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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: Bond, David
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2013

    Employer engagement in Adult Career Pathways (ACP) programs can strengthen the efforts of adult educators to help learners attain secondary credentials, transition to  postsecondary programs, achieve industry credentials, and secure family-sustaining employment. Whether employer contributions result in the development of workplace  relevant curriculum, career awareness activities, work-based  learning opportunities, or in-kind support for equipment and other resources, employer engagement is essential for ACP programs. Employers can help ensure programs are responsive to the needs of local industry, while providing adult learners the relevant workplace context and foundational skills they must master to succeed along a career pathway.  Interfacing with adult learners in the classroom on a daily basis, teachers are well positioned to work with employers toward the goal of translating workplace skills into learning  objectives that can be taught within a career pathways context. This brief offers practical strategies on engaging  employers and building business-education...

    Employer engagement in Adult Career Pathways (ACP) programs can strengthen the efforts of adult educators to help learners attain secondary credentials, transition to  postsecondary programs, achieve industry credentials, and secure family-sustaining employment. Whether employer contributions result in the development of workplace  relevant curriculum, career awareness activities, work-based  learning opportunities, or in-kind support for equipment and other resources, employer engagement is essential for ACP programs. Employers can help ensure programs are responsive to the needs of local industry, while providing adult learners the relevant workplace context and foundational skills they must master to succeed along a career pathway.  Interfacing with adult learners in the classroom on a daily basis, teachers are well positioned to work with employers toward the goal of translating workplace skills into learning  objectives that can be taught within a career pathways context. This brief offers practical strategies on engaging  employers and building business-education partnerships to support ACP programs, and highlights promising examples from adult education providers in three states. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Strawn, Julie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Students forced to complete a long sequence of remedial or English language classes before they can begin their postsecondary program rarely earn college certificates or degrees. This brief highlights six promising programs that show how career pathway bridges help lower-skilled students move farther and faster along college and career paths through dual enrollment in linked basic skills and occupational certificate courses. Because creating such bridges requires collaboration across college silos, they can also transform the way colleges operate. (author abstract)

    Students forced to complete a long sequence of remedial or English language classes before they can begin their postsecondary program rarely earn college certificates or degrees. This brief highlights six promising programs that show how career pathway bridges help lower-skilled students move farther and faster along college and career paths through dual enrollment in linked basic skills and occupational certificate courses. Because creating such bridges requires collaboration across college silos, they can also transform the way colleges operate. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Iowa Skills2Complete Coalition
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition is a statewide partnership of Iowa’s business, community, education, legislative, and workforce development leaders that serve as an organized voice for “skills” at the state’s capital and build more policymaker support for state policies that grow Iowa’s economy by investing in its workforce.

    The Coalition applauds the smart investments in the state’s workforce to meet the demand for skilled workers that Iowa’s policymakers have made over the last two years. Funding for community colleges has increased by almost 8 percent, although it still falls short of pre-recession levels. The state legislature also passed legislation to create three new programs that address the skills gap and help more adult workers access the necessary education and training required by jobs in today’s labor market. The Pathways for Academic Career and Employment Act enables community colleges to develop bridge programs to help adults with limited academic or English skills build basic skills and prepare for credit-bearing postsecondary education programs. The GAP...

    The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition is a statewide partnership of Iowa’s business, community, education, legislative, and workforce development leaders that serve as an organized voice for “skills” at the state’s capital and build more policymaker support for state policies that grow Iowa’s economy by investing in its workforce.

    The Coalition applauds the smart investments in the state’s workforce to meet the demand for skilled workers that Iowa’s policymakers have made over the last two years. Funding for community colleges has increased by almost 8 percent, although it still falls short of pre-recession levels. The state legislature also passed legislation to create three new programs that address the skills gap and help more adult workers access the necessary education and training required by jobs in today’s labor market. The Pathways for Academic Career and Employment Act enables community colleges to develop bridge programs to help adults with limited academic or English skills build basic skills and prepare for credit-bearing postsecondary education programs. The GAP Tuition Assistance Program supports students enrolled in non-credit certificate programs, the cost of which is not covered by federal financial aid, and yet offers the opportunity to earn certificates necessary to qualify for many middle-skill jobs. The Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant Program helps students who are seeking education and training for jobs in industries experiencing acute shortages of skilled workers.

    Most recently, the Governor announced his Skilled Iowa Initiative which seeks to help more Iowans earn the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and encourage more employers to consider and hire workers who have earned this credential. The Skilled Iowa Initiative is designed to improve the job training and marketability of Iowa’s workforce and drive future economic growth for the state. Similar initiatives throughout the country have changed the landscape of local economies through programs that incorporate this nationally recognized assessment system. The assessment was designed to measure individual workers’ skills in the areas of applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition recognizes that the Skilled Iowa Initiative contains important components of engaging employers in the state’s strategies and helping more Iowans learn the skill sets required for the labor market.

    The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition offers these policy recommendations to complement and accelerate the steps Iowa’s policymakers have already taken for the state’s industries and workers:

    - Appropriate $5 million in state revenue for adult basic education and integrated learning programs, which combine literacy skill development with job training, to help more low-skill adult workers get on a path toward earning postsecondary credentials and having the necessary skills for employment.

    - Invest in the use of pathway navigators at a level of $2 million to ensure adult learners enrolled in career pathways programs complete these programs and earn skilled credentials.

    - Create capacity within existing postsecondary education and job training funding to develop regional industry sector partnerships around the state.

    -Ensure Iowa’s education and workforce development system has the capacity to evaluate the impact of its initiatives and programs on closing skill gaps in key industries and counting numbers of credentials earned by workers through these efforts. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sawhill, Isabel V.; Haskins, Ron
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2009

    Americans believe economic opportunity is as fundamental a right as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. More concerned about a level playing field for all, they worry less about the growing income and wealth disparity in our country. Creating an Opportunity Society examines economic opportunity in the United States and explores how to create more of it, particularly for those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill propose a concrete agenda for increasing opportunity that is cost effective, consistent with American values, and focuses on improving the lives of the young and the disadvantaged. They emphasize individual responsibility as an indispensable basis for successful policies and programs. The authors recommend a three-pronged approach to create more opportunity in America: " Increase education for children and youth at the preschool, K--12, and postsecondary levels " Encourage and support work among adults " Reduce the number of out-of-wedlock births while increasing the share of children reared by their married parents With...

    Americans believe economic opportunity is as fundamental a right as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. More concerned about a level playing field for all, they worry less about the growing income and wealth disparity in our country. Creating an Opportunity Society examines economic opportunity in the United States and explores how to create more of it, particularly for those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill propose a concrete agenda for increasing opportunity that is cost effective, consistent with American values, and focuses on improving the lives of the young and the disadvantaged. They emphasize individual responsibility as an indispensable basis for successful policies and programs. The authors recommend a three-pronged approach to create more opportunity in America: " Increase education for children and youth at the preschool, K--12, and postsecondary levels " Encourage and support work among adults " Reduce the number of out-of-wedlock births while increasing the share of children reared by their married parents With concern for the federal deficit in mind, Haskins and Sawhill argue for reallocating existing resources, especially from the affluent elderly to disadvantaged children and their families. The authors are optimistic that a judicious use of the nation's resources can level the playing field and produce more opportunity for all. Creating an Opportunity Society offers the most complete summary available of the facts and the factors that contribute to economic opportunity. It looks at the poor, the middle class, and the rich, providing deep background data on how each group has fared in recent decades. Unfortunately, only the rich have made substantial progress, making this book a timely guide forward for anyone interested in what we can do as a society to improve the prospects for our less-advantaged families and fellow citizens. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Brock, Thomas
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    Although access to higher education has increased substantially over the past forty years, student success in college—as measured by persistence and degree attainment—has not improved at all. Thomas Brock reviews systematic research findings on the effectiveness of various interventions designed to help at-risk students remain in college.

    Brock shows how changes in federal policy and public attitudes since the mid-1960s have opened up higher education to women, minorities, and nontraditional students and also shifted the “center of gravity” in higher education away from traditional four-year colleges toward nonselective community colleges. Students at two-year colleges, however, are far less likely than those at four-year institutions to complete a degree. Brock argues that the nation’s higher education system must do much more to promote student success. Three areas, he says, are particularly ripe for reform: remedial education, student support services, and financial aid.

    In each of these three areas, Brock reviews programs and interventions that community...

    Although access to higher education has increased substantially over the past forty years, student success in college—as measured by persistence and degree attainment—has not improved at all. Thomas Brock reviews systematic research findings on the effectiveness of various interventions designed to help at-risk students remain in college.

    Brock shows how changes in federal policy and public attitudes since the mid-1960s have opened up higher education to women, minorities, and nontraditional students and also shifted the “center of gravity” in higher education away from traditional four-year colleges toward nonselective community colleges. Students at two-year colleges, however, are far less likely than those at four-year institutions to complete a degree. Brock argues that the nation’s higher education system must do much more to promote student success. Three areas, he says, are particularly ripe for reform: remedial education, student support services, and financial aid.

    In each of these three areas, Brock reviews programs and interventions that community colleges have undertaken in order to raise completion rates. Some colleges have, for example, experimented with remedial programs that build social cohesion between students and faculty and integrate content across courses. Other colleges have tested student support service programs that offer counseling and advising that are regular, intensive, and personalized. Still others have experimented with ways to simplify the financial aid application process and incentivize students to earn good grades and persist in school.

    Research shows that such programs and interventions can improve student outcomes, but Brock argues that more must be done to bring proven practices to scale and to test new ideas that might lead to better results. Institutions that most need help are those that provide the greatest access to nontraditional and underprepared students in community colleges and less selective universities. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

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