OVAE Goals for 2010–11
Secretary Duncan has said, "Education is the only sure path out of poverty and the only way to achieve a more equal and just society." With a focus on this relationship between education and economic opportunity, we at OVAE are committed to:
- supporting rigorous programs of study, funded by the Carl D. Perkins Act, that prepare young people for college and careers through postsecondary credentials completion;
- serving 93 million adults in the U.S. whose basic or below-basic literacy levels limit their career opportunities, through funding from WIA Title II and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act; and
- improving the capacity of our community colleges to meet today's education and labor market demands.
To achieve these ends, we have developed three goals for 2011–12:
GOAL 1: All youths and adults are ready for, have access to, and complete college and career pathways.
GOAL 2: All youths and adult students have effective teachers and leaders.
GOAL 3: All youths and adult students have equitable access to high-quality learning opportunities on demand.
Enhancing our approach to career and technical education to prepare students for high-growth careers, we are particularly supportive of rigorous, relevant programs of study that span the secondary and postsecondary systems and that apply classroom-based instruction and work-based learning to meet academic, employability, and technical industry standards. This systemic approach relies on partnerships among K–12 schools, institutions of higher education, and employers.
We are also committed to strengthening our adult education system to prepare adults for college and 21st century careers. We will create stronger linkages with the workforce system, require the use of college- and career-ready standards, and increase employer engagement in career pathway models. We support improving teacher quality and effectiveness, evident at the first-ever Adult Education Symposium on Teacher Quality and Effectiveness in October. We also support innovation in adult education, especially through college and career pathways.
To reach the president's goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, significantly more degrees must be earned by adult learners. Community colleges will play a central role by serving at least 8 million additional college students in the next decade. In support of this goal, we helped facilitate the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges in October, and we are partnering with our colleagues at the Department of Labor on a $2 billion investment to increase community colleges' capacity to connect adult learners to career pathways. OVAE's community college initiatives are designed to:
- build public support for community colleges as centers of innovation and providers of excellent education and training that are affordable and accessible to all Americans;
- facilitate the dissemination of timely and actionable guidance on community college education for teachers, administrators, students, parents, and employers; and
- promote the development of strategies that support students in the completion of their postsecondary certification and degree programs.
Funding Career Pathways Tool Kit Available
A new federal policy tool kit, Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States, is available to help state interagency teams identify and use federal resources to support career pathways and bridges for out-of-school youths and adults. Developed by CLASP's Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, the tool kit aims to help states understand key tasks involved in developing, implementing, and maintaining career pathways and bridges; identify how federal resources can support these tasks; and perceive needed state policy changes or actions.
$1.9 Million Walmart Grant to North Carolina Colleges to Support Adult Transitions
Jobs for the Future (JFF) recently announced that it will expand its successful Breaking Through initiative at community colleges in North Carolina using a two-year, $1.9 million grant from The Walmart Foundation. Breaking Through is a multiyear demonstration project to strengthen postsecondary outcomes for low-income adults. JFF will assist in developing occupational and technical pathways for the growing number of adult students as well as improve counseling across Breaking Through colleges and their youth-serving community-based partners. Participating colleges intend to enroll at least 1,000 adult students in programs specifically designed to help them advance through college coursework. The participating colleges are: Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (Hudson); Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte); College of the Albemarle (Elizabeth City); Davidson County Community College (Lexington); Durham Technical Community College (Durham); Fayetteville Community College (Fayetteville); and South Piedmont Community College (Polkton).
Breaking Through operates at 35 community colleges in 18 states, with state-level community college networks in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Michigan.