people in meeting

Release Date

June 12, 2019

Department of Education Seeks Comments on Information Collection in Support of the 2019 – 2020 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study

The 2019-20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:20) is a nationally representative cross-sectional study of how students and their families finance education beyond high school in a given academic year. NPSAS is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and was first implemented by NCES during the 1986-87 academic year and has been fielded every 2 to 4 years since.

The Department of Education is seeking OMB approval to conduct the 11th cycle in the NPAS series during  the 2019-20 academic year. NPSAS:20 will be both nationally- and state-representative.

The Department has published the thirty-day PRA notice in the June 11 FEDERAL REGISTER.  Comments are due by July 11,

Release Date

June 12, 2019

Social Finance to Develop New Pay for Success Strategy – Career Impact Bond

Social Finance, Inc. is a nonprofit organization focusing on the emerging field of Pay for Success (PFS) financing (also called a Social Impact Bond (SIB)) in the United States. Social Finance provides advisory, social investment, and active performance management services to public- and private-sector partners seeking to drive more resources to social programs that deliver proven results to those in need. The organization has offices in Boston, MA, Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA.

Social Finance, Inc. is a nonprofit organization focusing on the emerging field of Pay for Success (PFS) financing (also called a Social Impact Bond (SIB)) in the United States. Social Finance provides advisory, social investment, and active performance management services to public- and private-sector partners seeking to drive more resources to social programs that deliver proven results to those in need. The organization has offices in Boston, MA, Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA

June 10 -- Social Finance today announced a new round of funding from Schmidt Futures, Prudential Financial, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and Google.org. With this support, Social Finance is accelerating its innovative finance portfolio focused on unlocking access for low-income individuals to workforce training programs for in-demand jobs.

For the majority of Americans, economic mobility is declining and the prospect of achieving the American Dream is eroding. These challenges are compounded by steady divestment in the public workforce system and a growing skills gap. Low-income individuals are often unable to access critical training programs that lead to good jobs due to an inability to finance the upfront costs, perpetuating a cycle that keeps them under-skilled and under-employed.

Social Finance will build on expertise gained by establishing the social impact bond market to develop a new Pay for Success strategy, the career impact bond (CIB). The CIB is a student-centric income share agreement with a distinct impact focus on improving access to high-quality skills training programs for low-income populations. In a CIB, investors cover upfront program costs, which students repay as a fixed percent of their future income, once they gain meaningful employment. Unlike student loans, CIBs link payment to actual earnings through a set of student-friendly terms that provide down-side protection and are time- and dollar-capped.

Social Finance’s CIB approach is focused on effective, industry-recognized training programs in the highest growth career pathways, such as information technology, healthcare, green jobs, and skilled trades. In addition to skills training, CIBs fund critical wraparound support services, such as social workers or emergency aid funds, to ensure that all participants can enroll, persist, graduate and achieve their desired employment outcomes.

Funding from these four partners will support Social Finance to implement a series of CIB pilots over the next two years. Through a partnership with BrightHive, Social Finance is gathering and analyzing outcomes data to identify high-quality training programs appropriate for CIBs.

Social Finance will launch the world’s first CIB this year, enabling low-income individuals in ten U.S cities to attend a best-in-class coding boot camp. Future CIBs will address a range of industries and geographies across the U.S., from green jobs in Baltimore, to welding in Tacoma, to data science in New York City.

Alongside these projects, this funding will also support the broader dissemination of learnings and best practices. Social Finance is currently working in partnership with the Federal Reserve Banks system to explore and communicate how innovative, results-based financing models are reshaping the workforce and driving better economic mobility outcomes.

Release Date

June 12, 2019

How States Define Work-Based Learning: An Update from the Education Commission of the States

Social Finance, Inc. is a nonprofit organization focusing on the emerging field of Pay for Success (PFS) financing (also called a Social Impact Bond (SIB)) in the United States. Social Finance provides advisory, social investment, and active performance management services to public- and private-sector partners seeking to drive more resources to social programs that deliver proven results to those in need. The organization has offices in Boston, MA, Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA.

A June 10 advisory from the Education Commission of the States:

As policymakers, some of you may have a clear definition of each of the components that make up a quality work-based learning program, but is your definition and conceptualization consistent with other policymakers in your state who may have varying views and interests?

As it turns out, the position you may find yourself in is similar to that of policymakers across the country. Many of our constituents attest to the range of interests, perspectives, and in some cases, visions of what constitutes quality work-based learning. Further, what high quality work-based learning looks like can vary from one state to another.

Currently, 28 state education agencies have a formal definition of work-based learning, and the components they use in their definitions vary widely. Having a single definition helps to inform a common understanding among all stakeholders a cross a state, which can create more consistent experiences for students.

A 2018 analysis conducted by American Institutes for Research (AIR) looked at the components state agencies and national organizations used in their definitions of work-based learning. There are some notable similarities and differences:

Similarities

  • Intentional knowledge and skill development. States and national organizations consistently hold that quality work-based learning involves both classroom and workplace learning that can be applied in both settings. For example, Minnesota’s definition emphasizes intentional knowledge and skill development through work-based learning.
  • Connection between work experiences and classroom learning. Of the states and national organization with definitions, it is common to make explicit connections between classroom and workplace learning. For example, Kentucky’s definition emphasizes that learning taking place in the classroom supplements the learning taking place in the workplace, and vice versa.
  • Mentoring. Both states and national organizations have identified the role of mentors who provide necessary support and learning outside of general classroom activities. For example, Illinois identifies mentoring as an essential component of work-based learning experiences.

Differences

  • Identifying a continuum of activities. While some states may identify specific work-based learning experiences, it is not as common for states to identify work-based learning as a continuum of experiences over time. In a 2015 brief, Advance CTE suggests that a work-based learning continuum starts in the early grades with building students’ awareness of possible career options and continues into middle school and early high school with career exploration to inform student decision-making — culminating in a work-based learning experience, such as an internship or pre-apprenticeship.
  • Assessing and measuring learning experiences. While assessment or measurement of work-based learning experiences may take place in states, it is currently not an active component of how they are defining or conceptualizing work-based learning. Seven national organizations emphasized the importance of assessing or measuring student learning in work-based learning experiences — from a student portfolio of work to an ongoing self-reflection process.
  • Distinguishing types of work-based learning. States do not currently outline possible forms of work-based learning, which can contribute to, and the absence of explicit definitions can contribute to variations in quality and access for students. The Southern Regional Education Board suggests that work-based learning can take many forms, from job shadowing to registered apprenticeships.

While there are plenty of suggestions for creating quality in work-based learning experiences, not all the components are appropriate for all states. As with anything, a state definition of work-based learning and what it looks like in practice should consider the goals and vision of what a state is trying to achieve through these programs.

See the other posts in this series.

Updated: June 12, 2019