Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

New Think Tank Program Focuses on Nontraditional Learners: Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Advocates for Policies and Funding for Low-Income Adults

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

New Think Tank Program Focuses on Nontraditional Learners: Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Advocates for Policies and Funding for Low-Income Adults

Article excerpt

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), a nonprofit research and advocacy group, has launched a new Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success (C-PES), which will advocate for policies, funding and political support to increase the number of low-income adults and disadvantaged youth who earn postsecondary credentials.

CLASP Workforce Development Director Evelyn Ganzglass says that historically more emphasis has been on helping low-income students just coming out of high school become better prepared for college admission and graduation.

"We did not see enough work being done for low-income adults, people working in low-income jobs and people who may not have a high school diploma who really need to get better credentials to get better jobs," Ganzglass says of CLASP's research in this area. Although many organizations have some focus on this area, C-PES is the only organization that will focus solely on it. Grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates, Joyce and Ford foundations fund the center.

Dr. Michelle Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, applauds this new initiative, particularly because the center will focus exclusively on low-income and disadvantaged workers. Cooper sits on the center's advisory board.

"The fact that they work closely with and have developed allies and partnerships with other key organizations will help to leverage their work and ensure that the efforts are integrated in various policies and services across the board for students," she says.

The center will target low-income adults and disadvantaged youth, with a particular focus on what Ganzglass described as "dropout" and "disconnected" youths. C-PES aims to ensure that those groups are given access to associate and bachelor's degrees and certificate and apprenticeship programs that lead to credentials that have value in the labor market. …

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