Jobs for the Future
Policy Recommendations that Support Postsecondary Credential Completion
“Framing the Opportunity” for States and Institutions to Advance Equity
A recent report by Jobs For the Future (JFF) estimates that up to 100 million individuals are underserved by various systems in our society: education, workforce, social services, and criminal justice. “Framing the Opportunity” provides policy recommendations for states and institutions to advance equity of educational and economic outcomes for these underserved populations — specifically, immigrants, justice-involved individuals, and “opportunity youth,” or young people ages 16 to 24 who are disconnected from school and work. Ultimately, these policy recommendations seek to drive change in postsecondary education by creating a culture of “completion, inclusion, inquiry, and collaboration.”
The first step above all policy levers? “Start asking the difficult questions about who is succeeding in existing programs and structures and who is not,” the report says. There must be a strong statewide commitment to identifying and addressing systemic barriers to college completion for underserved populations. The authors call for postsecondary systems to disaggregate data by race and ethnicity as well as immigration status, history of justice involvement, and other indicators of historically underserved populations, to identify and address achievement gaps.
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