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Welcome New ECMC Foundation Grantees and Investees - OVER $14 MILLION IN NEW GRANTS

An Announcement from Lynn Alvarez, Vice President, Programs and Strategy

November 11, 2022

As part of our commitment to strengthening higher education for career success among underserved populations through evidence-based innovation, ECMC Foundation is proud to announce a new series of grants and investments made from May 12, 2022, to November 4, 2022. This round of recently approved grants and investments aims to improve postsecondary career and technical education (CTE), accelerate student success and advance critical education-to-career pathways. The total funding is $14,237,998.

A selection of grants and investments made are detailed below. For a full list of the Foundation’s active and inactive grants, please visit ECMC Foundation’s website at

American Council on Education ($1,000,000) to begin its revision of the Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education. The goal is to develop, pilot and implement a student social and economic mobility measure that will incentivize colleges and universities to devote resources toward learner-focused activities such as college completion and post-collegiate workforce success.

Aspen Institute ($820,000) to publish national and state-level data on transfer student outcomes for the first time and use the data to engage 10-15 state leaders through technical assistance, convenings and actionable research and tools. The goal is to accelerate transfer reform by increasing awareness of racial equity gaps in transfer student outcomes for two- and four-year institutions across the country.

Beyond12 ($800,000 grant) to implement technological upgrades for its MyCoach Student Success Platform, including the integration of GradGuru. The goal is to expand its reach with community colleges and higher education institutions and validate its evolving model’s impact on student outcomes, which will position the organization for national scale.

Breakthrough Collaborative ($400,000) to codify and scale their college success program to better support their network. The goal is to identify the baseline components of a college success program and build the capacity of their National Office to provide technical assistance to sites that are developing a new program.

Capital IDEA Houston ($500,000) to expand Upskilling Mobility Services by increasing employer partnerships and adding four new career pathway programs. The goal is to build capacity for Upskilling Mobility Services to increase the number of graduates with a certificate or associate degree and job placement in an in-demand industry.

California State University Northridge Foundation ($450,000) to address the increased demand for mental health services among students and strengthen the regional infrastructure of mental wellness services across the California State University (CSU) system. The goal is to increase institutional capacity; identify best practices that are replicable throughout the system; and identify ways to sustain the newly implemented programs and services within CSU.

College Track ($500,000) to redesign and implement their College & Career Success Program, the second half of their 10-year holistic college completion program that supports scholars from ninth grade through college graduation. The goal is to increase the percentage of College Track scholars that are thriving on four-year college campuses, earning bachelor’s degrees and pursuing careers that lead to long-term social mobility.

EdSource ($75,000) to report on California’s public colleges and universities, particularly California Community Colleges and California State University (CSU), which have the largest postsecondary student enrollment in the nation. EdSource will use diverse storytelling methods — including podcasts, video, and virtual roundtable discussions — to engage a broad audience and incorporate student and stakeholder voices.

Foundation for California Community Colleges ($500,000) to increase the capacity and support for the Associate Degree for Transfer Intersegmental Implementation Committee. The goal is to ensure that the committee meets its legislation goals including defining the terms to scale and implement associate degree for transfer (ADT) across the state.

Higher Learning Advocates ($150,000) to launch a targeted campaign to help improve the postsecondary success of student parents, and in particular, single mothers. The goal is to raise public awareness of programs and policies to help increase the associate degree attainment of single mother students.

Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) ($75,000) to conduct a review of all Higher Education Act (HEA) programs currently administered by the US Department of Education (ED) that support equitable college access and success outcomes for Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, AAPI and low-income students. The goal is to provide ED with recommendations identifying the most efficient and impactful ways of spending HEA program evaluation dollars allocated by Congress in the fiscal 2022 omnibus appropriations bill.

Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media ($75,000) to produce high-impact, immersive journalism and data analysis examining current issues in post-secondary education, including the systemic barriers that create gaps in degree attainment and career success for low-income learners and students of color.

National College Attainment Network ($625,000) to support its “Whole Student Through Mental Health and Wellbeing” project. The goal is to assist six member organizations with assessing their mental health and wellness strategies and to offer professional development on mental health and wellness strategies to all member organizations.

National Public Radio ($150,000) to sustain its postsecondary education journalism. The goal is to continue reporting on issues affecting postsecondary students, faculty, administrators, and communities throughout the country and produce more than 150-200 stories on postsecondary education over the course of the grant period.

Opportunity America Educational Fund ($75,000) to design, fund, and recruit states to participate in a Policy Academy to help state higher education agencies standardize data definitions, data collection practices, and data reporting processes for skills-centered noncredit programs that bridge to traditional academic credentials. The goal is to position OA to launch the Policy Academy focused on improving the integration of noncredit, job-focused programs to better serve students as a gateway to degrees and economic mobility.

Raise The Barr ($100,000) to launch a pilot project with Long Beach City College (LBCC) to provide stable housing and wraparound support services for 10 single mother students and their children and work with LBCC to offer on-campus programming to 100 additional single mother students. The goal is to demonstrate a proof of concept to bring this model to scale at community colleges across the state of California.

RAND Corporation ($499,835) to conduct research and analyze student outcomes for women, racial/ethnic minorities and low-income populations in the Computer Science and Information Technology (CS/IT) technician pipeline in Ohio and use the learnings to provide technical assistance to the Ohio Department of Education. This project will identify a set of demographic and educational factors of successful CS/IT candidates, explore their application in completion strategies, and understand links between education and subsequent wage outcomes in the CS/IT technician pipeline in order to expand and diversify Ohio’s CS/IT pipeline.

Inside Track ($660,000) to partner with California Competes, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), and ProjectAttain! to launch a collaborative effort, titled California Reconnect, to support the re-enrollment of thousands of former students, by partnering with up to 30 two- or four-year institutions of higher education within the South San Joaquin Valley, Inland Empire and Sacramento region. The goal of this project is to help former California students return to college to complete their credentials and put them on a path to program completion, improved employment opportunities and economic upward mobility.

The Century Foundation ($200,000) to help 12 community colleges grow their manufacturing programs by identifying additional funding, securing employer partners, and increasing the number of students ― especially Black, Latinx, Indigenous and Asian students ― enrolled in manufacturing programs. The goal is to develop a set of recommendations for public and private funders, employers and community colleges interested in growing manufacturing education and training programs and increasing their impact by employing culturally competent and trauma-informed approaches as they scale their programs.

The Hechinger Report ($75,000) to report, write, and publish feature stories on higher education issues. The goal is to produce compelling, long-form higher education news stories, employing photography, video and data visualizations to elevate findings that promote student college success and career readiness. Hechinger is especially interested in postsecondary reporting as it pertains to students of color, first-generation students, and nontraditional students in their efforts to attain learning beyond high school.

The Institute for Citizens & Scholars ($250,000) to launch the College Presidents’ Leadership Consortium on Civic Learning. The goal is to create a consortium of college and university presidents who represent different segments of higher education and points of view who can re-center civic learning in postsecondary education in ways that strengthen campus public discourse and democracy.

The Ohio State University ($499,913) to offer financial support and non-academic programming at four community colleges (Brookhaven College, Odessa College, San Jacinto College, and Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology) offering the ASSET program, evaluate the program enhancements, and share the learnings. The goal is to understand what conditions increase the number of students of color and female students that graduate with an associate degree and secure automotive technician roles.

United Negro College Fund ($740,250) to launch the Accelerating Baseline Capacities in Data for Student Success initiative, a program that will assist Historically Black Colleges and Universities in establishing a culture of data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement. The goal is to enable participating HBCUs to improve their data management and analysis capabilities to better serve and support their students.

University of Central Missouri ($450,000) to pilot and evaluate competency-based curriculums for students with disabilities enrolled in postsecondary CTE programs at three community colleges in Missouri. The goal is to develop a sustainable program model for students with disabilities to earn postsecondary credentials in CTE programs.

Vassar College ($410,000) to forge a national network of highly selective liberal arts colleges and community colleges (HSLACs). The goal is to enhance the capacity for and effectiveness of collaboration between these two institutional sectors of higher education to prepare more community college students for transfer to HSLACs, using Vassar’s Exploring Transfer program (and related programs) as a key institutional strategy.

Virginia Foundation for Community College Education ($583,000) to launch College Attainment for Parent Scholars (CAPS), an initiative to help five community colleges implement integrated supports for low-income student parents (especially single mother students), evaluate student parent needs and retention outcomes, and scale learnings across the system. The goal is to improve persistence and completion rates and increase earnings by 200% or more above poverty level within six months of graduation for single mother students.

Education Innovation Ventures Investments

EdVisorly ($250,000) to build out its engineering and sales functions, which will help it expand beyond current pilots and begin selling to institutional partners. Ultimately, EdVisorly’s goal is to improve postsecondary outcomes for underrepresented students by building a more equitable community college-to-four-year transfer process.

Edquity ($500,000) to continue its steady expansion in the higher education market and prove concept with social safety net programs. The company plans to use the funds to build out a municipality platform while positioning its core Emergency Aid for College Students product for long-term sustainability. The goal is to streamline access to the safety net for postsecondary students and vulnerable Americans by providing fast, dependable, and equitable emergency cash transfers.

Reinvestment Fund ($750,000) to identify best practices for supporting HBCUs in deploying flexible debt capital and offer technical assistance resources for financing and making capital improvements. The goal is to help HBCUs get the resources they need to better serve their students, faculty, and staff while deepening their community impact.

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