Community Colleges are Getting Students Back to Work

As a funder and founder of Education Design Lab, deLaski Family Foundation President Kathleen deLaski decided to “go all in” on reinventing college with an opportunity for disrupting higher education and benefitting many more people. The reason for starting the lab was to focus on various players in the ecosystem, design new models and approaches, and look at their affordability, relevance, portability, and visibility for learners in the new economy. Ten foundations are involved today with 12 projects at scale.

deLaski joined us for The Philanthropy Roundtable’s recent webinar Getting Back to Work: Strategies to Build the Ecosystem, along with Chike Aguh of Education Design Lab, Jessica Greenway from Goodwill San Antonio, and Tinker Duclo of Colorado Mountain College.

Three of the Education Design Lab’s projects were featured or mentioned on the call. The Community College Growth Engine Fund is creating “rapid-response pathways” that demonstrate community colleges’ positions as drivers of innovation between education, employment, and regional economic development. UpSkill SA! is exploring and testing how we might quickly upskill incumbent retail workers for careers in growth sectors that enable social mobility with promising early learnings and outcomes from the field. And BRIDGES Rural explores how we might strengthen the capacity of rural community colleges to serve as critical economic growth engines for their learners and communities by designing, testing, and scaling postsecondary approaches.

The Roundtable has followed the work of community colleges for several years; you can read our recent briefing on the subject here.

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