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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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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Helmcamp, Leslie; Garza, Roxanne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Texas can do better to strengthen the adult basic education and literacy system to move more Texans into a family-supporting career. To make system-wide changes to the way adult basic education is delivered and improve outcomes for adult learners in Texas, state policymakers and ABE providers should adopt a goal of integrating career pathways and bridge programs to streamline and shorten the process for adult learners to obtain the training and education they need to attain a certificate or degree, a higher-wage job, and financial independence.

    This policy page provides an overview of the adult basic education and literacy system in Texas and makes recommendations for strengthening the ABE and literacy framework to reach more students and improve outcomes for adult learners. (author abstract)

    Texas can do better to strengthen the adult basic education and literacy system to move more Texans into a family-supporting career. To make system-wide changes to the way adult basic education is delivered and improve outcomes for adult learners in Texas, state policymakers and ABE providers should adopt a goal of integrating career pathways and bridge programs to streamline and shorten the process for adult learners to obtain the training and education they need to attain a certificate or degree, a higher-wage job, and financial independence.

    This policy page provides an overview of the adult basic education and literacy system in Texas and makes recommendations for strengthening the ABE and literacy framework to reach more students and improve outcomes for adult learners. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Roberts, Brandon; Price, Derek
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In 2007, the Joyce Foundation launched Shifting Gears, a state policy initiative designed to promote regional economic growth by improving the education and skills training of the workforce in six Midwestern states. These states—Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin—were tasked to create more seamless pathways to postsecondary credentials and good jobs for lower-skilled adults. The initiative was developed in the wake of a particularly marked transition in the Midwest from largely industrial economies structured around manufacturing to more diversified economies that promised new growth and new jobs. CLASP played a key role in Shifting Gears as the managing intermediary of the overall initiative and the primary provider of technical assistance.

    A recently released evaluation report covering the first five years of the initiative discusses the progress these states have made to-date and outlines the activities that contributed most to their success. The report finds that four core activities were critical to the success of the Shifting Gears states:...

    In 2007, the Joyce Foundation launched Shifting Gears, a state policy initiative designed to promote regional economic growth by improving the education and skills training of the workforce in six Midwestern states. These states—Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin—were tasked to create more seamless pathways to postsecondary credentials and good jobs for lower-skilled adults. The initiative was developed in the wake of a particularly marked transition in the Midwest from largely industrial economies structured around manufacturing to more diversified economies that promised new growth and new jobs. CLASP played a key role in Shifting Gears as the managing intermediary of the overall initiative and the primary provider of technical assistance.

    A recently released evaluation report covering the first five years of the initiative discusses the progress these states have made to-date and outlines the activities that contributed most to their success. The report finds that four core activities were critical to the success of the Shifting Gears states:

    Strengthening alignment and collaboration across the adult education, workforce, and community and technical college systems;

    Achieving buy-in and commitment of senior state leadership to advance the chosen state strategy;

    Enacting changes to specific state policies and regulations affecting local programs and delivery, which provided an impetus for local champions to pursue the specified innovative strategy; and

    Engaging the field of local practitioners and administrators intentionally and repeatedly to create local champions.

     The report emphasized that the first five years of Shifting Gears were always intended to be foundational—setting the groundwork for longer-term success and scale. To that point, the core activities found critical to their success reflect a state focus on relationship building and policy change in these initial years, rather than taking new approaches to scale. Still, the evaluators found that four states achieved significant progress toward systemic change and together—due to the states’ efforts--reached about 4,000 low-skilled students, who may have otherwise been unable to access marketable postsecondary credentials.

    States are expected to continue on this positive trajectory. In fact, several are continuing to build upon their Shifting Gears efforts.

    Illinois is expanding its use of bridge programs developed under Shifting Gears through the Accelerating Opportunity initiative and is building bridge programs into manufacturing career pathways through a Workforce Innovation Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

    Minnesota has received funding from the Joyce Foundation to continue its work under the Shifting Gears initiative into 2013-14 and has recently been selected to participate in an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to integrate existing career-technical education pathways into broader state system reforms initiated under Shifting Gears.

    Wisconsin has also received funding from the Joyce Foundation for continued Shifting Gears work until 2013-14 and received a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to conduct activities that expand upon the foundation built through Shifting Gears.

    Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are participating in a CLASP-led project, the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, which is bringing together the expertise from leading career pathways states to identify criteria for high-quality career pathways systems and a set of shared performance metrics for measuring and managing their success. (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: Thomasa, Rebecca L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    Technology and Education for Career Heights (Project TECH) was designed to help Temporary Assistance to Needy Families participants enhance their literacy through distance learning as a means to promote job retention and career advancement. The evaluative research presented in this report was intended to gather information from the participants of Project TECH about their experience with distance learning training curriculum. The report describes Project TECH and what happens when participants who are low-income workers are given a computer, basic training software, Internet access, and training coupled with instruction from an instructor who met with them face to face weekly and provided daily online coaching and instruction. It highlights participants' experience with online instruction and the use of computers in their homes, and it concludes with lessons learned from the project. The information is useful for those wanting to design and develop a distance learning program to increase adult literacy for families that needs to comply with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families...

    Technology and Education for Career Heights (Project TECH) was designed to help Temporary Assistance to Needy Families participants enhance their literacy through distance learning as a means to promote job retention and career advancement. The evaluative research presented in this report was intended to gather information from the participants of Project TECH about their experience with distance learning training curriculum. The report describes Project TECH and what happens when participants who are low-income workers are given a computer, basic training software, Internet access, and training coupled with instruction from an instructor who met with them face to face weekly and provided daily online coaching and instruction. It highlights participants' experience with online instruction and the use of computers in their homes, and it concludes with lessons learned from the project. The information is useful for those wanting to design and develop a distance learning program to increase adult literacy for families that needs to comply with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families work requirements and other demands. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn; Sommo, Colleen; Welbeck, Rashida
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Many adult students struggle to finance their educations, often contending with work and child care expenses in addition to the extra cost of remedial courses. Moreover, there is little need-based grant aid to help. This report presents early findings from an evaluation of a program in New York City targeted to low-income adults (ages 22 to 35) who need remedial course work. Part of MDRC’s national Performance-Based Scholarship (PBS) Demonstration, the program operated at Borough of Manhattan Community College and Hostos Community College, both part of the City University of New York, in 2008 and 2009. Participating students were eligible for either a $1,300 scholarship for two consecutive semesters (totaling up to $2,600) or for $1,300 for each of those semesters and one summer term (totaling up to $3,900), if they maintained at least part-time enrollment, met attendance benchmarks, and earned at least a “C” average across six credits of courses. Scholarships were paid directly to students in increments and did not supplant other aid for which students qualified.

    ...

    Many adult students struggle to finance their educations, often contending with work and child care expenses in addition to the extra cost of remedial courses. Moreover, there is little need-based grant aid to help. This report presents early findings from an evaluation of a program in New York City targeted to low-income adults (ages 22 to 35) who need remedial course work. Part of MDRC’s national Performance-Based Scholarship (PBS) Demonstration, the program operated at Borough of Manhattan Community College and Hostos Community College, both part of the City University of New York, in 2008 and 2009. Participating students were eligible for either a $1,300 scholarship for two consecutive semesters (totaling up to $2,600) or for $1,300 for each of those semesters and one summer term (totaling up to $3,900), if they maintained at least part-time enrollment, met attendance benchmarks, and earned at least a “C” average across six credits of courses. Scholarships were paid directly to students in increments and did not supplant other aid for which students qualified.

    This innovative program, along with those in five other states in the PBS Demonstration, builds on lessons from MDRC’s Opening Doors Demonstration in Louisiana, which led to higher rates of persistence and credit accumulation. The Louisiana program offered performance-based scholarships to low-income parents for two semesters; counselors met with students periodically and disbursed the scholarships. Unlike the Louisiana program, the New York PBS program did not include counseling and focused on adult students needing remediation.

    The PBS evaluation randomly assigned approximately 1,500 low-income students to one of two program groups eligible to receive up to either $2,600 or $3,900 in scholarships, or to a control group eligible only for usual financial aid. Comparing outcomes of the combined program groups with control group outcomes measures the impact of the scholarship program. Comparing outcomes for the two program groups speaks to the relative importance of additional funding for summer attendance. Early analyses of student transcripts for about 60 percent of the total sample suggest that the program. (author abstract)

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