Goal 2 Initiatives


Goal 2

Support and partner with our communities and government in an inclusive recovery through and after COVID-19, focusing on displaced workers, adult learners, PK-12 systems, economic development, community health and COVID-19 support

  • ASU Prep Digital Arizona State University

    ASU Prep Digital is an accredited online K-12 school where learners can take a single online course or enroll in a full-time, diploma-granting program. ASU Prep Digital is responsive to many challenges facing the K-12 school system. The initiative seeks solutions to provide high-quality online education for students for whom in-person learning is not an option (including during the pandemic), and to design such options around the needs of the student though adaptive courseware and personalized instruction. In doing so, ASU Prep Digital can fill gaps in curriculum and course offerings to ensure every student at every high school has access to the courses required for college-readiness and admission.

  • Baylor’s COVID initiative Baylor University

    Given Baylor’s position within the local community of Waco, it began a multi-pronged strategy to drive COVID awareness and vaccinations within the local community. As part of this effort, Baylor created an open and transparent COVID dashboard to detail real-time information on COVID cases and vaccination rates (students & employees), transformed into a mass testing and vaccination site for the community, using its own facilities to administer tests and vaccines, and built its own testing lab to process PCR exams to drive 100% testing of the student body each week during Spring 2020.

  • The COVID Racial Data Tracker is a collaboration between the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research and the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, with a goal of gathering the most complete and up-to-date race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the United States to shine a light on racial inequities in public health. Nationwide, COVID-19 has affected Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color the most. Death rates among Black people are 1.4 times the rate of white people and account for 15% of COVID-19 deaths where race is known.

  • The economic shutdown has displaced many workers in Southern Nevada, an economy which is heavily reliant on hospitality and tourism. Many minority communities in Southern Nevada have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and the College of Southern Nevada's (CSN) Ability to Benefit program will facilitate serving students that have historically been underserved or do not have the resources to access short term training through Workforce Education and Training programs, either for lack of resources to cover tuition costs or due to having minimal resources to continue their career pathway that leads into a credit program and credentialing.

  • With 85% of surveyed local businesses reporting revenue loss during the first month of the pandemic, Duke partnered with the city and county to provide support to small businesses through the establishment of the Durham Small Business Recovery Fund. The program provides both grants and loans, as well as technical assistance, to local businesses adversely affected by the pandemic. The program reached $3 million (with $1 million from Duke University for grants and approximately $2 million from the City of Durham and Durham County) and is administered through a partnership with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund. 

  • Georgia Tech's plan for sustainable development Georgia Institute of Technology

    Georgia Tech's new strategic plan sets the university's ambition to "Be an anchor institution, partner, and catalyst of sustainable development in our city and our state." Central to amplifying impact as an anchor partner in the community are relationships with the PreK-12 community. This initiative will expand on Georgia Tech's existing PreK-12 STEM programs to amplify the university's impact by identifying, engaging, and developing PreK-12 students (and their educators) to cultivate early interest and aptitude in STEM. This effort will help to elevate the socio-economic status of local communities by measurably increasing the number of Pre-K-12 students from financially vulnerable situations who strengthen their knowledge and skills in STEM.

  • Small and medium business ("SMB") underrepresented founders are disproportionately impacted by a lack of access to capital and entrepreneurial resources. Focused on fostering inclusive entrepreneurship, Georgia State University's Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund ("MSESF") is a six-month program supporting underrepresented students, recent alumni, and Georgia State community entrepreneurs with seed funding and mentorship to start and grow new SMB ventures. 

  • Envision Green, Phase II Michigan State University

    Envision Green is a joint program of Michigan State University (MSU) and Lansing Community College (LCC) designed to help students start at LCC and finish their bachelor's degrees at MSU. As LCC's former President Knight said early in the planning process for Envision Green, "The leap across Michigan Avenue [the street that separates MSU and LCC] is fraught for LCC students." This is especially true for first generation and Pell-eligible students and for students who identify with minority groups. Envision Green addresses the roots of these challenges in order to maximize access, equity, and opportunity for mid-Michigan students and increase the number of Michigan citizens with college degrees.

  • To help narrow the pandemic-driven achievement gap in New York City public schools, NYU will expand its ongoing America Reads/America Counts and Jumpstart programs (already the largest in the nation) to include a wider geographic area of public schools and additional targeted services. 

    For 24 years, NYU has operated an extensive America Reads/America Counts initiative, most recently linking 850 NYU student tutors with public school children at 72 New York City public schools throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn each academic year. Through the Jumpstart national early education organization, NYU students support preschool children in low-income neighborhoods to develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for kindergarten 

  • Community and Economic Engagement Summit, Theme: Pathways to Economic Recovery North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

    COVID impacts on communities of color have been disparate. Disproportionately negative impacts have exacerbated disparities in healthcare, financial equity, employment and access to services. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University's initiative focuses on inclusive recovery by using our newly developed model of Innovation and Economic Engagement (Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities). The summit is an event and a partnership process to support engagement opportunities and strengthen existing partnerships for economic development.  

  • NOVA Guaranteed Interviews Initiative Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA)

    Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) will launch a new guaranteed interview model that will connect students with regional employers planning to hire through the program. The program is focused on all applied degree programs and FastForward programs. This model will benefit students by providing direct connections to regional employment opportunities. It also includes direct support for students to help them prepare for interviews with career readiness programs embedded into their pathway at NOVA (i.e., resume workshops, mock interviews).

  • Pathways to Opportunity Portland Community College

    Pathways to Opportunity is a statewide initiative being led by PCC that aims to close opportunity gaps and increase economic mobility by expanding the federal, state, and local resources available to low-income students so more individuals can attend and complete community college. The initiative seeks to help students who are experiencing at least one form of basic needs insecurity (food, housing, etc.) access services and braid together funding. Basic needs insecurity is the major barrier to access and completion for a large percentage of our students. These basic needs have to be addressed in order to have a holistic understanding of how to support the most underserved student populations toward degree/credential completion. 

  • A new partnership between Rio Salado College (Rio) and Phoenix College provides underserved students a unique opportunity to co-enroll in Rio's non-credit adult education programming, such as English language courses or studies toward a high school equivalency diploma, and a Certificate of Completion in Medical Administrative Assisting with Phoenix College. This innovative partnership increases students' access to high-value education and training that leads to livable wage careers. Successful completion of this secondary and postsecondary pathway will result in gainful employment opportunities for underserved and underrepresented community populations.

  • SNHU's Upskilling Initiative Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

    Southern New Hampshire University's (SNHU) upskilling initiative supports unemployed and furloughed workers who were laid off during the pandemic. Through reskilling and upskilling opportunities for underemployed and unemployed workers at Southern New Hampshire University, these students can better prepare themselves for a career in the wake of COVID.

  • SpelREADS Spelman College

    Spelman College’s partnership with Atlanta public schools aims to increase and accelerate tutoring services to K-12 students. SpelREADS, a literacy program launched in 2018, links Spelman students to elementary and middle school students as reading guides. In addition to tutoring, students use a literacy tools (like BookNook) to increase their digital literacy skills and interaction with literacy technology. 

  • $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.

  • Internship to Employment Program The City University of New York (CUNY)

    The City University of New York is poised to play a leading role in New York City's recovery. Through the Internship to Employment program, CUNY will simultaneously reinvigorate small businesses and springboard the careers of CUNY graduates.

    • CUNY serves 260,000 degree-seeking students and approximately 185,000 continuing education students annually.
    • CUNY's student body is predominately Black and Hispanic with 42% of our students coming from households earning less than $20,000 per year.
    • They are industrious, driven, and talented, yet CUNY graduates are often excluded from the professional opportunities that ought to be afforded to college graduates.
    • Internship to Employment (I2E) seeks to help graduates launch careers while fueling the recovery of NYC’s economy by connecting recent alumni to an internship with an NYC small business and supporting them through to conversion into employment.
  • Finding Opportunities and Resources to Grow Entrepreneurs (FORGE) is a new unit at the University of Arizona dedicated to cultivating entrepreneurial thinking on campus while simultaneously advancing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the community. In addition to the devastating health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses have also struggled to survive and created challenges for those hoping to start new businesses. The Advanced Entrepreneur Program (AEP) responds directly to these community and economic needs by offering early-stage entrepreneurs with an 8-week ‘business bootcamp’ that covers customer discovery, market validation, and team formation with the aim of preparing them for launch or incubation.

  • Texas Credentials for the Future The University of Texas System

    Across the nation and Texas, millions of displaced workers will need specialized education to help them reenter the post-pandemic economy. Up to 25% more workers may need to switch occupations by 2030 compared to before the pandemic. The University of Texas System's effort, the Texas Credentials for the Future initiative, facilitates the expansion and development of industry-recognized micro-credentials that can help upskill and reskill displaced workers so they can successfully reenter the workforce.

  • UC Davis, the city of Sacramento and Wexford Science & Technology signed the Aggie Square Community Benefits Partnership Agreement (CBPA) that solidified a commitment to neighborhoods around Aggie Square, the university’s new campus-hosted innovation district. Aggie Square is located on the UC Davis Sacramento campus. Central to the CBPA and the public-private partnership is a collaborative effort to bring jobs and job training to Aggie Square. It promotes affordable student housing, better transportation options, and youth education programs. Jobs for local community members are being prioritized, and more than $50 million is being directed to an affordable student housing fund.

  • Shots at the Shop University of Maryland

    Shots at the Shop is a program to engage 1,000 Black-owned barbershops and hair salons nationwide to act as health advocates. Participants assist their clients in making informed COVID-related decisions, dispelling misinformation and hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics in their shops. The program is made possible by a partnership between the University of Maryland’s Maryland Center for Health Equity, the Black Coalition Against COVIDthe National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and the beauty and personal care brand SheaMoisture.

  • MN Grow Your Own Teachers Program University of Minnesota

    University of Minnesota's program aims to increase graduating teachers of color by allowing working professionals in schools to become certified while continuing their employment. This will benefit schools and K-12 students by increasing teachers of color and help address the severe shortage of teachers of color in Minnesota. Participants will receive a graduate degree, and potential for higher income and job security.

  • AccelerateMT University of Montana

    The University of Montana will establish an organization named AccelerateMT focused on closely partnering with employers and the state to address workforce constraints that slow economic growth. The University of Montana will achieve this through innovative approaches to workforce readiness and development programs, private and public sector partnerships, and entrepreneurial and business growth services.

  • Oregon Public Health Corps University of Oregon

    Oregon Public Health Corps is the natural successor to the Corona Corps, where the University of Oregon will more permanently develop a program to teach, train, and deploy the next generation of the public health personnel. The program will equip the state and a student workforce prepared to respond to a range of future public health challenges. With an initial focus on Southwest Oregon, the Oregon Public Health Corps will: strengthen Oregon's public health infrastructure through student education, training and deployment; reduce health disparities by providing equitable access to public health support; and expand the entire state’s future public health workforce.

  • The Community Engagement Center University of Pittsburgh

    The Community Engagement Center (CEC) initiative creates long-term, place-based partnerships between select Pittsburgh neighborhoods and the University of Pittsburgh by linking and leveraging the entirety of the university’s engagement assets (research, teaching, service, economic demand), providing specialty facilities to support engagement activities, and implementing engaged scholarship, which produces a wide range of social, educational, and economic outcomes.

  • The development and implementation of new anti-racist instruction is currently underway at the Center for Urban Education Success at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, in conjunction with school districts and community partners. The curriculum continues to be taught in Monroe County classrooms this school year. Local school leaders recognize the necessity to engage students in rich learning experiences about Rochester’s history with issues of equity and social justice. According to a 2020 EdBuild report, Monroe County has the most economically segregated school district border in the nation, walling off the high-poverty education system from its affluent suburbs that surround the city. 

  • The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) is a statewide, multi-institutional effort that is designed to serve as an engine for research, innovation, talent development, and commercialization of technologies at the intersection of security, autonomy, and data. Virginia Tech's (VT) leadership set up four geographic nodes to facilitate coordination, and VT serves as the lead for the Southwest Node (SN). To fulfill the CCI goals related to talent development in this critical area, the SN has created courses to be taught in the K-12 system. These courses will be coupled with K12 teacher training to better prepare teachers in the area of cybersecurity knowledge as well as how to use technology that is necessary for student training exercises. 

  • Wake Tech's Ladder Works Wake Technical Community College

    Wake Tech's service area (which includes Raleigh, Wake County, and the Research Triangle) is a talent magnet. But talent magnets do not necessarily serve the needs of locals in need of economic mobility. Through Wake Tech's Ladder Works initiative, the college is taking strategic action to strengthen its role as a talent ladder, reaching out to the under-resourced and under-employed, connecting numerous options for training and higher education, and assembling a seamless ladder from high school to a livable wage.

  • University College Re-Imagined Washington University in St. Louis

    Washington University has used a community input and prototyping process to re-envision adult education as an independent school with a focus on St. Louis social mobility. This school will provide unique educational opportunities for adults to learn new job skills, embedded in experiential, critical thinking courses, focusing on the socially and economically disadvantaged as a primary student audience. Specific programs will be created in a collaborative spirit with regional institutions. Components of success include dramatically increasing the number of community members enrolled in adult learning, positive professional outcomes for alums, and more broadly, the reduction of economic inequality in the region.

  • WGU has always been focused on building alignment between our academic curriculum and the needs of the workforce. That is why WGU is a founding member of the Open Skills Network, a coalition of employers, education providers, military, and other stakeholders dedicated to advancing skills-based education and hiring. The OSN envisions a world where individuals are trained for in-demand skills and hired for what they can do.