Postsecondary Access and Success

CLASP actively comments on federal regulations and guidance regarding programs that affect postsecondary access and success and provides analyses and summaries for state policy makers and advocates.

Postsecondary Education and Training for Dislocated Workers

In June 2009, the departments of Education and Labor issued guidance to promote access to postsecondary education and training for dislocated workers. The DOL guidance encourages state labor and employment agencies to: (1) broaden their definition of approved training for Unemployment Insurance beneficiaries during economic downturns; (2) notify beneficiaries of their potential eligibility for Pell Grants and other student aid; and (3) help individuals apply for Pell Grants through One-Stop Career Centers.  In addition, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a letter to financial aid administrators encouraging them to expand their use of "professional judgment" to ensure dislocated workers receive the financial aid they deserve given their change in earnings.  Professional judgment is the flexibility administrators have to adjust data they receive from applicants to account for special circumstances or changes in their situations. Financial aid administrators can use the letter dislocated workers receive from DOL notifying them of their potential eligibility for student aid as proof that their financial aid should be adjusted to reflect their current employment situation. In addition, financial aid administrators were notified that unemployment benefits and income from dislocated workers' prior employment should be not included in financial aid determinations.

Comments on Department of Education Proposed Regulations on Gainful Employment - September 9 , 2010

Comments on Department of Education Proposed Regulations on Program Integrity - August 2, 2010

Comments on Department of Education Experimental Sites Initiative - January 31, 2014

RESOURCES:

  • Jul 21, 2014   |  Liz Ben-Ishai The Schedules that Work Act Particularly among low-wage workers, unpredictable and unstable schedules are becoming the norm. The Schedules that Work Act seeks to address these problems. Read Online
  • Jul 09, 2014   |  Stephanie Schmit, Hannah Matthews, and Olivia Golden Thriving Children, Successful Parents: A Two-Generation Approach to Policy This brief examines major federal and state policy areas to identify opportunities for two-generation, large-scale change that better support families as a whole and provide a more conducive environment for local programs to do their work with families. Read Online
  • Jun 10, 2014 "A Progress Report on the War on Poverty: Reforming Federal Aid" A Hearing Before the House Committee on the Budget Testimony of Olivia Golden Testimony of Olivia Golden before the House Committee on the Budget for "A Progress Report on the War on Poverty: Reforming Federal Aid" hearing. Read Online
  • Mar 07, 2014   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield and Lavanya Mohan Ensuring Full Credit Under TANF's Work Participation Rate TANF’s primary performance measure, the work participation rate (WPR), that shows how successful states are at engaging TANF recipients in work-related activities, places limits on how education and training can be counted toward the WPR. Because states that fail to meet their WPRs can lose a portion of their funding, many states discourage local TANF offices or contractors from assigning recipients to activities that cannot be counted toward the work participation rate. This brief highlights ways that states may count or combine work activities to get full credit for their measured work participation rate. It also explains changes that programs can make to improve their alignment with the TANF rules and make it easier for caseworkers to refer TANF participants. Read Online
  • Nov 21, 2013   |  The Consortium for Higher Education Tax Reform Recommendations on Tax-Based Student Aid to Senate Finance Committee Most policymakers, if asked to name the largest form of federal student aid, excluding loans, would guess Pell Grants -- but they would be wrong. It is student aid delivered through the tax system. Since its inception in the late nineties, tax-based student aid has more than quadrupled and now represents more than half of all non-loan federal student aid. In 2012, the federal government spent nearly $34 billion on tax-based aid -- $1 billion more than the total spent on Pell Grants. This growth has occurred with little scrutiny about whether tax-based aid advances national goals. Read Online
  • Nov 21, 2013   |  The Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery (RADD) Consortium for Higher Education Tax Reform Higher Education Tax Reform: A Shared Agenda for Increasing College Affordability, Access, and Success Most policymakers, if asked to name the largest form of federal student aid, excluding loans, would guess Pell Grants -- but they would be wrong. It is student aid delivered through the tax system. Since its inception in the late nineties, tax-based student aid has more than quadrupled and now represents more than half of all non-loan federal student aid. In 2012, the federal government spent nearly $34 billion on tax-based aid -- $1 billion more than the total spent on Pell Grants. This growth has occurred with little scrutiny about whether tax-based aid advances national goals. Read Online
  • Nov 21, 2013   |  The Consortium for Higher Education Tax Reform Recommendations on Tax-Based Student Aid to House Ways and Means Committee Most policymakers, if asked to name the largest form of federal student aid, excluding loans, would guess Pell Grants -- but they would be wrong. It is student aid delivered through the tax system. Since its inception in the late nineties, tax-based student aid has more than quadrupled and now represents more than half of all non-loan federal student aid. In 2012, the federal government spent nearly $34 billion on tax-based aid -- $1 billion more than the total spent on Pell Grants. This growth has occurred with little scrutiny about whether tax-based aid advances national goals. Read Online
  • Sep 03, 2013 CLASP Work Supports Newsletter - August 2013 The Work Supports Newsletter is a monthly update that summarizes CLASP's work on safety net programs that include cash assistance (TANF), nutrition supports (SNAP), refundable tax credits, health insurance, child support enforcement and child care subsidies. Read Online
  • Aug 28, 2013   |  Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Building the Middle Class with Better Skills and Wages: Who Would be Helped by Stronger Pathways? New state profiles from the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) and the Center on Postsecondary and Economic Success (C-PES) at CLASP describe just how many workers need better skills and wages in each state. Read Online
  • Jun 18, 2013   |  CLASP and Young Invincibles ACA Toolkit: Helping Students Understand Health Care Reform and Enroll in Health Insurance Young adults ages 18 to 34 are uninsured at almost double the rate of older adults. Community colleges, in particular, tend to enroll students who are disproportionately uninsured, including low-income students, part-time students, and minority students. Community colleges are in a great position to help students connect to coverage. This guide includes information about student health insurance options, how to apply, who can help, and key messages and outreach methods a community college administrator, faculty member, or staff member can use to inform students about their health care options. Read Online
  • Apr 22, 2013   |  Marcie Foster Testimony to the Committee on Education on the FY14 Budget for the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education In 2013, it is a complete misnomer to label adult education as simply a "literacy" program. It is so much more. Adult education is an oft-overlooked and integral part of the District's workforce development system. Gone are the days when one could attain self-sufficiency with only a high school diploma. Today's workers need higher level skills and often postsecondary-level credentials to compete for jobs in the changing economy. In fact, by 2018, 71 percent of all jobs in D.C. will require some postsecondary training beyond high school. Yet far too many workers in the city are falling far short of these credential requirements and will be left behind. Read Online
  • Apr 16, 2013   |  Vickie Choitz and Patrick Reimherr Mind the Gap: High Unmet Financial Need Threatens Persistence and Completion for Low-Income Community College Students Over the last three decades, college tuition and fees have increased nearly four times faster than median income and four-and-a-half times faster than inflation. The rapid increase in college costs and flat or reduced funding in student aid has resulted in sizable unmet need and has forced students -- particularly low-income students -- to borrow more, work more hours, take fewer courses, or in some cases, drop out altogether. Unmet need and student loan debt for students at high-cost institutions have attracted widespread public attention. Less attention has been paid to unmet need at community colleges, where 41 percent of all undergraduates living in poverty are enrolled, according to the most recent data available (2007-2008). Read Online
  • Apr 15, 2013   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Julie Strawn, and Patrick Reimherr Comments on Education and Family Tax Benefits CLASP submits comments on family and education tax credits to the Education and Family Benefits Working Group, House Committee on Ways and Means as part of the committee's work to review possible changes to the federal income tax system. Read Online
  • Mar 25, 2013   |  Allegra Baider, Vickie Choitz, Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Marcie W.M. Foster, Linda Harris, Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Neil Ridley, Julie Strawn Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States This toolkit is designed to help interagency state teams identify and facilitate "braiding" of federal resources to design and develop career pathways and bridges into them for adults and out-of-school youth. The toolkit also will help state teams identify state policy barriers to using federal resources for career pathways and bridges and, ideally, address them. Read Online
  • Mar 04, 2013 CLASP Work Supports Newsletter - February 2013 CLASP is inaugurating this Work Supports e-newsletter to highlight the efforts of CLASP and our colleague organizations to help ensure low-income families get the support they need to stay employed and provide for their families. Read Online
  • Sep 01, 2011   |  CPES Unemployment Snapshot For more than two years, the nation's unemployment average has hovered around 9 percent or more, reaching double digits in 2010. Research shows persistently high unemployment has negative long-term social and economic consequences for individuals, families and the nation. If we allow prolonged high levels of joblessness to persist, we risk the deterioration of communities as well as the nation's position as a global economic force. For the short- and long-term health of the nation, federal policymakers must address the jobs crisis with a heightened sense of urgency. Read Online
  • Feb 07, 2011   |  Vicki Choitz Pathways to Prosperity for Students In this video clip by American Public Television Service, CLASP senior policy analyst Vicki Choitz discusses preparing students for middle-skill jobs. Read Online
  • Nov 30, 2010   |  Linda Harris & Amy Ellen Duke-Benfiled Building Pathways to Postsecondary Success for Low-Income Young Men of Color Linda Harris, director of youth policy, and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, senior policy analyst, co-authored a chapter in the recently published book Changing Places: How Communities Will Improve the Health of Boys of Color. The book "draws attention to the urgent need--both economic and moral--to better understand the policy and community-based factors that serve as opportunities or barriers for young men and boys of color as they make critical life decisions." Ms. Harris and Ms. Duke-Benfield's chapter examines why it is essential to invest access to postsecondary education opportunities for young men of color. Read Online
  • Nov 04, 2010   |  Vickie Choitz Getting What We Pay For: State Community College Funding Strategies that Benefit Low-Income, Lower-Skilled Students Community colleges across the nation appear to be facing a "perfect storm" during which surging enrollments, tepid state funding, and strong accountability forces are colliding to severely threaten access to and completion of postsecondary education and credentials by lower-skilled and low-income students. This policy brief describes strategies state policymakers can use to realign community college financing--including tuition policies--to improve postsecondary access and success for lower-skilled and low-income students and to achieve stronger state economic health. Read Online
  • Jul 16, 2010   |  Josh Bone TANF Education and Training: Maine's Parents as Scholars One in a series of briefs profiling promising approaches to supporting education and training programs under TANF in spite of the limits imposed by the federal rules. Read Online
  • Jul 08, 2010   |  Julie Strawn Shifting Gears: State Innovation to Advance Adult Workers and the Economy in the Midwest Read Online
  • May 21, 2010 Letter Supporting the 2010 Jobs Bill On May 20, CLASP Executive Director Alan Houseman sent this urgent letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging support for the Promoting American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010. Read Online
  • Apr 22, 2010   |  Julie Strawn The Role of Education and Training in the TANF Program: Read Online On April 22, Julie Strawn testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the importance of education and training in today's economy, and the role that TANF can play in helping low-income parents obtain economic opportunity and better the lives of their children. Read Online
  • Apr 14, 2010   |  Josh Bone TANF Education and Training: Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative One in a series of briefs profiling promising approaches to supporting education and training programs under TANF in spite of the limits imposed by the federal rules. Read Online
  • Apr 14, 2010   |  Josh Bone TANF Education and Training: Kentucky's Ready-to-Work Program One in a series of briefs profiling promising approaches to supporting education and training programs under TANF in spite of the limits imposed by the federal rules. Read Online
  • Apr 14, 2010   |  Josh Bone TANF Education and Training: Pennsylvania's KEYS Program One in a series of briefs profiling promising approaches to supporting education and training programs under TANF in spite of the limits imposed by the federal rules. Read Online
  • Mar 31, 2010   |  Thomas Hilliard and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield Reconciliation: Important Gains in Postsecondary Education, but Also Missed Opportunities Read Online
  • Mar 23, 2010   |  Thomas Hilliard and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield Summary of Key Postsecondary Education and Training Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 Read Online
  • Mar 22, 2010   |  Evelyn Ganzglass, Andrew Reamer, Brandon Roberts, Whitney Smith, Rachel Unruh Recommendations for Incorporating Postsecondary and Workforce Data into Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Read Online
  • Jan 25, 2010   |  CLASP Federal Policy Recommendations for 2010 Our nation faces many domestic challenges, including improving access to affordable health care, improving access to education as well as education outcomes, and providing debt and foreclosure relief. CLASP's 2010 federal policy recommendations are equally essential to achieving healthy and thriving families and improving the nation's prosperity. Read Online
  • Dec 10, 2009   |  Evelyn Ganzglass Proposal to Create Career Pathways State Policy Leadership Grants Program CLASP proposes the establishment of a Career Pathways State Policy Leadership Grants program within the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The program would be jointly administered by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor to strengthen and align adult education/ ESL, postsecondary education, career and technical education and workforce development systems in a career pathways framework. Read Online
  • Sep 01, 2009   |  CLASP Federal Policy Recommendations for 2009 and Beyond The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has developed an extensive federal policy agenda for President Obama and the 111th Congress directed at improving the lives of low income people. That agenda is outlined in this document. Read Online
  • Jul 20, 2009   |  Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield and Evelyn Ganzglass Letter to the House Committee on Education and Labor on the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (HR 3221) Read Online
  • Jun 15, 2009   |  Matt Lewis Distance Learning Can Help Low-Income Parents Attend School: TANF Agencies Should Adopt Supportive Policies (Revised) In the wake of the interim rules implementing the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, several states have expressed concerns about distance learning programs meeting the work verification requirements established by the US Department of Health and Human Services under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. This paper identifies language from HHS-approved work verification plans that other states can adopt in order to maximize access to distance learning and raise work participation rates. It also highlights some restrictive and burdensome language that should be dropped from work verification plans. Read Online
  • Jan 12, 2009 CLASP's Workforce Education and Training Policy Recommendations to Promote Inclusive Economic Recovery This paper is a summary of recommendations CLASP has made on workforce education and training policy that promote inclusive economic recovery. The recommendations include workforce investments to assist low-income and other workers hardest hit by economic recession and help prepare our workforce for the jobs of the future. Read Online
  • Nov 12, 2008   |  CLASP Recover, Renew, Rebuild: Workforce Policies for a Strong and Fair Economy Education and training are major contributors to economic prosperity. They are drivers of economic mobility and opportunity. Workforce policies to help individuals who are struggling in the labor market also are a critical component of a recovery package to get America working again. This report contains CLASP workforce policy recommendations for Congress and the Administration to address the immediate economic crisis and to make a down payment on the longer-term agenda of building a stronger and more equitable economy. It includes actions they can take to: help workers and families recover from the current recession; renew the nation's commitment to good jobs and upward mobility for all and rebuild middle class jobs. Read Online
  • Nov 07, 2008   |  CLASP Beyond Stimulus: Shoring Up the Safety Net, Securing the American Dream The United States is entering into a recession which many will be longer and more severe than any we have faced in recent decades. As Congress and the new President consider what actions to take, CLASP calls for a package that goes beyond stimulus aimed at temporarily boosting consumer demand. This paper outlines actions that Congress should take immediately to strengthen safety net programs that provide critical assistance to vulnerable workers and families and to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to share in the benefits of recovery. Read Online
  • Oct 29, 2008   |  Linda Harris and Evelyn Ganzglass Creating Postsecondary Pathways to Good Jobs for Young High School Dropouts This paper advocates expansion and better integration of efforts to connect high school dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24 to pathways to postsecondary credentials that have value in the labor market. The paper highlights examples of innovations in policy, program delivery, pedagogy in adult education, youth development and dropout recovery, and postsecondary education that should be built upon in developing more robust and successful dropout recovery and postsecondary education policies and practices to open the door to higher wages and career opportunities for this population. The authors urge federal officials, governors, school administrators, college officials, workforce leaders and employers to provide leadership in building the supports and pathways at scale to bring dropout youth back into the education and labor market mainstream. The paper was prepared for the Center for American Progress. Read Online
  • Oct 16, 2008   |  Alan W. Houseman and the CLASP Staff CLASP Federal Policy Recommendations for 2009 and Beyond CLASP has developed an extensive federal policy agenda for the next President and Congress directed at improving the lives of low income people. The detailed agenda makes recommendations for changes in policy at all levels of the federal government: the White House, Federal departments and agencies, the budget and appropriations' process, and the law-making process in Congress. This publication provides an overview of our agenda organized into eleven key recommendations. Taken as a whole, the eleven recommendations call for increasing investments in effective programs and funding streams that concretely help children, youth, and families thrive; strengthening and modernizing the nation's safety net; and building supportive pathways for low-income youths and adults to good jobs that sustain families and communities. Read Online
  • Sep 24, 2008   |  Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield and Julie Strawn Congress Expands Student Aid and Supports Innovation in Student Success, Basic Skills and Workforce Partnerships On August 14, 2008, President Bush signed into law P.L. 110-315, Higher Education Opportunity Act, the long-awaited reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965. This piece summarizes the key provisions that will influence postsecondary access and success for nontraditional students, including year-round Pell Grants and new pilot programs championed by CLASP for Student Success Grants, Business Workforce Partnerships, and basic skills Bridges from Jobs to Careers programs. Read Online
  • Mar 20, 2008   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch Education and Training for TANF Recipients: Opportunities and Challenges under the Final Rule On February 5, 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the final rules implementing changes in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program made by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. This paper explains the changes in the new rules that affect recipients' access to education and training, and the actions that states will need to take in order to take advantage of these changes. Many welfare recipients lack the education needed to successfully compete in the labor market. By enabling recipients to participate in education and training activities, states can help improve their long-term employment and earnings outcomes as well as increase their participation rates. Read Online
  • Mar 12, 2008   |  Amy-Ellen Duke and Julie Strawn Overcoming Obstacles,Optimizing Opportunities: State Policies to Increase Postsecondary Attainment for Low-Skilled Adults This paper, by Amy-Ellen Duke and Julie Strawn, provides an overview of state policies that can be most successful in helping lower-skilled adults enter and succeed in college and careers. The paper introduces a series of state policy reports developed as part of Breaking Through, a national project that is helping community colleges identify and develop institutional strategies that can enable low-skilled adult students to enter into and succeed in occupational and technical degree programs at community colleges. Read Online
  • Mar 04, 2008   |  CLASP The Congressional Budget Resolution: Recommendations for a Blueprint in Support of Low-Income Individuals and Families President Bush's budget proposal sends a simple and stark message: even in an economic downturn, those at the bottom of the income scale don't matter. It is now Congress' turn to prepare a budget plan. The Congressional budget resolution should inflict no harm to low-income workers, restore prior cuts, and invest in the future by supporting the workforce and ensuring safe and healthy children. Read Online
  • Feb 13, 2008   |  Amy-Ellen Duke A Strong Step for Students: House Higher Education Bill Promotes Innovation and Student Success Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the College Opportunity and Affordability Act. This legislation, moves Congress one step closer to the long-awaited reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which governs federal student financial aid and other programs that promote access for low-income and underrepresented students. The bill now goes to a conference committee of House and Senate members. CLASP urges the committee to adopt the provisions passed by the House and to support two changes which the Senate is addressing in reauthorization. Read Online
  • Dec 20, 2007   |  Amy-Ellen Duke and Evelyn Ganzglass Strengthening State Adult Education Policies for Low-Skilled Workers At a time when employers increasingly need better educated and skilled workers to succeed, too few states have taken significant actions to improve adult education and literacy. This brief, prepared for the Working Poor Families Project, provides an overview of state adult education policies and programs and recommends ways they can be strengthened to provide better job advancement opportunities for lower-skilled adults and older youth. Read Online
  • Dec 18, 2007   |  Amy-Ellen Duke Statement Prepared for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance; Community College Symposium Community colleges play a critical role in increasing economic opportunity for adults by helping individuals move out of dead-end, low-wage jobs into careers that can support a family. In a statement prepared for a symposium on issues effecting community colleges hosted by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, Senior Policy Analyst Amy-Ellen Duke focuses on two areas integral to the success of low-income adults at community colleges--policies to support student success and improve developmental education--and highlights successful programs across the country. Read Online
  • Sep 19, 2007   |  Amy-Ellen Duke and Julie Strawn Congress Expands Access to Postsecondary Education and Training for Low-income Adults On September 7, Congress enacted H.R. 2669, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. The act substantially helps nontraditional students, such as working adults and older youth, by expanding grant aid and simplifying access to aid. In particular, the act increases the maximum Pell Grant and lets working low-income adults keep more of their earnings. CLASP applauds members of the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and the House's Education and Labor Committee for recognizing the particular challenges faced by low-income working adults and acting to address many of them in this legislation. Read Online
  • May 18, 2007 Making HEA an Engine of Economic Productivity and Worker Prosperity The skill requirements of today's and tomorrow's jobs continue to rise--by 2020 it's estimated that 15 million new jobs will require college preparation. This paper, from CLASP, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Workforce Alliance, argues that the U.S. can meet this increasing demand by modernizing the Higher Education Act (HEA) through reauthorization. It suggests ways Congress can better align HEA with the needs of employers and the realities of working adults' lives. Read Online
  • May 18, 2007   |  Amy-Ellen Duke and Julie Strawn Update WIA Title II to Help More Adult Education Students Gain Postsecondary Credentials and Move Up to Better Jobs Since passage of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in 1998, it's become clear both that an increase in basic skills leads to an increase in low-skilled individuals' earnings and that these earnings increases typically fall short of what people need to become self-sufficient. There is a new consensus on the importance of increasing transitions from adult education to postsecondary education and training. Currently, however, WIA Title II does not reflect this consensus. These recommendations are intended to update Title II to support state and local innovations in this critical area. Read Online
  • Apr 20, 2007   |  Julie Strawn and Amy-Ellen Duke Recommendations to the House Committee on Education and Labor Regarding Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act These recommendations were submitted to Chairman George Miller and members of the House Committee on Education and Labor. They recommend changes to the Higher Education Act (HEA) that 1) help more working adults and other nontraditional students enroll in and complete postsecondary programs by offering greater financial and other support, 2) help colleges in their critical workforce development role by promoting innovation in program content and delivery, and 3) simplify the aid application process and increase aid to the neediest students. Read Online
  • Apr 20, 2007   |  Julie Strawn and Amy-Ellen Duke Updating WIA Title II to Help More Adult Education Students Gain Postsecondary Credentials and Move up to Better Jobs These recommendations to the U.S. Senate are intended to update the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)Title II (the Adult Education and Literacy Act) and support state and local innovations focused on increasing transitions from adult education to postsecondary education and training. Read Online
  • Feb 21, 2007   |  Christopher Mazzeo, Brandon Roberts, Christopher Spence, and Julie Strawn Working Together: Aligning State Systems and Policies for Individual and Regional Prosperity Julie Strawn of CLASP coauthored this new report, from the Workforce Strategy Center, which asserts that the current systems are not working effectively to produce the kinds of knowledge workers need for our new economy. The paper examines state policy and system improvements that would enhance the ability of workers to gain skills to advance to better jobs and the ability of employers to find skilled workers. These improvements include increasing access to postsecondary education and training; enabling current students to succeed and complete marketable credentials; increasing transitions between literacy, language, and postsecondary education and training programs; incorporating employer demand and state economic priorities in educational planning; expanding the capacity of postsecondary institutions; and measuring program results. Read Online
  • Aug 17, 2006   |  Evelyn Ganzglass Ten Years after Welfare Reform, It's Time to Make Work Work for Families On the 10th anniversary of passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, CLASP calls for the implementation of a more holistic set of strategies that truly expand opportunities for low-income families to move into the middle class and achieve the American dream. Read Online
  • Jun 20, 2006   |  TANF 2006: CLASP- CBPP Series Skill Upgrading - The Role of Community Colleges in Helping Low-Skilled Workers to Advance in the Labor Market In today's highly competitive global economy, skill-building is becoming increasingly important for achieving self-sufficiency. This conference call highlights strategies that have shown promise in helping low-income individuals gain access to education and training, and develop the skills necessary to advance in their careers. Read Online
  • May 23, 2006   |  CLASP Audioconference on Wising Up: How Government Can Partner With Business to Increase Skills and Advance Low-Wage Workers This audioconference, based on the Wising Up reprot, discusses how states and local governments can partner with business and industry to train workers and encourage the creation and retention of good jobs. Read Online
  • May 08, 2006   |  Amy-Ellen Duke and Julie Strawn New Student Aid Changes Help Nontraditional Students Although Congress has yet to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, the fiscal year 2006 federal budget--enacted in February 2006--included several higher education provisions that will provide additional financial aid to low-income working adults and other non-traditional students. This fact sheet examines those provisions and what they likely mean for low-income families and students. Read Online
  • Apr 17, 2006   |  Evelyn Ganzglass Strategies for Increasing Participation in TANF Education and Training Activities The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provisions in the fiscal year 2006 federal budget will require most states to substantially increase the number of TANF recipients participating in work-related activities. This paper aims to help state policymakers, program administrators, and others identify approaches to meeting federal participation rates while also improving programs' ability to help families enter and maintain sustainable employment. It summarizes existing research on how skills and credentials impact labor market success and on effective skills training and postsecondary education strategies. It also examines rates of participation in education and training, and recommends strategies to expand access to these activities within the new TANF policy context. Read Online
  • Apr 06, 2006   |  Amy-Ellen Duke, Karin Martinson, and Julie Strawn Wising Up: How Government Can Partner With Business to Increase Skills and Advance Low-Wage Workers Helping low-wage workers upgrade their skills is a critical part of public policies to advance workers and to attract and retain "good" jobs—those that pay enough to support a family and offer health care, sick leave, and other important benefits. One promising approach has states and local governments partnering with business and industry to train workers and encourage the creation and retention of good jobs. This report examines five such training partnerships underway in four states, and offers innovative practices, challenges, and lessons learned for states and localities. Read Online
  • Feb 27, 2006   |  Linda Harris Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience: Executive Summary This brief summary accompanies the 50-page full report detailing the experiences of 22 communities that received U.S. Department of Labor Youth Opportunity Grants to support education, work exposure, and youth development for under-served young people. Read Online
  • Dec 14, 2005   |  Abbey Frank and Elisa Minoff Declining Share of Adults Receiving Training under WIA are Low-Income or Disadvantaged The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) significantly changed the way federally funded job training and employment services are structured, and has impacted who receives training under the program. In particular, the share of training recipients who are low-income or have barriers to employment has dropped since WIA was enacted. This paper examines the data, considers some possible explanations for this decline, and offers recommendations for WIA reauthorization and state and local action to increase the share of training resources directed to adults who are low-income, single parents, or have other barriers to finding and keeping employment. Read Online
  • Sep 09, 2005   |  Julie Strawn and Amy-Ellen Duke Why the Senate Higher Education Bill is Good News for Low-Income Adults--and How to Make it Even Better On September 8th, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee unanimously approved S. 1614, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. Among the bill's provisions that will help low income adults are new, supplemental Pell grants to the poorest students; expansion of Pell grants to students enrolled less than half-time or attending year round; pilots of student aid for modularized programs; and grants to prepare nontraditional students for high growth jobs. Further improvements in the bill are needed, though, to increase aid to working adults, to simplify student aid applications, and to prevent fraud and abuse. Read Online
  • May 31, 2005   |  Julie Strawn and Amy-Ellen Duke Recommendations Regarding the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act These recommendations were submitted to Chairman Mike Enzi of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on May 28, 2005. They recommend changes to the Higher Education Act to ensure that higher education policies and funding streams at the federal, state, and local levels support the workforce education role of postsecondary institutions and meet the needs of the nontraditional students typically enrolled in occupational programs, particularly working adults and older youth who are on their own financially. Read Online
  • Mar 16, 2005   |  Mark Greenberg and Jennifer L. Noyes Supporting Cross-Program Integration: Some Recommendations for Federal Policy and Practice This brief is based on the paper Increasing State and Local Capacity for Cross-Systems Innovation. Drawing on the papers' findings and consultation with a range of state and federal policymakers, the brief provides the authors' recommendations for federal action on cross-program state and local service integration efforts. This brief was written as part of a collaborative effort between the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Hudson Institute, and CLASP. Read Online
  • Aug 04, 2004 CLASP Audio Conference Transcript: Disconnected Youth: Educational Pathways to Reconnection (July 9, 2004) CLASP Senior Policy Analyst Linda Harris moderates a discussion about innovative ideas for reconnecting at-risk youth to education with Rob Ivry, Senior Vice President at MDRC; Laurel Dukehart, Manager of the Gateway to College Replication Project at Portland Community College; and Jack Wuest, Director of the Chicago Alternative Schools Network. Read Online
  • May 14, 2004 Written Testimony on H.R. 4283, the College Access and Opportunity Act On May 12, 2004, CLASP, The Workforce Alliance, and the National Consumer Law Center submitted testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce on the Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization. The testimony focuses on the importance of preserving key provisions that protect borrowers from fraud and abuse. (Publication No. 04-32). Read Online
  • May 13, 2004   |  Anita Mathur, with Judy Reichle, Julie Strawn, and Chuck Wiseley From Jobs to Careers: How California Community College Credentials Pay Off for Welfare Participants This report, a joint venture of CLASP and the California Community Colleges Chancellors Office, tracks the employment rates and median annual earnings of female welfare participants who exited the California community college system in 1999-2000. The report shows that women receiving welfare in California who complete an Associate degree or certificate work more and earn substantially more in the two years after college than they did before college. In addition, while attending school, the women welfare participants were more likely to be employed than the general California welfare population. Read Online
  • Apr 30, 2004 Comments to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance is preparing a report to Congress on simplification of the federal financial aid application process and on other changes that allow students to better balance the demands of work, school, and family. These comments to the Advisory Committee, submitted in conjunction with the National Consumer Law Center and the Workforce Alliance, provide concrete suggestions on how to better align the Higher Education Act with the needs of employers and the realities of working adults lives. Read Online
  • Apr 23, 2004 Safeguarding Federal Financial Aid from Fraud and Abuse During reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, Congress has the opportunity to make higher education more accessible for underserved students, including many working adults and older youth. This two-page fact sheet, jointly prepared by the National Consumer Law Center, CLASP, and the Workforce Alliance, urges Congress to seize this opportunitybut with caution. Innovations and reforms must be balanced against the danger of repeating past abuses. Students and taxpayers must be protected from unscrupulous schools that are in business not to educate but to chase federal dollars. (Publication No. 04-24). Read Online
  • Dec 16, 2003   |  Julie Strawn Update on HEA Reauthorization This presentation, given at The Workforce Alliance meeting on December 11, 2003, discusses the importance of adequate funding for the Higher Education Act and what steps Congress has taken in its reauthorization. The presentation also briefly discusses the Perkins Act reauthorization. Click here for the PowerPoint version of this file. Read Online
  • Jul 24, 2003   |  Julie Strawn Why HEA? Skills and Opportunity This PowerPoint presentation was given at the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Meeting in San Francisco on July 23, 2003. The presentation covers the changing context for higher education and concludes with how the Higher Education Act can help states respond. Click here to view the document as a PowerPoint file. Read Online
  • Jul 01, 2003   |  Jodie Levin-Epstein and Mark H. Greenberg, Editors Leave No Youth Behind: Opportunities for Congress to Reach Disconnected Youth Too many young people are not on the path toward successful adulthood, and the U.S. has no coherent policy to help these disconnected youth become productive members of society. Estimates of the number of youth who are disconnected or at risk of becoming disconnected range from nearly 3 million to more than 7 million. This report offers recommendations to help disconnected youth in six programs being considered by the 108th Congress for reauthorization: the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Higher Education Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and the Workforce Investment Act. It encourages federal policymakers to look across legislative initiatives to develop an integrated set of policies to address the needs of this population. The report concludes that the nation should commit itself to increase the proportion of young people who at age 25 (1) have a high school diploma and postsecondary degree or credential, (2) are employed in jobs with career advancement possibilities, and (3) are not engaged in adverse risk-taking behaviors. Read Online
  • Jun 11, 2003   |  Julie Strawn and Victoria Whistler Preliminary Recommendations on Higher Education Act Reauthorization These comments were submitted to the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, regarding the recommendations for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The recommendations are organized around four goals: 1) to help low-income students balance work, family, and school; 2) to help low-income students by meeting a higher share of their financial need; 3) to increase access and persistence in postsecondary by low-income youth and adults; and 4) to recognize the critical workforce development role played by postsecondary institutions by promoting innovation in program content and delivery. Read Online
  • May 01, 2002   |  Anita Mathur, Judy Reichle, Chuck Wiseley, and Julie Strawn Credentials Count: How California's Community Colleges Help Parents Move from Welfare to Self-Sufficiency This study, conducted by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office for CLASP, finds that welfare recipients who attend California's community colleges substantially increase earnings and year-round work, with those who obtain credentials benefiting the most. Read Online
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