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This report shows we can tackle barriers to postsecondary opportunities and open doors to socioeconomic advancement. 

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Funded by the Lumina Foundation, Equivolve facilitated programs in Indiana and Alabama to help address the systemic issues that can derail the pursuit of postsecondary education or attainment of professional skills and knowledge. In the postsecondary environment, people can often be stymied by an array of factors, including untapped financial aid eligibility, difficulties transferring college credits between institutions, barriers to accessing apprenticeships, geographic gaps between available resources and the people who could benefit from them, and racism or low awareness of community needs.

"In a time when millions of people need new skills to fill open jobs across the country, the learnings from this report can help guide educators, employers, and government agencies on ways to work together, and help solve the nation's critical labor shortage," said Wendy Sedlak, PhD, Strategy Director for Research and Evaluation, Lumina Foundation. 

Over the course of both programs, the Equivolve team worked with partners to identify challenges in improving the path to postsecondary education and professional development. In both Indiana and Alabama, the two-year effort has generated outcomes that signal the power of partnerships.

  • In

    Alabama , state-based organizations recognized that many students graduate high school without knowing if they are eligible for financial aid. The partners successfully advocated for an update of state school board policy requiring students to complete their financial aid assessment form in order to graduate, to help more eligible students access aid.

  • In

    Indiana, advocates recognized that a lack of data was hindering the ability of the Indiana Talent Network (ITN) to invest in the greatest needs. ITN coordinated with partners around the state to build a new data dashboard that could help illustrate opportunities and inform more targeted grantmaking.

"We know we must establish better postsecondary opportunities for people during the transformative post-high-school years. This report provides the template for success," said Love. "With the right partnerships in place between advocacy organizations, educational organizations and state governments, we can make sure that a graduating student doesn't need to be headed for a four-year college to be headed for success."

The two partnerships will continue with ongoing funding from Lumina Foundation and will serve as a template for other states and regions seeking to replicate the success of the partnership model.

About Equivolve Consulting
Equivolve Consulting is a black-owned, Baltimore-based strategy firm that uses innovative research and evaluation approaches to help leaders and organizations to drive equitable results in the United States and around the world. Equivolve believes in the abundance of human potential existing around the globe, and we understand that everyone does not have access to the resources and opportunities to fully activate this potential. Research, evaluation, and strategy are tools for building systems and structures that facilitate access to these important resources and opportunities. For more information about Equivolve, visit equivolveconsulting.com.

About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. The organization envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation's need for talent through a broad range of credentials. The goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy. www.luminafoundation.org

SOURCE Equivolve Consulting

Related Links

http://www.luminafoundation.org

www.equivolveconsulting.com

Source : https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-report-finds-clear-opportunities-to-address-equity-gaps-in-postsecondary-education-and-professional-development-301416088.html

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