Giving Compass’ Take:
• Ricardo López explains how the Dallas County Promise program is effectively working to close the career readiness skills gap in the Dallas Fort Worth region.
• How can other regions learn from this program? What do career readiness skills look like in your area?
• Read about ways to boost college and career readiness.
The Dallas County Promise philosophy is this: If we can help all students—every one—build a career readiness plan that’s both exciting and realistic for them, we can come together as a community to help them obtain the financial aid and other support they need to make their dreams a reality. The goal as we see it is something we call “60x30TX,” or 60 percent of Texas adults ages 25-34 will hold a degree by 2030. Our solution has a lot to do with data, namely the way it’s collected and leveraged across disparate systems.
The first year of piloting this program was a huge group effort. We had countless discussions as a committee, and the Garland ISD IT team devoted a substantial amount of effort to achieving data interoperability, or the ability for data from one system to talk to another. We worked closely with Ed-Fi, a nonprofit alliance active in this area, so that student information like test scores and grades could flow securely from multiple systems into one dashboard for our counselors, who could begin using it to inform their decision making.
By the end of that first pilot year, it was evident that the work would pay off. We saw a 30 percent increase in area students enrolled at the University of North Texas and Dallas Community College District and a 6 percent increase in enrollment in colleges nationwide. The state of Texas also ranked No. 4 in the nation for FAFSA completion
We felt these successes directly at Garland ISD, and in the second pilot year, we brought two more of our high schools into the program. Last year produced even more promising results, including a 7 percent increase in FAFSA completions and $4.5 million dollars in new PELL grant dollars awarded to Dallas area students. By then, Texas was ranked No. 2 in the nation for FAFSA completion.
Read the full article about closing the career readiness skills gap by Ricardo López at EdSurge.
Learning and benchmarking are key steps towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact on Employment take a look at these selections from Giving Compass.
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If you are interested in Employment, please see these relevant Issue Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects where you can get involved.