- Sep 29, 2014 | Kisha Bird, Marcie Foster, and Evelyn Ganzglass WIOA Creates New Opportunities to Improve Economic and Career Success for Low-Income Youth and Adults CLASP's summary of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) focuses on opportunities for improving services to low-income youth and adults under Title I and Title II.
Sep 26, 2014
| Katherine Saunders
Student Voices: Competency-Based Education Key to Improving College Completion and Career Advancement for Adult Students
This is the final installment of our Student Voices series, featuring powerful testimonials from actual students to the need for a comprehensive reform of the Higher Education Act.
Aug 31, 2014
| Julie Kashen
A "How-To" Guide on Using Student Workers to Provide Comprehensive Student Financial Supports
This brief offers practical guidance to colleges that wish to provide students access to public benefits by incorporating student workers into their student support service activities. Student workers can effectively conduct a substantial portion of work related to accessing public benefits, including outreach, screening, application assistance, counseling, referrals, and data tracking.
Sep 16, 2014
| Katherine Saunders
Using Student Workers to Provide Comprehensive Financial Supports to Increase College Completion
Three of the colleges—Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), and Skyline College—used innovative and successful strategies to implement their benefits access work through the use of student workers.
Sep 12, 2014
| Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success
Testimony for the Record to the U.S. Department of Education’s Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance (ACSFA) on the Proposed Postsecondary Institution Rating System (PIRS)
CLASP testifies that PIRS must be designed with significant care so as not to create disincentives for institutions to focus resources on serving low-income and underprepared students.
Sep 16, 2014
| Katherine Saunders
Student Voices: Federal Work-Study Provides Greater Support toward College Persistence and Career Entry
This is the second installment of our Student Voices series, featuring powerful testimonials from actual students to the need for a comprehensive reform of the Higher Education Act.
Sep 08, 2014
| Katherine Saunders
Student Voices: Financial Supports Key to College Persistence, Completion
This is the first installment of our Student Voices series, which will feature a new student story every week in September. These powerful testimonials from actual students speak to the need for a comprehensive reform of the Higher Education Act.
Aug 18, 2014
| Manuela Ekowo
HPOG’s Year Three Annual Report Highlights Success Preparing Low-Income Individuals for Health Professions
HPOG’s recently released Year Three Annual Report highlights the success to date of HPOG career pathway programs in educating and training low-income, lower-skilled adults for health professions.
Aug 04, 2014
| Evelyn Ganzglass
Federal Competency-Based Education Experiments Can Help Low-Income Students Obtain Valuable Postsecondary Credentials
On July 31, the US Department of Education issued an invitation to postsecondary institutions to participate in experiments designed to test three competency-based approaches to improve student outcomes under the federal financial aid.
Jul 28, 2014
| Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Tim Harmon, Evelyn Ganzglass, and Elizabeth Lower-Basch
House Package of Higher Education Bills Tackles Critical Issues; More Work Needed to Improve Access and Success for Low-Income Students
Last week, the House passed four bipartisan higher education bills critical to low-income, non-traditional students. Unlike the Senate, the House Education and Workforce Committee is taking a piecemeal approach to reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, and these bills are part of that plan. The bills address a number of CLASP’s higher education objectives—such as increasing data transparency for students, better targeting of education tax credits to low-income students, and providing greater means for students pursuing competency-based education—but do have shortcomings, particularly for the growing proportion of non-traditional undergraduate students.
- Jul 24, 2014 | Elizabeth Lower-Basch Education Tax Credits Bill Takes a Partisan Turn on Way to House Floor H.R. 3393, the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act, is an important step forward in simplifying the multiple tax benefits that support higher education and in making these credits more useful to low-income students.
Jul 22, 2014
| Marcie Foster, Kisha Bird, and Evelyn Ganzglass
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Becomes Law; CLASP Looks toward Implementation
On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), enacted by large bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate, after 11 years of debate to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
Jul 16, 2014
| Manuela Ekowo and Vickie Choitz
CLASP to Present at Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century Conference
Vickie Choitz, CLASP’s senior policy analyst and director of the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, will speak at a workshop on emerging strategies that are transforming how individuals are educated and trained.
Jul 10, 2014
| Kisha Bird and Marcie Foster
Congress Revitalizes Job Training and Workforce Development Programs with the Passage of WIOA
We applaud Congress for taking this important first step to create a workforce development system that better enables states and communities to meet the needs of low-income workers by improving connections to employment and training opportunities that will lead to economic prosperity for themselves and their families.
- Jul 01, 2014 Shared Vision, Strong Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework Version 1.0 CLASP and Alliance partners jointly created and provided consensus support for Shared Vision, Strong Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework Version 1.0, which establishes a common understanding of quality career pathways and systems.
- Jul 01, 2014 | Manuela Ekowo and Vickie Choitz Defining, Strengthening, and Measuring Quality Career Pathways and Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Releases Framework CLASP and Alliance partners jointly created and provided consensus support for Shared Vision, Strong Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework Version 1.0, which establishes a common understanding of quality career pathways and systems.
- Jun 26, 2014 | Neil Ridley Senate Passes Long-Awaited Workforce Reauthorization On June 23, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA contains important changes to education and training programs for youth and adults.
- Jun 19, 2014 | Andy Beres Making the American Opportunity Tax Credit Work for Low-Income People The AOTC has a limited impact for low-income people because students can only obtain the credit after filing a tax return at year’s end, but new recommendations from CLASP could make the AOTC more effective.
Jun 19, 2014
Help When It's Needed: Advancing the AOTC
This report by the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success (C-PES) at CLASP outlines a timely delivery system of the AOTC that would enable more low-income students to enroll and stay in college.
Jun 17, 2014
| Katherine Saunders and Marcie Foster
Senate Subcommittee Continues Investments to Keep College Affordable for Low-Income Students
Recently, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies marked up a bill would continue funding for financial aid programs that make college possible for low-income and underprepared students.
Jun 12, 2014
| Vickie Choitz
CLASP Provides Leadership in Building a Shared Vision and Knowledge Base for Career Pathways
CLASP commends the Obama Administration and the departments for their leadership and commitment to career pathways and was pleased to submit a response to the RFI.
Jun 12, 2014
| Vickie Choitz, Tim Harmon, Evelyn Ganzglass, and Neil Ridley
Response to the Federal Request for Information on Adoption of Career Pathways Approaches for the Delivery of Education, Training, Employment, and Human Services
CLASP commends the Obama Administration and the departments for their leadership and commitment to career pathways and was pleased to submit a response to the RFI.
- Jun 10, 2014 | Marcie Foster and Evelyn Ganzglass Where Community Colleges and Workforce Development Meet CLASP featured in New Volume on Sector Strategies by the Aspen Institute.CLASP experts contributed a chapter to the volume, which focuses on the role of community colleges in the sector strategies and career pathways movement.
May 23, 2014
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) a Critical Step Forward for U.S. Workers
CLASP supports the proposed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)—a bipartisan House-Senate effort to reauthorize the nation’s workforce development and adult education programs. At a time of sustained unemployment in many communities, these programs are designed to help young people and adult workers prepare for work or further education, find jobs, and build the skills employers need. The Workforce Investment Act, which WIOA would replace, was enacted in 1998.
May 01, 2014
| Neil Ridley
Workforce Results Matter to Students
A new brief from CLASP examines the hard questions that students and policymakers are asking about postsecondary education and training outcomes at a time of sustained unemployment and sluggish job growth. Do graduates find jobs? What are they paid? What will they earn in the future? Despite growing national interest in this information, good answers are not widely available for many programs.
Apr 30, 2014
| Tim Harmon, Neil Ridley, and Rachel Zinn
Workforce Results Matter: The Critical Role of Employment Outcome Data in Improving Transparency of Postsecondary Education and Training
This paper focuses on the need for better information about post-graduation outcomes of postsecondary education and training, with a particular focus on workforce results. Workforce results include employment-related outcomes, such as post-graduation employment rates and earnings levels. Survey research and other evidence reviewed shows that consumers are keenly interested in these outcomes. This paper suggests the types of employment measures and data that would help meet this demand for better information and describes recent progress by states in producing more comprehensive and consistent information about labor market results.
Apr 23, 2014
| Vickie Choitz and Manuela Ekowo
Your Chance to Weigh In: Federal Agencies Release Request for Information on Career Pathway Systems
The U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Labor (DOL) have released a request for information (RFI) on career pathway systems to gather information on effective career pathways, practices, and policies; federal policy barriers to implementing and sustaining them; and ways the federal agencies can better support state and local/regional partners adopting this approach.
- Apr 07, 2014 Call for a Conversation on Creating a Competency-Based Credentialing Ecosystem CLASP joined policy leaders in other organizations calling upon key stakeholders in our Nation’s postsecondary education and workforce credentialing system to come together to increase transparency, trust and portability in the credentialing marketplace.
- Apr 07, 2014 | Evelyn Ganzglass National Partners Call for a Conversation on Creating a Competency-Based Credentialing Ecosystem CLASP joined policy leaders in other organizations calling upon key stakeholders in our Nation’s postsecondary education and workforce credentialing system to come together to increase transparency, trust and portability in the credentialing marketplace.
- Apr 07, 2014 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, CLASP; New America Foundation; and Jobs for the Future Joint Submission to Request for Information on Experimental Sites Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success at CLASP, New America Foundation, and Jobs for the Future propose ideas for experiments to test new approaches to administering student financial assistance programs to support better student outcomes.
- Apr 02, 2014 | Marcie Foster Ryan Budget Offers Bleak Future for Aspiring Low-Income College Students For the fourth year in a row, the House Budget Committee’s proposal cuts off college access for millions of low-income students —undercutting the widely shared goal expressed in the title of its budget, Path to Prosperity.
- Mar 20, 2014 | Manuela Ekowo and Katherine Saunders Amid Rising College Costs, State Funding for Need-Based Aid is Too Low A recent report shows that, despite recent modest increases, state funding for need-based aid is still too low to measurably improve college access and success for low-income students.
Mar 21, 2014
| Evelyn Ganzglass
Scaling “Stackable Credentials”: Implications for Implementation and Policy
This paper identifies five strategies several states, community colleges and their partners are using to create “stackable credentials.” Students can accumulate stackable credentials over time to build up their qualifications and help them move along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and potentially higher paying jobs. The paper discusses policy and institutional barriers these states and colleges have been working to overcome as they create credentials that have value in the labor market and postsecondary educational credit and credentialing systems.
- Mar 11, 2014 | Katherine Saunders and Marcie Foster Higher Education is a Top Priority in President Obama's FY 2015 Budget Last Tuesday, President Obama released a FY 2015 budget proposal that prioritizes education and reaffirms a commitment to making college affordable and improving college completion rates.
Feb 13, 2014
| Manuela Ekowo and Vickie Choitz
From Adult Education to College: Success Factors, Challenges, and Tools
MDRC's report, Beyond the GED: Promising Models for Moving High School Dropouts to College, provides a snapshot of innovative adult education programs and the challenges involved in helping high school dropouts acquire a GED and gain postsecondary credentials.
Feb 06, 2014
| Manuela Ekowo and Neil Ridley
Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) Launches Effort to Improve Data and Information on Postsecondary Education and Training
The Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) recently launched a new website, www.workforcedqc.org and issued a new report, Making Workforce Data Work about steps policymakers can take to improve the availability and quality of information about postsecondary education and training. CLASP is one of nine national partners helping to shape the WDQC’s policy agenda to ensure that data systems are better aligned and include more information on students that are helpful to educators, students, employers, and policymakers.
Feb 05, 2014
| Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success
CLASP Comments on Proposed Postsecondary Institution Rating System
CLASP Comments on Proposed Postsecondary Institution Rating System.
Jan 30, 2014
| Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success and Youth Policy Team
CLASP Comments on House Hearing Keeping College within Reach
CLASP offers recommendations for Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in response to the January 28, 2014 House Education and the Workforce Committee, Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Hearing “Keeping College within Reach: Sharing Best Practices for Serving Low-Income and First Generation Students”.
- Dec 18, 2013 | Julie Strawn Getting Remediation Right: New Insights from California Two recent reports from California's LearningWorks--a nonprofit founded by community college leaders and faculty, researchers, and policy experts--shed new light on the nuts and bolts of effective remediation reform and how it can help more disadvantaged students graduate.
Dec 16, 2013
| Manuela Ekowo and Julie Strawn
Keeping Pell on Track to Help Low-Income Americans Afford College
The Save Pell Coalition, of which CLASP is a member, has released new findings on the current state of the Pell Grant program and the many students who are counting on it.
Dec 12, 2013
| Julie Strawn
Consortium Reforms Shift Tax-Based Student Aid to Families Who Most Struggle with College Costs
Our package of reforms would realign the $34 billion federal investment in tax-based student aid with national goals of increasing college affordability, access, and success.
Dec 10, 2013
| Julie Strawn
Wealthiest Families Receive Largest Share of Tax-Based Student Aid
In 2013, the largest share (over 30 percent) of the federal government's $34 billion investment in tax-based student aid will go to the wealthiest fifth of American households.
Dec 05, 2013
| Julie Strawn
Students with Least Amount of Need Receive the Most Tax-Based Student Aid
The federal government spends nearly $34 billion annually on student aid delivered through the tax system--a billion more than it spends on Pell Grants. Despite extensive research showing that low- and modest-income families are more likely to respond to changes in college costs and student aid, this tax aid provides substantial support to higher-income families who are well beyond middle class.
- Dec 03, 2013 | Julie Strawn The 34 Billion Dollar Question: Is Tax-Based Aid Advancing College Access and Completion Goals? The Consortium for Higher Education Tax Reform--a partnership of the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success at CLASP, Young Invincibles, the New America Foundation's Education Policy Program, and The Education Trust--has developed specific recommendations that would go a long way toward fixing current problems with tax-based aid.
- Nov 21, 2013 | 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.
- Nov 07, 2013 | Marcie Foster and Kisha Bird Nearly One in Five Americans Has Low Basic Skills, but Solutions Exist to Strengthen America's Workforce Literacy, Numeracy, and Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments Among U.S. Adults: First Look examines basic skills by demographic and other socioeconomic factors, including race, educational attainment, foreign status, and age. This critical information will enable us to design smarter, more effective policy solutions that improve the skills of America's adults and youth.
- Nov 07, 2013 | Marcie Foster and Kisha Bird From PIAAC to Policy Solutions: Promoting Postsecondary and Economic Success for Low-Skilled Workers A just-released international assessment of adult skills, the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) shows that a large portion of the U.S. population has low skills, impeding their ability to achieve economic success and build stronger families. Findings illuminate that the U.S. continues to struggle with improving the skills of our nation's adult workforce, particularly among disadvantaged and minority workers.
- Oct 17, 2013 | Vickie Choitz CLASP and Greater Twin Cities United Way to host forum on Career Pathways On November 7, CLASP will be participating in Strengthening Your Career Pathways Systems: Tools, Tips and Tactics in St. Paul, Minnesota. The forum is hosted by Greater Twin Cities United Way and sponsored by CLASP. The day-long event will feature local, state, and national leaders committed to supporting career pathways.
- Oct 09, 2013 | Marcie Foster and Janne Huang U.S. Workers Lagging Behind on Basic Skills The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its world report of the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), comparing the skill levels of adult workers across 24 developed countries. The report reveals that the U.S. is lagging behind other nations and must do more to strengthen skills development systems and boost economic opportunity for America's workers.
Oct 01, 2013
| Vickie Choitz and Manuela Ekowo
90 Days Left! CLASP Welcomes Your Feedback on the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Beta Framework
CLASP and the Alliance partners are collecting feedback on the Beta Framework until December 31, 2013; there are 90 days left to submit feedback on the criteria, indicators, and shared metrics to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Alliance partners are in the process of reviewing the framework with key stakeholders, practitioners, and community leaders, as well as field-testing it in their states.
- Sep 24, 2013 | Marcie Foster and Manuela Ekowo More Aid, Better Results: No-strings-attached financial aid keeps students on the road to success A recent National Bureau of Economic Research report examines the impact of student eligibility for a need-based state grant program in Florida on student outcomes by comparing eligible recipients to those just below the income eligibility cutoff. The study provides evidence that an increase in financial aid--with no strings attached--may increase student persistence and completion, and accelerate progress.
- Sep 03, 2013 | Marcie Foster and Julie Strawn President Lays Out Bold Agenda for Higher Education Reform CLASP's Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success comments on President Obama's plan for the reform of higher education as part of a national tour focused on college access and affordability. The president's plan targets three major areas of reform: paying colleges and students for performance, promoting innovation and competition, and ensuring student debt is affordable.
Aug 29, 2013
| Katherine Saunders and Marcie Foster
More Undergraduate Students Receive Financial Aid but Still Fall Short of Meeting College Costs
While more undergraduates are receiving student aid, the average college student still suffers from significant unmet need--the "gap" between college costs and what students can afford to pay on their own or with grant aid.Community college students are among those undergraduates with substantial unmet need. In 2007-2008, over 98 percent of independent, full-time community college students with incomes in the bottom three quartiles (<$30,622) had unmet need. And in 2012-2013, the average full-time community college student had more than $6,000 in unmet need, according to the College Board.
- Aug 27, 2013 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Building the Middle Class with Better Skills and Wages: Who Would be Helped by Stronger Pathways? The Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) and CLASP have developed profiles of adult workers in every state who are in need of better skills and wages. Each state profile estimates the number of adult workers (ages 25-64) who are without two or four-year college degrees or have limited English skills and who earn less than the state median wage or are in the labor force but have not worked for the last year. The data sheets show the employment status, education level, race/ethnicity, age, gender, and English language proficiency of these workers and whether they earn above or below poverty-level wages.
- Aug 26, 2013 | Julie Strawn and Marcie Foster Recommendations to the House of Representatives on the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act CLASP offers recommendations to Congress for making college accessible and affordable to low-income students.
- Jul 23, 2013 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success "Beta" Framework Details Criteria, Indicators, and Shared Metrics for High-Quality Career Pathway Systems
- Jul 18, 2013 | Marcie Foster Senate Continues Higher Education Investments in Low-Income Students Last week, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) marked up and passed a bill to provide continued funds to a number of essential student aid and education programs that help low-income students access and succeed in postsecondary education. The bill, passed on a straight party line vote, also targets key goals of reducing college costs and increasing college completion rates. Specific provisions include:
- Jun 27, 2013 | Abigail Newcomer Supporting Students with Supportive Services
Jun 24, 2013
| CLASP and Young Invincibles
ACA Toolkit and Webinar: Helping Students Understand Health Care Reform and Enroll in Health Insurance
As part of Benefits Access for College Completion, CLASP has teamed up with Young Invincibles to develop a new guide and webinar for community college leadership, faculty, and staff that shows how to connect their students to health coverage.
- Jun 18, 2013 | Abigail Newcomer Why Community Colleges Should Care about Obamacare
- May 30, 2013 | Julie Strawn, Marcie W.M. Foster, and Patrick Reimherr Getting More College Students to Graduation Day--New Data on Public Two-Year Institutions
- May 09, 2013 | Patrick Reimherr, Tim Harmon, Julie Strawn, and Neil Ridley Better Information Becomes a Priority in the Latest Round of TAACCCT Grants In its newest round of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grants, the Department of Labor took a significant step toward transparency for students by requiring state-consortium applicants to develop an online Employment Results Scorecard. Originally enacted as part of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, the TAACCCT grant program awards funds to institutions to expand and improve education and training programs that can be completed in two years or less. TAACCCT-funded programs support displaced and other at-risk workers in their pursuit of skills and credentials in "high-wage, high-skill" employment.
- May 02, 2013 | Patrick Reimherr and Julie Strawn CLASP Urges Congress to Make Tax-Based Student Aid More Effective for Low-Income Students In preparation for possible comprehensive tax legislation, the House and Senate tax-writing committees have been reviewing options for reform. CLASP recently participated in briefings for members of the House Ways and Means Committee on reform of family tax benefits and of tax-based student aid. We also submitted written comments to both the House and Senate tax-writing committees,urging policymakers to consider key reforms to tax-based aid
- Apr 23, 2013 | CLASP Separate and Unequal: College Board Pell Grant Proposal Tackles College Completion, Solutions Fall Short Last week, the College Board Study Group released its proposal to redesign the Pell Grant program to meet changing student needs. The proposal, Rethinking Pell Grants, which was authored by a 14-member panel of national higher education researchers and leadership, puts forth a plan to restructure the Pell Grant program into two separate and targeted programs based solely on the age of a student: "Pell Y" for younger students and "Pell A" for adult students (defined as 25 and older). We commend the College Board Study Group for recognizing the needs of all students, both young and old(er), as well as recognizing that many students need additional supportive services beyond financial aid to successfully persist and complete their programs. Still, we remain concerned about the implications of a separate and unequal Pell Grant program that threatens to cut benefits for students based solely on age.
- Apr 15, 2013 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success With All Eyes on Taxes Today, Check Out Our Recommendations on Tax-Based Student Aid
- Apr 04, 2013 | Marcie Foster and Julie Strawn The "Golden Opportunity" of Adult Education Reform Across the country, more and more states are changing adult education policy to provide students the education they need to become employed and economically successful in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. Multi-state initiatives, such as Shifting Gears and Accelerating Opportunity, are supporting this shift, as are the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor through guidance and technical assistance. Nowhere is this trend more relevant than in California (known as the "Golden State"), where one out of five adult education students reside and which is newly focusing on restructuring adult education to promote college and career success.
- Mar 28, 2013 | Neil Ridley Updated Resource for States: Toolkit on Federal Funding for Career Pathways CLASP announces the release of an updated resource, Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Funding Toolkit for States. This toolkit is designed to help interagency state teams identify and facilitate "braiding" of federal resources to build career pathways for adults and out-of-school youth.
- Mar 28, 2013 | Neil Ridley and Patrick Reimherr New Study Highlights Importance of Job Training for Low-Wage Workers \xe2\x80" And Need for Better Awareness of Training Programs A new study issued by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs, Paths to Opportunity: Perspectives from Lower-Wage Workers and Their Employers, provides a snapshot of worker and employer perspectives on the economic outlook, working conditions, and opportunities for advancement in lower-wage occupations (defined as jobs paying $35,000 or less per year). With recent analyses showing disproportionate growth in lower-wage jobs since the end of the recession, it is essential to understand the dynamics of low-wage work in order to rebuild paths to middle-class jobs.
- Mar 21, 2013 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Tax-Based Student Aid Accounts for Nearly Half of Non-Loan Federal Aid, Rivals Pell Grants Tax-based student aid has grown rapidly over the past decade and now represents nearly half of our nation's investment in non-loan federal aid. The Office of Management and Budget estimates that tax-based aid programs will cost more than $34 billion in FY12 through reduced federal revenues. Similarly, Pell Grant outlays are expected to total $35.6 billion in FY12.
- Mar 15, 2013 | Marcie W.M. Foster Murray and Ryan Budgets Offer Divergent Visions for Access to Postsecondary Education and Student Financial Aid This week, two FY14 budget proposals emerged from Congress that presented contrasting paths for education and economic opportunity in the nation. Rep. Paul Ryan's budget, once again titled Path to Prosperity, echoes similar themes from last year's House budget, slashing critical higher education investments and cutting access to college for millions of low-income students. These and other draconian cuts are starkly different from Senator Murray's proposed budget, Foundation for Growth, which improves college affordability and makes smart investments in postsecondary education to ensure that U.S. students and workers have the skills and education needed to support continued economic growth.
- Mar 14, 2013 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Large Share of Tax-Based Student Aid Goes to Higher Income Families To maximize the nation's investment in student aid, we must target resources to low- and modest-income families -- those most likely to respond to incentives to enroll in and complete college. Unfortunately, tax-based student aid provides substantial support to individuals who are already highly likely to attend college and so may have little effect on access or completion for these students. In 2013, the Tax Policy Center estimates that 25 percent of the benefits of American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) will go to families making more than $100,000 per year; 29 percent of the benefits of the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) will go to families making more than $75,000; and almost half of the benefits of the Tuition and Fees Deduction will go to households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more.
Mar 12, 2013
| Marcie Foster
New York's Move to Abandon the GED® is a Game Changer
New York State made headlines last week after it announced it would be dropping the GED\xc2\xae as its high school equivalency exam--a move that can only be defined as a "game changer" in adult education. Instead, the state will be working with CTB/McGraw Hill to develop an alternative exam, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), which New York believes will keep costs low and allow its Education Department to continue to serve adults and youth seeking to earn a high school equivalency diploma and gain greater economic mobility. New York's shift to the TASC is one of the most significant developments in adult education in decades. Since 1942, the GED\xc2\xae has been synonymous with high school equivalency in the U.S. and widely recognized by potential candidates, employers, and postsecondary institutions.
- Mar 11, 2013 | Neil Ridley, Kisha Bird, and Marcie W.M. Foster House Workforce Bill Moves Forward Amid Rising Tensions Last week the House Education and Workforce Committee voted to advance a bill that restructures a range of federal workforce programs, including the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Tensions ran high during the legislative mark-up session and the hearing that preceded it, signaling a decline in the bipartisan spirit that has animated most reauthorization efforts in the past.
- Mar 05, 2013 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Tax-Based Student Aid Quadrupled -- Largely Unnoticed -- Over the Past Decade
- Feb 28, 2013 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Financial Pressures Drive Down College Completion - CLASP RADD Chart Series Continues Confronted with high costs and unmet financial need, low- and modest-income students and their families face a difficult choice: work more while in college, borrow more, or do both. When students cannot afford college, it not only limits access to higher education and drives up debt, it also increases (sometimes significantly) the time it takes to earn a degree and/or ultimately complete a credential.
- Feb 26, 2013 | CLASP Tax Policy Center's Elaine Maag Highlights CLASP's Recent Paper on Reforming Tax-Based Aid
- Feb 22, 2013 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success College Costs Rising Four Times Faster Than Income, Two and a Half Times Faster Than Pell
- Feb 21, 2013 | CLASP New C-PES Report Calls for Consolidating Tax-Based Student Aid, Using Metrics to Improve College Choices and Completion
- Sep 11, 2012 | Abigail Newcomer and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield Benefits Access for College Completion Benefits Access for College Completion (BACC) will test innovative approaches to increase the number of students earning postsecondary credentials in seven community and technical colleges across the country. BACC will help colleges develop and institutionalize scalable and sustainable organizational and funding policies and practices that connect low-income students to an array of public benefits, such as food assistance and health insurance.
- Aug 31, 2012 | CLASP Alliance for Quality Career Pathways
Jun 19, 2012
The Fight to Save Pell Grants
Pell Grants, the federal program that makes postsecondary education and job training possible for nearly 10 million Americans, has become a primary target of cuts in budget and deficit debates.
- Mar 23, 2012 | Abigail Newcomer More to Learn about the Needs of Children Receiving TANF A significant share of families receiving TANF cash assistance are "child-only," yet we know very little about how well this assistance meets the needs of the children receiving it. Families receive child-only benefits for many reasons, and each type of case has different implications for the family and the services it may need. A new brief released by the Administration for Children and Families explores what we know about families receiving child-only benefits, and outlines the research that is required to fully understand them. What's clear is there is no one policy solution for meeting these children's needs and more research is needed on the outcomes various policies would have for children.
- Mar 23, 2012 | Vickie Choitz, Julie Strawn, and Marcie Foster FAQs on How the Loss of Ability to Benefit Options in Federal Student Aid Affects Those without a High School Diploma After July 1, 2012, newly enrolled college students without a U.S. high school diploma or secondary school equivalent will no longer eligible for federal student aid, due to the elimination of the "Ability to Benefit" (AtB) options by Congress in December 2011. The loss of AtB options threatens the economic mobility of low-skilled adults and youth seeking postsecondary credentials to improve their job prospects. Furthermore, the loss of AtB is particularly harmful to minority students and non-English speakers with a high school diploma in their home country. This brief outlines the provision and why the AtB policy is essential for maintaining access to education and training for low-income, low-skilled students.
- Jan 23, 2012 | Marcie Foster Resources for Developing Workforce Innovation Fund Grant Applications The Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) is a grant competition that will provide state workforce agencies and local workforce boards (or consortia of these groups) a total of $98.5 million to invest in service delivery strategies and/or system-level reform that improve employment and educational outcomes for workers, create efficiencies in the workforce system, and foster strong cooperation across education, training, and human services systems. CLASP has long supported system-level reform and has gathered resources for those applying for funding under the Workforce Innovation Fund
- Jan 20, 2012 TANF Education and Training Resources Due to a combination of TANF work participation rate requirements, various federal regulations, and a general "work first" approach, many states have provided few opportunities for TANF recipients to participate in education and training. However, some states have bucked this trend by creating successful education and training programs in spite of limits imposed by federal rules. This page includes resources that highlight innovative state strategies, opportunities, and CLASP federal policy recommendations on education and training within the TANF program.
- Nov 17, 2011 | Marcie Foster The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act (H.R. 2226) The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act (AEEGA) was introduced in the House of Representatives in June 2011 by Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15). The bill (H.R. 2226) would amend the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to encourage the use and availability of career pathways for low-skilled adults, strengthen the focus of adult education on postsecondary and career success, increase the number of adult education students receiving marketable postsecondary credentials, and modernize the adult education system to meet the needs of 21st century jobs. Although AEEGA could substantially improve WIA - particularly the Title II provisions that govern adult education - it could be strengthened by incorporating stronger provisions that promote better alignment between WIA Titles I and II, including a shared system of accountability.
- Nov 17, 2011 | Vickie Choitz and Julie Strawn CLASP Testimony for the Record on Nontraditional Students On Sept. 30, 2011, the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance held a hearing on higher education regulations and nontraditional students. CLASP submitted comments focusing on the primary barriers to access and persistence for nontraditional students and promising strategies and policies and the role of the federal government in helping nontraditional students in overcoming the barriers.
Sep 20, 2011
American Jobs Act: New Work and Learning Opportunities for Low-Income, Unemployed Adults and Youth
This CLASP analysis of the American Jobs Act examines provisions specifically aimed at those workers most affected by the recession as well as those struggling even before the economy turned sour. In particular, it looks at the $5 billion Pathways Back to Work Fund, which includes three elements that would create work and learning opportunities for thousands of disadvantaged individuals across the country.
- Sep 07, 2011 | Marcie Foster Adult Education and Family Literacy Week: September 12 - 18, 2011 Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is September 12 - 18, 2011. Learn about how you can help spread the word about the importance of an adult education system that prepares low-skilled adults for postsecondary education and family-sustaining careers
- Aug 23, 2011 | Julie Strawn Farther, Faster: Six Promising Programs Show How Career Pathway Bridges Help Basic Skills Students Earn Credentials That Matter 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.
May 24, 2011
Student Success Stories from the Shifting Gears Initiative
The map links to testimonials from students and staff about how state programs developed under the Shifting Gears initiative have enabled adults to access postsecondary education, upgrade their skills, and obtain better family-sustaining jobs. To learn more about the policies that each state is pursuing under the initiative, visit the Shifting Gears web site.
May 09, 2011
| EVENT RESOURCES
Developing America's Workforce: Learning from 40 Years of Workforce Development Policy and Practice to Inform the Next Generation
While employers are beginning to hire again, structural problems in the labor market will continue to keep unemployment levels high in the coming years and limit economic mobility for low-income workers. This high-level bipartisan discussion focused on lessons we can draw from the last four decades of workforce policy to help the nation effectively navigate its immediate and long-term labor market challenges.
- Mar 28, 2011 | Neil Ridley and Evelyn Ganzglass Responding to the Great Recession: How the Recovery Act Boosted Training and Innovation in Three States Two years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act or ARRA) became law, Congress is preparing to take up reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). With its one-time infusion of resources, the Recovery Act nearly doubled federal funding for adult, dislocated worker and youth programs under WIA during 2009-2010 and set national priorities for the public workforce system's response to what is now being described as the Great Recession. The lessons from Recovery Act implementation should inform WIA reauthorization as it proceeds. This report examines the response of three states and local areas to the urgency of the recession, additional funding and the opportunities and challenges afforded by the Recovery Act.
Mar 04, 2011
| Marcie Foster, Julie Strawn, and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield
Beyond Basic Skills: State Strategies to Connect Low-Skilled Students to an Employer-Valued Postsecondary Education
Having a postsecondary education--broadly defined as a credential beyond a high school diploma--continues to be one of the most important factors in getting a good job and advancing in the workforce. Critical federal programs, such as funding for student aid and job training, can help lower-skilled adults and youth access postsecondary education, but important policy choices that support their success and completion can be made at the state and local levels. Beyond Basic Skills describes strategies that state policymakers can use to strengthen connections between basic skills education and postsecondary education to help lower-skilled adults and out-of-school youth attain the postsecondary credentials they need to advance in the labor market.
- Nov 22, 2010 | Vickie Choitz Webinar: Dollars and Sense - Using Federal Resources to Fund Career Pathways and Bridges Since career pathways initiatives intentionally bring together programming and services from a variety of state systems, states must often "braid" together federal funding sources to develop and sustain these efforts. To help states navigate the federal funding landscape, CLASP's Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success has released a new revised edition of Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States.
- Sep 27, 2010 | Vickie Choitz and Marcie Foster Five Strategies to Help Low-Income Adults and Youth Attain Community College Credentials
- Sep 15, 2010 Webinar: Helping Low-Income Adults and Disadvantaged Youth Earn Credentials and Build Careers: Leading Foundations Speak about Policy Priorities
- Sep 09, 2010 | Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield Comments on Department of Education Proposed Regulations on Gainful Employment
- Sep 01, 2010 Announcing the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success
- May 18, 2010 | 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.
- 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
- 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
- Dec 10, 2009 | Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield and Thomas Hilliard Recommendations to Refocus WIA Title II on Career and Postsecondary Success
- Dec 10, 2009 | Evelyn Ganzglass Proposal to Create Career Pathways State Policy Leadership Grants Program
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Sep 16, 2014 | CLASP Poverty Fell in 2013; Children and Young Adults Still Face the Greatest Risks CLASP examines the trends revealed in the Census Bureau's 2013 poverty data, including a decline in poverty among young children.