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ECMC Foundation at Jobs for the Future's 2018 Horizons Conference

June 08, 2018


Join ECMC Foundation's Maggie Snyder as she and our grantee partners, Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) and Jeremiah Program, discuss single mother's postsecondary education and career pathways.

Session Description: High-quality postsecondary credentials are increasingly required to secure employment and strengthen family economic security. Yet, despite the transformative power of higher education and training, single student mothers have disproportionately low rates of college completion: just 28 percent graduate with a credential within six years of enrolling in college. Through an interactive discussion among the ECMC Foundation, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), and Jeremiah Program, we will explore the policy, institutional, and programmatic shifts that can improve single mothers access to and success in education and training. A review of data describing single student mothers and discussion of findings from a recent IWPR study will shed light on the quantifiable benefits of investing in these students educational success. We will also explore challenges, opportunities, and effective strategies for promoting single mother family success through a holistic, two-generation approach pioneered by the Jeremiah Program, including a first-hand perspective from one of the Program’s graduates.


  • Maggie Snyder, Program Officer, ECMC Foundation
  • Gloria Perez, President and CEO, Jeremiah Program
  • Christine Smith, Former Participant, Jeremiah Program
  • Lindsey Reichlin Cruse, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

To learn more about IWPR and Jeremiah Program and their stories before the session, read our latest grantee spotlight: College Degree Presents a Pathway from Poverty to Prosperity for Single Mom and Her Family.

Meet ECMC Foundation Grantees at Horizons

Many of ECMC Foundation’s grantee partners from both our College Success and Career Readiness portfolios will be attending Horizons this year. The following is a list of organizations in our grantee community who will be there:

Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads the nation’s largest non-governmental community college reform network. In 2016, ATD received funding to support the development and implementation of an organization-wide communications strategy. ATD’s goal is to customize digital engagement with key audiences and to align objectives and outcomes.

Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) creates and manages effective learning and assessment strategies for adults, with a special focus on lower-skilled workers and those who do not have easy access to postsecondary education. In 2016, CAEL received funding to generate broader workforce system-wide knowledge of, support for, and policy to promote Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) as a method for increasing post-secondary credential attainment for workforce system participants

Genesys Works equips and empowers students with the knowledge and skills required to achieve college and career success through four-interlocking components: professional and technical skills training; a paid, year-long, corporate internship; college and career coaching; and alumni support through college and transition to career. In 2017, Genesys Works received funding to pursue enhancements to their alumni program, which exists to bridge the achievement gap for alumni by providing focused support services that address the academic and skills disparities found in the communities served.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) conducts quantitative, qualitative and policy analysis on women’s issues. In 2016, IWPR received funding to analyze the costs and benefits of investing in postsecondary education and related support services for single mothers. IWPR identified the costs and benefits of investments in credential and degree programs through a review of existing literature, an analysis of postsecondary education and compilation of program costs. The research findings are available here.

Jeremiah Program is a national nonprofit dedicated to transforming families headed by single mothers from poverty to prosperity by offering a suite of two-generation supports with a focus on higher education. In 2017, Jeremiah Program received funding to conduct an environmental scan in each of its communities to assess emerging social, economic, and labor market trends and identify existing local programs and institutions that offer credit-bearing, short-term credentials in career and technical education fields. Jeremiah will also develop more sophisticated financial modeling tools to integrate financial systems that guide the business plan and inform strategic decisions for the organization.

Jobs for the Future (JFF) develops innovative career pathways, educational resources and public policies that increase college readiness and career success to build a more highly skilled workforce and strengthen the economy. Between 2015-2017, JFF received funding to:

  • Launch the Accelerating Career and Technical Education initiative on four community college campuses, where it seeks to extend and enhance basic skills delivery with technical training, supplemental instruction, enhanced student supports and stackable credentials.
  • Identify a research framework for how best to structure competency-based education (CBE) for underprepared students.
  • Expand the Competency-Based Education program (CBE) by focusing research on how CBE designs could integrate career readiness strategies. JFF’s goal is to increase the field’s knowledge of and interest in research and design principles to promote responsibly built CBE models for underprepared learners.
  • Pilot dual enrollment scaling strategy at two school districts (Denver Public Schools and in Minnesota) to growing sufficient numbers of credentialed teachers for dual credit programs at high schools.

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) equips leaders to better prepare children and youth for college, careers, and citizenship. In 2018, IEL received funding for a three-year initiative designed to expand and implement career pathways for adults by linking community schools, community colleges, and employers through the Career Pathways Challenge. IEL will select ten teams from communities across the United States, provide technical assistance around career pathway design, hold a design camp and Career Pathways Festival, and select three winners who will receive specialized assistance in implementing and sustaining their pathway programs.

LeadersUp aligns employer demand with reliable and cost-effective talent pipelines by connecting youth with the opportunity to pursue high-quality credentials that can lead to career advancement and wage progression. In 2016, LeadersUp received funding to expand their current programming to place youth in entry-level positions with opportunities to earn stackable credentials and certificates at community colleges or community-based partner programs that place them on a managerial track.

MDC works with policymakers, grassroots community leaders, business people, educators and nonprofits to solve social, financial and educational problems for underserved people in the American South. In 2016, MDC received funding to conduct a one-time research project centered on transfer policies for low-income students. The report, available here, makes recommendations for state postsecondary systems to improve institutional capacity around helping students transfer from community colleges to four-year institutions so they can secure living-wage work.

MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization that manages national, large-scale demonstrations and evaluations focused on postsecondary education. Developed in 2007 by the City University of New York, Accelerated Study in Associate Programs improves the graduation and time-to-degree rates for low-income community college students through an integrated three-year package of financial, academic and support services. In 2016, MDRC received funding to continue implementation and rigorous evaluation of ASAP Ohio programs at three community colleges.

One Million Degrees (OMD) supports highly motivated, low-income community college students to complete their degrees and position themselves for long-term success in the workforce by embedding personal, academic, financial and professional supports at the City Colleges of Chicago. In 2017, OMD received funding to:

  • Create a new role, Director of Career Transitions who will be focused on the research, design and initial implementation of workforce readiness and transition components.
  • Plan and implement its national expansion strategy. The goal is to develop a robust strategy for exploring and pursuing partnerships with community colleges and employers across the country to advance college completion and successful transitions for community college students.

World Education, Inc. (WEI) provides training and technical assistance across a wide array of sectors worldwide. One of its six centers, the National College Transition Network (NCTN) builds the capacity of states’ basic education and community college systems to prepare adults for postsecondary education, training, and careers. In 2017, WEI’s NCTN received funding to investigate viable and scalable programs and policies that prepare single mothers for success in career pathways.

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