Ed Innovators Awarded Millions in Investing in Innovation Funds
St. Paul, Minn. –- Nonprofit organizations, school districts and universities announced new federal funding to grow and evaluate their services today. “These programs are changing the landscape of education in this country by supporting innovative ideas and scaling up what works,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Reflecting on the anticipated outcomes for the 750,000 students grantees will collectively serve, the Secretary said, “This round of i3 grantees is poised to have real impact in areas of critical need on projects ranging from enhancing students’ non-cognitive skills to… personalized learning opportunities that will prepare more students for college, career and life.”
Collaborative, online learning opportunities for teachers; innovative literacy instruction for young English language learners; afterschool academic help for middle schoolers from at-risk communities and coaching for low-income college hopefuls are among the winning ideas. Organizations selected for funding have been rigorously evaluated on their abilities to help students achieve and to replicate positive results. Grantees are required to secure matching funds from foundations and individuals in order to receive the federal award and are currently seeking funders to help them raise the required match.
The demonstrated success of i3 grantees including College Possible, Higher Achievement, the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), and the Education Development Center (EDC), earned them top scores among the 434 i3 applicants. Investing in Innovation (i3) funding will grow the organization’s learning opportunities for 9,850 additional students and 6,000 teachers.
Funding will support College Possible’s coaching services for 6.650 students at 19 high schools throughout the country while also enabling the organization to evaluate the program’s impact on students’ persistence and resilience. College Possible’s twice weekly after-school high school coaching sessions delve deep into ACT/SAT test preparation, application support and financial aid consulting. The college program provides a support system to ensure students establish academic success skills, are connected to on-campus resources and are aided in the financial aid and registration processes.
“Making college more accessible for Minnesota students is not only important to their futures, but it’s also critical to our economic well-being,” said Sen. Al Franken, a member of the Senate Education Committee. “College Possible gives students from low-income families a pathway to success, and their efforts are instrumental to closing the achievement gap. I’m proud to help announce this important grant, a testament to College Possible’s dedication and proven track record, and I look forward to continuing to work with them on….”
College Possible CEO and Founder Jim McCorkell said, “Upper-income students are almost ten times more likely to earn a degree than their low-income peers. The injustice of this gap is staggering and it’s hurting our economy. Our coaches encourage students to dream big and to approach the daunting challenges of college head on. The perseverance these students demonstrate once they see what’s possible is awe-inspiring and we are thrilled by the opportunity to reach more of them.”
A recent Harvard University evaluation shows that College Possible’s approach is effective and that students served are significantly more likely to enroll in a four-year college. 98% of College Possible students earn admission to college, and students are ten times more likely to graduate from college than their low-income peers.
This fall, College Possible announced partnerships with the U.S. Department of Treasury—to study how low-income young people make higher-education decisions—and Bloomberg Philanthropies—to use technology to help low-income students enroll in selective colleges.
The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) is a national community of professional educators working together to prepare students for college and the 21st century workplace. Using LDC CoreTools, an online, teacher-created instructional design system that facilitates collaboration, content development, and professional learning, K–12 teachers engage in a reflective and collaborative process, growing their expertise in using College and Career Readiness Standards in instructional planning, ongoing curriculum-embedded assessment, and results analysis.
Higher Achievement‘s rigorous afterschool and summer academic program closes the opportunity gap for middle school youth in at-risk communities. The program’s proven model provides a rigorous year-round learning environment, caring role models, and a culture of high expectations, resulting in college-bound scholars with the character, confidence, and skills to succeed. On average, 95 percent of scholars who complete Higher Achievement advance to top academic high school programs and 93 percent advance to college.
EDC designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide.
College Possible is making college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. College Possible operates in Minnesota, Milwaukee, Omaha, Oregon, Philadelphia and Chicago.