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Knowledge From the Field: College and Career Preparation

Research Highlights

Identify research that can inform your grantmaking using summaries prepared by the Foundation Center.

Parents’ Attitudes on the Quality of Education in the United States

Associated Press- NORC Center for Public Affairs Research
Agiesta, Jennifer; Benz, Jennifer; Tompson, Trevor
August 2013

Describes the results of a national survey of 1,025 parents of kindergarten through 12th grade students on perceived quality of education in the United States.

Funder(s): Joyce Foundation

The Condition of Education 2013

National Center for Education Statistics
Aud, Susan; Kristapovich, Paul; Rathbun, Amy; Wang, Xiaolei; Wilkinson-Flicker, Sidney; Zhang, Jijun
June 2013

Presents 42 indicators of developments and trends in U.S. education, including population characteristics, participation in education, elementary and secondary education, and postsecondary education.

The Road to Equity: Expanding AP Access and Success for African-American Students

Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
June 2013

Illustrates promising practices to close gaps in AP exam participation and passing rates from six school districts where African-American students are improving their passing rates while keeping participation levels steady.

Opportunity by Design: New High School Models for Student Success

Carnegie Corporation of New York
Hamilton, Leah; Mackinnon, Anne
March 2013

Lays out the rationale for Carnegie Corporation's Opportunity by Design initiative. Analyzes examples to determine what's needed and what's possible in innovative school design.

Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design

Connected Learning Research Network
Mizuko Ito, Kris Gutiérrez, Sonia Livingstone, Bill Penual, Jean Rhodes, Katie Salen, Juliet Schor, Julian Sefton-Green, S. Craig Watkins
January 2013

Presents the education approach of "connected learning" as a response to today's changing economy and media ecology. Describes the core values of connected learning and illustrates them through nine case studies.

Funder(s): John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works

McKinsey Center for Government
Mourshed, Mona; Diana Farrell; Dominic Barton
December 2012

Draws on more than 100 education-to-employment initiatives from 25 countries, and a survey of youth, education providers, and employers implemented in nine countries, to explain the challenges of moving young people from education to employment. Presents successful initiatives and calls for an overhaul of the current dominant model.

Funder(s): none

Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys

Foundation Center
Shah, Seema; Grace Sato
October 2012

Examines eight years of data on U.S. foundation giving in support of black males by issue area, type of support, and geographic area served. Presents a timeline of key developments in philanthropy for black males since 1992 and profiles foundations with innovative strategies and initiatives.

Funder(s): Open Society Foundations

Keeping the Promise of Opportunity: Redesigning Financial Aid to Support Post-Secondary Completion Among Low-Income Young Adults

Cohen, Jeff; Kate Tallant; Fay Hanleybrown; Mukta Pandit
August 2012

Describes obstacles low-income young adults face in trying to access and use financial aid and how current trends in aid are exacerbating these issues. Recommends ways for funders to help structure aid to improve college completion for low-income young adults.

Funder(s): Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

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Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment: Reaching Underachieving and Underrepresented Students with Career-Focused Programs

James Irvine Foundation
Hughes, Katherine L.; Olga Rodriguez; Linsey Edwards; Clive Belfield
July 2012

Provides an overview of a 2008-2011 study of dual-enrollment programs in California that demonstrates how the programs can enhance college and career pathways for low-income youth. Presents student outcomes in detail, as well as examples of effective program strategies and recommendations for state and institutional practice.

Funder(s): James Irvine Foundation

Defunding Higher Education: What Are the Effects on College Enrollment?

Public Policy Institute of California
Johnson, Hans P.
May 2012

Examines the effects of the state's higher education spending cuts on enrollment rates of eligible, highly prepared students at the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges systems. Outlines implications.

Funder(s): Donald Bren Foundation, James Irvine Foundation

Close, but No Degree: Removing Barriers to Degree-Completion and Economic Advancement in New Jersey

Center for Women and Work
McKay, Heather A.; Elizabeth Nisbet
March 2012

Examines current policies, programs, and initiatives designed to facilitate degree completion by offering the option through employment and workforce development services. Recommends increased system alignment, funding, student supports, and flexibility.

Funder(s): Annie E. Casey Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ford Foundation, Joyce Foundation

A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education 2012

Lumina Foundation
March 2012

Assesses progress toward the goal of realizing 60 percent postsecondary degree attainment by 2025. Includes attainment rates by race/ethnicity, rankings by metropolitan area, and state profiles with rates by county, benchmark targets, and projections.

Funder(s): Lumina Foundation for Education

Black Male Student Success in Higher Education: A Report From the National Black Male College Achievement Study

Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at University of Pennsylvania
Harper, Shaun R.
February 2012

Presents insights from successful male African-American college students about how they overcame obstacles that typically disadvantage their peers, including their pre-college experiences and the roles of family members, peers, and significant others.

Funder(s): American College Personnel Association, Lumina Foundation for Education, National Academic Advising Association, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Penn State Children, Youth and Families Consortium, Penn State University Africana Research Center, Penn State University College of Education

Benchmarking 2011: Trends in Education Philanthropy

Grantmakers for Education
December 2011

Based on a survey of GFE members, examines funder characteristics; priorities such as closing the achievement gap; budgets; grantmaking strategies; important emerging trends; and response to public-sector funding cuts.

Funder(s): Target Corporation

Crossing the Finish Line: A National Effort to Address Near Completion

Institute for Higher Education Policy
November 2011

Offers a framework for reengaging students who leave higher education when they are close to obtaining degrees, highlights early findings from regional and national efforts to help near-completion students graduate, and presents promising strategies.

Funder(s): Carnegie Corporation of New York

Opening Doors to Student Success: A Synthesis of Findings From an Evaluation at Six Community Colleges

Scrivener, Susan; Erin Coghlan
March 2011

Summarizes findings from Opening Doors Demonstration programs to raise college completion rates through financial incentives, instructional reforms, including learning communities, and enhancements in targeted student services such as academic counseling.

Funder(s): Carnegie Corporation of New York

A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education 2012

Lumina Foundation
March 2012

Assesses progress toward the goal of realizing 60 percent postsecondary degree attainment by 2025. Includes attainment rates by race/ethnicity, rankings by metropolitan area, and state profiles with rates by county, benchmark targets, and projections.

Funder(s): Lumina Foundation for Education

How Students Are Making It: Perspectives on Getting Through College From Recent Graduates of the Boston Public Schools

Boston Foundation
Stoutland, Sara E.
June 2011

Analyzes public high school graduates' college experiences by level of academic success, including the role of self-management skills, academic advising, and contextual issues related to family, employment, and financial pressures. Makes recommendations.

Funder(s): Boston Foundation

Portraits: Initial College Attendance of Low-Income Young Adults

Institute of Higher Education Policy
June 2011

Analyzes low-income students' initial enrollment in public and private four-year colleges, community colleges, and for-profit schools by gender and race/ethnicity; rates of completion and long-term financial distress by institution type; and implications.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Roadmap for Next-Generation Accountability Systems

Council of Chief State School Officers
June 2011

Offers a framework for designing and implementing state accountability systems that enable consistent, aligned goals to ensure college- and career-readiness; valid measurement, support, and interventions; transparent reporting; and continuous improvement.

Funder(s): Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Roadmap for Ensuring America's Future by Increasing Latino College Completion

Excelencia in Education
March 2011

Outlines policy recommendations at the community, college, state, and federal levels for raising Latino degree attainment rates to help close equity gaps and meet the nation's attainment goals. Includes examples of current efforts and best practices.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education

A Model for Success: CART's Linked Learning Program Increases College Enrollment

Center for Advanced Research and Technology
January 2011

Outlines the Linked Learning model of combining rigorous high school academics with technical learning and real-world experience at the Center for Advanced Research Technology. Presents data on its impact on community college and university enrollment.

Funder(s): Cal-PASS, Clovis Unified School District, Fresno Unified School District, James Irvine Foundation

Innovations in College Access: Including Adult Learners, Strengthening Student Success

Working Poor Families Project
Hilliard, Thomas J.
November 2010

Outlines the College Access Challenge Grant Program to fund state strategies for improving college access and boosting low-income students' attainment. Examines how states have used the grants so far and suggests including adult learning initiatives.

Funder(s): Annie E. Casey Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ford Foundation, Joyce Foundation

Conducting a Scan of Your College Access and Success System

OMG Center for Collaborative Learning
Dougherty, Victoria; Michele Lempa
November 2010

Explains how to design and implement an assessment of local systems' ability to improve college attainment, including needs, assets, and challenges; and how to leverage findings for stakeholder engagement, benchmarking, and strategy development.

Funder(s): John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

From Access to Success: A Funder's Guide to Ensuring More Americans Earn Postsecondary Degrees

Grantmakers for Education
July 2010

Highlights discussions from a May 2010 convening on proven strategies to increase the number of Americans earning a postsecondary degree. Examines barriers and intervention levers at the student, institutional, and policy levels and the role of funders.

Funder(s): Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, TG, USA Funds for Education Endowment, Inc.

Higher Education in California: New Goals for the Master Plan

Public Policy Institute of California
Johnson, Hans P.
April 2010

Calls for policies to raise college completion rates and the portions of high school graduates eligible for state schools and of transfer students receiving bachelor's degrees. Explores issues of equity, funding, college-readiness, and remedial programs.

Funder(s): William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Can I Get a Little Advice Here?: How an Overstretched High School Guidance System Is Undermining Students' College Aspirations

Public Agenda
March 2010

Presents survey findings on the limitations of the public high school guidance system and how perfunctory counseling affects college choice, financial aid, and other outcomes. Calls for in-depth and practical advice, especially for disadvantaged students.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Current Challenges and Opportunities in Preparing Rural High School Students for Success in College and Careers

Alliance for Excellent Education
February 2010

Outlines challenges for rural high schools such as funding inequities and advantages such as parental support. Recommends best practices and policies for improving standards, accountability, student options, teachers, community support, and resources.

Funder(s): Wal-mart Foundation

Policies Paved the Way: Early College Innovation in North Carolina

Jobs for the Future
Vargas, Joel; Jason Quiara
February 2010

Describes how state leaders spurred innovation to raise high school graduation and college-readiness rates through cooperative programs between school boards and community colleges, nonprofit support, and start-up grants. Discusses remaining barriers.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Making Progress Through California Multiple Pathways: Findings From the ConnectEd Network of Schools Evaluation 2007-2008

James Irvine Foundation
September 2009

Summarizes an evaluation of student outcomes at schools using the multiple pathways approach of combining academic learning with technical skills to prepare students for college and careers. Looks at graduation rates, test scores, and student engagement.

Funder(s): James Irvine Foundation

Assessing California's Multiple Pathways Field: Preparing Youth for Success in College and Career

James Irvine Foundation
Howard, Don; Patrick Wu
June 2009

Assesses the state of the multiple pathways model of combining academics with career education and the field's shared identity, standards of practice, knowledge base, leadership and grassroots support, policy support, and funding. Makes recommendations.

Funder(s): James Irvine Foundation

Closing the Expectations Gap 2009

Achieve, Inc.
February 2009

Presents findings from a 2008-09 state-by-state survey of progress in aligning standards, graduation requirements, assessments, data systems, and accountability systems with colleges' and employers' expectations. Charts trends and lists resources.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

What Makes a Difference in the Education of Latino U.S. Students: Learning from the Experience of 13 ENLACE Partnerships

W.K. Kellogg Foundation
May 2007

Summarizes lessons learned from the ENLACE initiative, which the Kellogg Foundation established in 1997 to boost academic achievement, college admissions, and graduation rates among the nation's fast-growing Latino population.

Funder(s): W.K. Kellogg Foundation

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Top Funders and Recipients

Top 50 Foundations Awarding Grants for College and Career Preparation

Top 50 Recipients of Foundation Grants for College and Career Preparation

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Resource Links

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Key Statistics

View charts illustrating elementary/secondary education's share of overall foundation giving and how funding within the field breaks down.
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