The Fund will select six of the most forward-leaning community colleges and systems in the country to lead a demonstration of how community colleges can leverage innovation capacity, regional partnerships, and dynamic labor market data to identify and build sub-degree “micro-pathways” with designated credentials that employers validate. These micro-pathways will enable learners to earn at-or-above media wage salaries and stackable credit for degree attainment.
Participating systems and institutions will receive a startup award of $100,000 to launch their micro-pathways, along with hands-on support from the Lab. The cohort will draw upon real-time labor market data to identify the most in-demand careers in their regions and create “micro-pathways” that lead to earnings at or above the median wage. The League for Innovation in the Community College will help lead a community of practice of college presidents and employer partners, and the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Cleveland will provide cutting-edge research into the labor market demand for specific skills and credentials.
Together these institutions, with support from the Education Design Lab, will produce new pathway models, new credential signal power for industry groups to rally around, as well as learnings and insights to enable adoption, replication, and scale by other learning providers and regions.