on seven areas: program design, curriculum and instruction, assessment and credentialing, high-quality teaching, support and follow-up services to encourage access and retention, connections to the business community, and monitoring...

    This paper provides specific steps the adult education system can take to develop and implement career pathways systems of learning that move low-skilled adults through work-oriented adult education programs and onto postsecondary programs. First, it briefly reviews how the basic skills problem in this country affects our economy and explains why the present response of the adult education system is inadequate to meet that problem. Second, it presents an overall vision of how a more comprehensive career pathways learning system that meets our nation’s education and skill needs could be constructed, and the role that an Adult Education for Work system should play in that broader system. And third, it details specific measures that adult education programs can take (through the identification of quality elements) to make that vision a reality, focusing on seven areas: program design, curriculum and instruction, assessment and credentialing, high-quality teaching, support and follow-up services to encourage access and retention, connections to the business community, and monitoring and accountability systems. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Marin, Vanessa; Broadus, Joseph
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Nationwide, close to 40 million adults lack a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) credential. Nearly a quarter of high school freshmen do not graduate and, in many large cities, dropout rates in recent years have stood at around 50 percent. And while most high school dropouts eventually do continue their education — usually through adult education or GED preparation programs — too few of those who start GED programs ever pass the exam. Moreover, for those who do earn their GED, the certificate often marks the end of their education, in part because few GED programs (even those that operate on community college campuses) are well linked to college or training programs. Students with only a high school diploma already face long odds of success in a labor market that increasingly prizes specialized training and college education; for GED holders, the chances are even worse. Given this context, the need to develop stronger pathways to college for those without high school credentials is clear. And this need is only magnified by new rules eliminating federal...

    Nationwide, close to 40 million adults lack a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) credential. Nearly a quarter of high school freshmen do not graduate and, in many large cities, dropout rates in recent years have stood at around 50 percent. And while most high school dropouts eventually do continue their education — usually through adult education or GED preparation programs — too few of those who start GED programs ever pass the exam. Moreover, for those who do earn their GED, the certificate often marks the end of their education, in part because few GED programs (even those that operate on community college campuses) are well linked to college or training programs. Students with only a high school diploma already face long odds of success in a labor market that increasingly prizes specialized training and college education; for GED holders, the chances are even worse. Given this context, the need to develop stronger pathways to college for those without high school credentials is clear. And this need is only magnified by new rules eliminating federal financial aid for aspiring college students without a high school diploma or a GED, and by the planned 2014  implementation of a new GED exam that emphasizes college readiness. 

    To better understand how adult education programs might strengthen pathways to college and careers, MDRC, with financial support from the Robin Hood Foundation and MetLife Foundation, partnered with LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY) to launch a small but rigorous study of the GED Bridge to Health and Business program. The GED Bridge program represents a promising new approach to GED instruction, as it aims to better prepare students not only to pass the GED exam, but also to continue on to college and training programs. MDRC has conducted several evaluations of programs that include GED preparation as one among many program components, but this evaluation is one of only a few to focus specifically on GED curriculum, program design, and efforts to forge a stronger link to college and career training. The results are highly encouraging: One year after enrolling in the program, Bridge students were far more likely to have completed the course, passed the GED exam, and enrolled in college than students in a more traditional GED preparation course. This brief details some of the key findings from this study as well as their implications for future research and for the development of stronger GED and adult education programming. (Author Abstract)

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