In 2016, The Joyce Foundation wanted to answer the question, how can we increase educational outcome and economic mobility for students furthest from opportunity?  To answer this question the Joyce Foundation launched the Great Lakes College and Career Pathways Partnership. Soliciting the expertise of ConnectED: the National Center for College and Career, Education Systems Center and Jobs for the Future to support four communities: Central Ohio, Madison, WI, Rockford, Il and the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Il. Over the course of five years these communities worked diligently to create college and career pathways that increased student access to dual credit, industry credentials, integrated curriculum and work-based learning all with the goal of increasing both equity and access. Over the past 5 years, we learned a great deal about what it takes to develop a community-wide approach to college and career readiness. Here are some of our key findings:

  • A Community of practice accelerates the pace of change. The GLCCPP Community of practice emphasized both the importance of local team cross-systems development and cross-community learning, sharing and problem-solving. The CoP was designed to be valuable to both the individual professional and the team’s collective pathways’ efforts. As Krista Paul, D214 stated, ““The Great Lakes CoP (was) the space where we could finally work through some of those tough issues that kept us from moving forward.”
  1. Collecting, disaggregating, and analyzing data is critical but not enough without collective action. Who are we serving in pathways? Who aren’t we serving? Who is earning important industry credentials and degrees and who isn’t? These questions are essential for understanding equity gaps. Quantitative data helps us further examine our systems’ gaps and inequities. However, data collection and analysis must be answered by taking action on removing barriers, changing policy and implementing new practices. Without action, we merely admire the problem.
  2. Gaps revealed by data do not reflect the skills and abilities of students, but rather the strengths and deficits of how the system is designed. Too often we see gaps between white, brown, and Black students as a problem with the student. It’s important to remember our systems are designed to get the results we are getting. The GLCCPP communities redesigned their policies, structures, systems and practices in order to increase access to dual credit, work-based learning and rigorous coursework.
  3. Cross-System Collaboration is essential to change outcomes for young people. While there are policy, structure, and practice nuances to the K–12 system, higher education, and workforce systems; students travel through all three systems. Making changes in one system has implications in another. We must work together to open doors not just within the individual system we work but across systems.

To learn more about the GLCCPP learning and results please visit:

GLCCPP Video

GLCCPP Website

GLCCPP Data Stories Report

Working Towards Equity: A Partnership Approach in the Great Lakes

In 2016, The Joyce Foundation wanted to answer the question, how can we increase educational outcome and economic mobility for students furthest from opportunity?  To answer this question the Joyce Foundation launched the Great Lakes College and Career Pathways Partnership. Soliciting the expertise of ConnectED: the National Center for College and Career, Education Systems Center […]

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Math on the Rise

  In the summer of 2019 ConnectED: The National Center for College and Career joined forces with Envision Learning Partners, Callahan Consulting, UCSD CREATE and San Diego Unified School District to launch the San Diego Enhanced Mathematics initiative. San Diego Enhanced Mathematics initiative, or SDEM, is a district-wide community of educators working together to enhance […]

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Your Continued Support

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

#GivingTuesday is here! We know it’s been a tough couple of months but we’re excited to participate in this inspiring day of giving back. We hope that you’ll join in supporting the important work we are doing to prepare youth for success in both college AND career.

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ConnectED Welcomes New Board Members

We are thrilled to welcome three new members to ConnectED’s Board.

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Pursuing School Transformation in a COVID-19 World

  In the turmoil and chaos created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it would have been easy for districts aggressively pursuing school reform to put aside those initiatives and focus exclusively on the current crisis. In most of the communities where we’re working, that has not happened. Perhaps because the pandemic has exposed more starkly than […]

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Operationalizing the Graduate Profile

We’re excited to announce that ConnectED has received a generous grant from the Hearst Foundation to develop a toolkit that will help districts operationalize its Graduate Profile. Over the past decade, an increasing number of school districts in California and across the country have convened community stakeholders to create a Graduate Profile: a succinct one-pager […]

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Learning from the Field During COVID

As the COVID 19 crisis began to take hold in late March the disruption to our schools was unprecedented.

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We Will Learn and Heal Together

The past weeks have been wrought with the tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Dion Johnson. Moreover, there have been countless other cases of harm to and harassment of people in the black community as we saw with Christian Cooper in New York City. Most of these instances do not make it to the daily news, ignored testimony to how common racism and police brutality are in American life.

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Should California create a Graduate Profile?

Would doing so drive shifts that more equitably and holistically prepare students for future success?

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Transportation – Today and Tomorrow

 How do you actually design and build a car? What are the main components of an electric vehicle? What does the future of the auto industry look like? Join us Tuesday, May 26 at 9:30am PDT for a conversation with one of the industry’s leaders, Marques McCammon, as he answers some of these questions, and launches a student Design Challenge.

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