Building on Alabama Possible’s success developing and implementing Alabama’s Cash for College program, Alabama Possible is working with the National College Attainment Network to convene a statewide network focused on the transition from high school to and through postsecondary education. We are shifting from direct service activities to a business model based on providing capacity building, technical assistance, consulting, workshops, training, conferences, advocacy, and research to educators, community-based organizations, and policymakers to drive equitable increases in postsecondary attainment.
Approximately 20 states have statewide college access networks. Alabama currently has no such statewide coordinated effort. Alabama has come together as a state around Success Plus and its target of adding 500,000 highly-skilled workers by 2025; however, linkages between K-12 and postsecondary education opportunities remain fragmented.
In this work, college includes both technical and academic educational pathways that result in valuable postsecondary credentials. Our goal is to make the transition from high school to gainful and meaningful employment a reality for Alabama’s youth.
As the convener of this statewide network, Alabama Possible is:
- Giving local partners the tools to implement and expand initiatives including Cash for College, Decision Day, College Application Campaign, and Complete College Alabama;
- Supporting local college access networks, such as the United Way of Central Alabama’s Bold Goals Coalition and the Mobile Area Education Foundation and facilitate the creation of new local college access networks;
- Creating an infrastructure to connect the educational and workforce development efforts of the Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Community College System, and Alabama Commission of Higher Education, and Alabama Department of Commerce with community-based organizations, students, and families to build long-term continuity and improve outcomes.
Establishment of this network is expected to be phased in over several years, during which Alabama Possible expects to:
- Organize an annual college access and success conference, providing opportunities to collaborate across institutions and organizations and offer professional development opportunities for educators;
- Provide statewide leadership and advocacy for educational access and workforce development; and
- Support and provide training and other assistance to existing local education and workforce networks and workforce development programs, while also establishing new programs and initiatives to support college access and completion.