Career and technical education programs are trying to address challenges faced by disadvantaged students, particularly Black students and other students of color. Access is only part of the path to equity as these programs focus on inclusive workplace environments, meaningful mentorships, and language that emphasizes strengths rather than real or presumed deficits.
Many schools are using technology-based tools to generate career recommendations and supplement the capabilities of their guidance departments. MDRC has partnered with two technology companies to test whether their career-advising software programs are viable tools for equitably supporting students as they identify and pursue future careers.
Amid keen interest in helping students, young adults, and low-wage workers build the skills necessary to succeed in a technologically advanced economy, MDRC is studying a range of programs that feature employer involvement, such as career pathways from high school into college and the workforce, work-based learning, apprenticeships, and sectoral training.
School closures have left many high school students without in-person access to the advisers and counselors they were relying on to help them transition to college. Crystal Byndloss offers resources from MDRC’s College Match Project to help advisers provide virtual assistance.
Reflections on Running the College Match Program
In this commentary originally published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, MDRC’s Crystal Byndloss offers lessons from our College Match demonstration in Chicago and New York, which helped college-ready, low-income high school students choose selective colleges that matched their academic profiles, financial considerations, and personal needs.
A Case Study of PACE Center for Girls
MDRC worked closely with PACE in evaluating its program for girls. As an organization dedicated to continuous improvement, PACE used the implementation research findings to refine its services in several ways. This issue focus summarizes the study and the partnership and explains how the program applied some of the lessons.
In this two-page issue focus, four advisers from MDRC’s College Match project describe how serving as “near-peer” advisers to moderate- and high-achieving high school students from low-income families influenced their own career trajectories.
Promoting Knowledge, Sharing Advice, and Giving Support
In this two-page issue focus, five advisers from MDRC’s College Match project reflect on the range of issues facing the students they advised, and describe their efforts to provide informed advice and encouragement to students who may unknowingly underestimate their college options.
Insights from the College Match Pilot Program
Research has shown that nationally, between 10 percent and 40 percent of high school graduates who intend to go to college don’t enroll the following fall. In this Issue Focus, former College Match advisers describe strategies they used to combat this “summer melt.”