Goal 1 Initiatives


Goal 1

Prepare our most vulnerable students and graduates of 2020-2023 for security and success in the post-pandemic economy

  • Work+ Arizona State University

    Work+ is designed by University College at Arizona State University on the premise that work and learning should be better integrated. Work+ fundamentally redesigns student employment so that it aligns to a student's career goals. Student work presents the ideal platform for student professional and personal growth. It provides a life transformative education that develops their sense of identity, agency, and purpose.

  • Baylor University has made a strong commitment to improving degree completion among underrepresented students who dropped out or did not return to the university. In order to facilitate students finishing their education at Baylor, the initiative will offer specialized support for non-returning students, including tailored outreach programs, robust career pathways, and continued check-ins each semester.

  • Boston University's new 'Launch Your Career: Job Search During a Pandemic' initiative is a self-paced Blackboard-based course designed to provide seniors, recent alumni, and interested juniors with career-search skills, tools for resiliency, finance and time management tips, resources for succeeding in the virtual world, and advice about connecting to BU alumni and others for mentoring, career development and potential internship opportunities. As the pandemic alters professional opportunities and learning experiences, and heightens student and young alumni concerns about their future, this initiative will connect students with timely resources to help shape and plan for their career.

  • Employ NV Career Hubs are designed to address the changing demands of Nevada's economy by launching six one-stop career reskilling centers across Southern Nevada, connecting trained students with high-demand skills to employers who need them. These career centers – strategically located in regions where traditionally underserved communities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 economic crisis – provide a comprehensive approach to reskilling, offering credential opportunities, job placement, and accelerated degree programs. By providing students with the training and skills needed to enter a new, technologically-driven workforce, the initiative serves both CSN's diverse student body and employers across Southern Nevada and the State.

  • Keep Exploring Duke University

    Keep Exploring is an initiative designed to create connections, facilitate learning opportunities, and foster professional experiences among current Duke students and recent graduates. Originally a response to the impact of COVID-19 on the job market, the initiative has evolved into a long-term engagement plan, matching students with alumni and parent sponsors for professional opportunities in their areas of interest. Post-pandemic, the Keep Exploring initiative will continue connecting students to professional mentors, as well as begin to build a structure of financial support for unpaid work experiences.

  • Scholarship for Unpaid Internships George Mason University

    George Mason University's Scholarship for Unpaid Internships initiative seeks to help students pursuing career fields that traditionally offer unpaid internships. With a significant part of George Mason's student body navigating school as a first-generation student or providing financial support for their families, these scholarships enable students to experience internships that will provide a crucial basis for launching careers upon graduation, particularly during the pandemic.

  • The Career Alliance @ Georgia Tech Georgia Institute of Technology

    The Career Alliance @ Georgia Tech is an initiative designed to ensure full and equal access to career readiness experiences for all Georgia Tech students.  This program augments existing efforts to prepare students for careers by providing focused support to students who have not received sustained career preparation support or have faced historical institutional barriers that hindered their full participation and preparation for success in today’s competitive job market. 

  • Data-Driven Career Roadmaps Georgia State University

    Building on the Steppingblocks® career platform, the Data-Driven Career Roadmaps initiative will make relevant, real-time career exploration data accessible to all Georgia State students, enhancing students' abilities to view real career roadmaps and plan for the future. With access to dynamic data about alumni job outcomes in every discipline, students can conduct their own career search, identify alumni to connect with, and engage in data-driven career mentoring with trained faculty.

  • Cocurricular Record (My Spartan Story) Michigan State University

    "Going to college" is more than just the aggregate of a student's experience in the classroom, and therefore official academic transcript records are an incomplete record of achievement. At Michigan State University, the co-curricular record is designed to allow students to share their college experiences and accomplishments with future employers, positioning students to compete for meaningful and rewarding jobs.

  • NYU Creative Careers Campaign New York University

    NYU’s Creative Careers Campaign is a comprehensive effort to connect students in arts-based majors to opportunities to leverage their talents in a range of growing industries from technology to healthcare and education. At a moment when traditional pathways into creative careers have been interrupted by the pandemic, this program will expose students to adjacent career opportunities that enable them to both thrive and contribute as artists while earning a living. Ultimately, this initiative will benefit both students and employers who seek diverse and creative talent for jobs of the future.

  • Achieve Career Excellence (ACE) Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA)

    Achieve Career Excellence (ACE) is designed to make professional credentials accessible to students through building “career” bridges, while offering coaching, mentoring and counseling services. Over the past decade, demand for industry-recognized certifications among employers has greatly increased, and NOVA workforce has identified and examined in-demand validated credentials that will ensure students get hired. To alleviate the burden of cost, as students often can't afford to take those credentialing exams, ACE fills that need by subsidizing the exam fees required by professional certifications for qualified students. This will give students a leg up in the hiring process by ensuring they are both academically prepared and professionally credentialed as they enter the job market. NOVA will be committing over $1 million towards launching this effort to ensure that students are employment ready.

  • Pathways to Opportunity Portland Community College

    Pathways to Opportunity closes opportunity gaps and increases economic mobility across Oregon by connecting low-income individuals to the resources they need to complete college and move into careers.  Led by PCC, a coalition of Oregon’s 17 community colleges, Department of Human Services, state agencies, and other anti-poverty groups are partnering to transform policies and programs. Increasing access to benefits and resources is key to addressing basic needs insecurity and increasing college credential completion and economic mobility for low-income, rural, and students of color. 

  • Unsung Heroes Rio Salado College

    In partnership with CommonSpirit Health, Rio Salado College will design stackable, micro-credential pathways and short-term skills training to reduce unemployment, underemployment, and high turnover rates in frontline roles across seven geographic locations of the organization. These work-based learning opportunities will serve to attract and retain minority populations and primarily new-to-college/first generation adult learners. Long-term success will create social mobility by bridging new students and graduates with internship and career opportunities in healthcare.

  • In order to meet the needs of SNHU's underserved student population, this initiative will create a strategic plan designed to implement more affordable and accessible programming by the Fall of 2023. The initiative involves crafting a new business model that addresses the delivery of accessible education, the interoperability of SNHU across systems, and the usability of the physical campus as an asset to reach the goal of enrolling 4,500 total students.

  • $10 Million Beyond Completion Challenge Strada Education Network

    The $10 million Beyond Completion Challenge partners with Taskforce institutions and provides vital funding to launch, test, and scale innovations that improve career and life opportunities after graduation for more students, especially for those who have faced the greatest barriers to success.

  • CUNY and the New York Jobs CEO Council Initiative The City University of New York (CUNY)

    CUNY and the New York Jobs CEO Council are addressing how to better align local New York City talent with over 20 of the fastest-growing occupations among 27 of New York City’s largest employers. The initiative is developing career- and industry-aligned curricula and work-based learning pipelines that prepare students for good jobs. The effort will connect underrepresented students to training, credentialing, and work-based learning, with a goal of hiring 100,000 students, at least 25,000 of them from CUNY, at the Council's member firms.

  • Fast Track will aim to address inequities in immediate career outcomes, or the time between graduation and being hired and assigned a starting salary. The initiative will benefit first-generation college graduates and members of underserved minority groups that experience income disparity in any academic discipline or career field. The initiative will also be opened to any interested student planning to graduate in majors other than Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Nursing or other career-specific majors. Fast Track success will include increasing the number of students who graduate with specific digital and people skills in-demand in the entry level employment marketplace.

  • Connecting Carolina's Covenant Scholars The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Building on the keystone Carolina Covenant program, the Connecting Carolina's Covenant Scholars initiative will support students from traditionally vulnerable groups to build networks, access professional degrees, and create pathways into a wide array of industries. The initiative will have two tracks: one focused on connecting students with alumni mentors, and the second focused on bridging industry partners and their professional opportunities to qualified students. Taken in tandem, these two tracks will support Carolina Covenant scholars to expand their professional networks, showcase their unique talents, and pitch their marketability to industry partners in the Research Triangle area.

  • Texas Credentials for the Future The University of Texas System

    Recognizing the growing demand for short-term credentials among employers and education consumers, the Texas Credentials for the Future initiative will facilitate the expansion and development of industry-recognized credentials offered by UT’s eight academic institutions. Recent college graduates, particularly those among minority communities, as well as workers without credentials beyond a high school diploma have faced unusually high unemployment rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative is designed to bring credentialing opportunities to current students, recent alumni, and displaced workers, making them more competitive in this tight and evolving job market and enhancing their value to employers statewide.

  • For Utah Success The University of Utah

    Launched by the University of Utah, the For Utah Success initiative supports access to and completion of a college degree for students who are Pell-eligible with a full tuition and fees scholarship for four years. The initiative is aimed at helping underrepresented students at the University of Utah, most of whom will be first-generation students. Success will be based on retention, degree completion, year-over-year program growth (with a target of 1,000 students), and career connections for post-graduation success.

  • Aggie Launch University of California, Davis

    Aggie Launch is designed to advance the promise of a college degree – a career utilizing that degree through full employment – for all undergraduates. UC Davis is home to many first-generation students and students of color, both of whom are disproportionately impacted by college graduate underemployment. Aggie Launch will work to correct this disparity by integrating career and professional experience into undergraduate life, engaging 100% of the UC Davis student body in experiential learning, meaningful mentorship, and early career search support to propel a successful launch into post-graduate employment.

  • Through established programming in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the University of Maryland has seen success in onboarding transfer students by offering specialized services and support. The university will explore replicating and expanding this at other colleges and schools on campus.

    In Fall 2020, nearly 40% of new students at UMD were transfer students, often from community colleges across the state. To support students in their transition to UMD, the university is exploring the potential to recreate the efforts in the Clark School for transfer students in other schools and colleges on campus.

  • Employer Survey University of Minnesota

    The Employer Survey initiative seeks to improve job readiness among students and institutional engagement with employers across Minnesota by reviewing a wide array of employer data and making it easily available to students. The survey will take a cross-industry approach, focusing on diverse leadership representation and providing critical information on the COVID-19 job market. This data will be used in outreach efforts to students seeking employment and by career counselors at UMN, detailing the hiring needs, trends, and cycles of a variety of industries.

  • The ElevateU initiative will engage students in intentional, timely, and required experiential learning experiences throughout their time at school, creating accessible career readiness opportunities and facilitating students to connect academic disciplines to real-world career pathways. Today's students often struggle to bridge their course of study with a post-graduate job and graduate without adequate career preparation. The ElevateU initiative seeks to fill those gaps by providing low- or no-cost experiential opportunities built into the undergraduate experience, giving students the tools they need to explore career pathways and build in-demand skillsets.

  • The Portland Internship Experience initiative provides undergraduate students with summer stipends to pursue internships with pre-selected internship sites, promoting career readiness for students while supporting local employers in the process. Access to internships, particularly unpaid work experiences, is often skewed, excluding students who cannot pay or need to work over the summer. The initiative addresses this disparity by funding student work in at-need organizations, providing a broad coalition of students with real-world job experience and employer connections that often prove key in finding post-graduate employment.

  • Utilizing the Pitt Commons career platform, the Early Career Alumni Employment and Networking Community initiative will expand on existing resources by providing mentorship and networking experience to students from select populations. By facilitating interactions with both alumni and employers, the initiative will empower recent graduates to develop and maintain professional networks and strengthen postgraduate employment opportunities.

  • Preparing UR for the Future of Work University of Rochester

    The University of Rochester is building a stronger career network among members of the University community to help students and graduates find internships and jobs. Focusing on key populations (i.e., BIPOC, First Generation, Graduate and professional students), the University is aiming to enhance integrated career education programs, reduce social capital and financial barriers for students, offer future of work skill development, and connect students with local organizations. These efforts will be supported by  the Together for Rochester (TFR) fundraising and engagement campaign, a special one-year initiative to make life better for the University of Rochester community.

  • USC Career Launchpad University of Southern California

    The USC Career Launchpad program is an online job-readiness program with the goal of improving in-demand skill sets and facilitating career prospects. The program will address the most prevalent skill gaps identified by the USC Career Center, alongside a career development module.

  • Big Den Initiative Utah Valley University

    Building upon UVU's existing efforts, the Big Den Initiative promotes intentional outreach and support for First-Generation, Adult Learners, and Latinx students to help improve retention and graduation rates.


    Through targeted student outreach and retention and completion efforts—like summer bridge programs, purpose-first career development, digital literacy—the initiative aims to increase apprenticeship engagement among current students in the target population, as well as support the matriculation and graduation of more First-Generation, Adult Learner, and Latino students.

  • The Tech Talent Pipeline initiative plans to meet the needs of both students and the Virginia economy by designing pathway programs aimed to increase enrollment and degrees earned in computer science and engineering, a growing industry across the state. The initiative will implement new course delivery models to ensure content is accessible to all populations, particularly communities underrepresented in tech. Through collaboration with state agencies, community colleges, and employers in Virginia, the initiative will bridge qualified students seeking employment with local and state workforce demands.

  • WakeWorks Wake Technical Community College

    WakeWorks encompasses two innovative collaborations—WakeWorks Apprenticeship and WakeWorks Propel—to enable adult students of all ages to reap the benefits of skills-focused, community college applied degree programs. WakeWorks Apprenticeship provides students, including those from under-represented groups, the option to earn while they learn through apprenticeships, while WakeWorks Propel offers low-cost accelerated training programs that lead to professional credentials (certifications/licensures) to equip Wake County residents as they handle job transitions during the pandemic and beyond.

  • Chancellor's Career Fellows Program Washington University in St. Louis

    The Chancellor’s Career Fellows Program is a comprehensive, fully funded career education experience for selected WashU first-and second-year students whose family income is less than $75,000,with a preference for students who are the first in their families to attend college.

    The goal of the program is to increase career access and future career success for under-resourced WashU students.

    This initiative will begin by providing structured opportunities to 50-75 students during the Summer of 2021 and will later expand to include a larger cohort of students as the program rolls out. The Chancellor's Career Fellows Program aims to broaden the pipeline of low-income and historically underrepresented students into fulfilling careers or graduate degree programs.

  • Today’s graduates face a skill-intensive, rapidly shifting economy. To prepare, they need modular, stackable, personalized programs that allow them to earn while they learn—a far cry from traditional higher ed offerings. And to succeed in today’s economy, learners need to be able to surface their skills and capabilities to employers—whether their learning look place in a traditional academic context, or on the job.

    Western Governors University is investing in an advanced technology and service platform to enable a student-centered future of learning and work. This includes developing technology that can enable an intricate ecosystem of on-demand learning experiences to prepare students for in-demand jobs—at scale. It also means that WGU is committed to propagating Learning and Employment Records (LERs) as the ubiquitous system by which individuals can see and signal their records of skills and achievements, and by which employers can identify and invest in talent.