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Exciting Examples from the Field

The work has already begun. Towns, cities, states, and regions have already begun implementing exciting examples of collaboration across K12, higher education, and workforce in order to ensure that all students graduate on a path to their future.

Dual Enrollment Exemplars using ESSER funds:

  • The Buffalo City (New York) School District is using ESSER funds to support a dual enrollment coordinator to work with partner colleges to improve and expand dual enrollment opportunities for its students.

  • Frederick County (Maryland) Public Schools used ESSER funds to purchase textbooks and course materials for students enrolled in Pathways, a new dual enrollment course designed for English learners that is offered in collaboration with Frederick Community College. English learners have been historically underrepresented in the LEA’s dual enrollment courses.

  • The New York City (NY) Department of Education is using ESSER funds to give 22,000 students dual enrollment opportunities at the City University of New York through the College Now program. Other ESSER investments by the city in college and career readiness include expanding the Immigrant Ambassador program that pairs immigrant college students with immigrant high school students for mentoring and college and career planning and providing afterschool college counseling to every junior and senior high school student.

Work-based Learning Exemplars using ESSER funds:

  • During summer 2021, approximately 2,300 youth participated in New Mexico’s Summer Enrichment Internship Program. Youth worked 20 hours per week for 6 weeks in dozens of paid career opportunities. The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) used $9.89 million of its ARP ESSER allocation to support the initiative. In its approved ARP ESSER state plan, NMPED also indicates that it will award funds to community-based organizations to implement evidence-based afterschool programs for students, some of which will include paid internships for high school students.

  • The Ohio Department of Education will use ARP ESSER state-level funds for Work-Based Learning Incentive Grants that will be awarded to local workforce development boards to incentivize employers to develop internships, pre-apprenticeships, and apprenticeship opportunities for high school students.

  • Denver (Colorado) Public Schools is using a portion of its ARP ESSER funds to support summer work-based learning opportunities that give high school students who aspire to be teachers, classroom experience under the supervision of master teachers. After completing training, students work alongside master teachers to provide instruction to middle school students in both academic and enrichment courses, debriefing after every classroom session with the supervising teachers to receive feedback. For their participation, students receive a cash stipend and an AmeriCorps educational award that can be used to pay for postsecondary educational expenses when they complete high school.

Career Credential Exemplars using ESSER funds:

  • Council Bluffs (Iowa) Community School District is using $990,000 in ESSER funds to enhance its Plus One Pathways initiative that provides students with a wide variety of opportunities to earn a high school diploma and a second credential. Trade Works Academy is one option for students. During 9th and 10th grades, students complete foundational coursework in skilled trades like mechanics and electrical systems and earn a credential from the National Center for Construction Education and Research. During 11th and 12th grades, students earn a postsecondary certificate from Iowa Western Community College and complete the first year of a two-year Registered Apprenticeship.

  • La Joya (Texas) Independent School Districtb> is using more than $500,000 in ARP ESSER funds to increase opportunities for career and technical education students to earn industry- based certifications, including through tutorials offered after school and on Saturdays.

  • St. Paul (Minnesota) Public Schools is using ARP ESSER funds to expand career centers and related curriculum at every high school, to offer internships, and to offer opportunities to earn certifications.

Career Advising and Navigation Exemplars using ESSER funds:

  • Houston (Texas) Independent School District is using $53.2 million of ESSER funds to provide additional support services to help its students navigate the postsecondary education admissions process. The LEA’s plans include increasing the number of college and career readiness advisors available to work with students; expanding partnerships with organizations that help students plan for and apply to college and prepare for careers; developing community-based centers to support families with college and career readiness activities; and increasing the number of local, regional, and national college visits it coordinates for its students.

  • The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is using ESSER funds to launch a statewide initiative to ensure high school students, particularly those in rural communities, have an advisor exclusively focused on helping them achieve success following graduation. The program, called the Missouri Postsecondary Advising Initiative, will place trained advisors into rural high schools, alongside school counselors, to provide students with individualized college and career support.

  • ESSER funds awarded to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction are being used to expand the number of National College Advising Corps advisers working in high schools throughout the state to increase the number of underrepresented, low-income, or first-generation postsecondary degree or certificate students entering and completing their postsecondary education at community colleges and universities. Advisers are recent college graduates who work full-time in schools organizing campus visits and helping students and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and postsecondary applications and carrying out other activities to foster a college-going culture within the schools they serve.


Our Pillars

Strategies to prepare students for their futures.

Dual Enrollment

Earn college credit during high school

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Work-based Learning

Gain early exposure to real world experience

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Workforce Credentials

Develop a competitive edge for your career

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Career Advising and Navigation

Make informed decisions about life after high school

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