Building on existing local resources, Network coaches work with community leaders to develop a regional infrastructure for serving Comebackers, from visioning through implementation and growth.

In each region we first focus on the dynamics of the local workforce and talent ecosystem and on the needs and characteristics of potential Comebackers — adults with some college but no degree. A Graduate! community first brings together regional resources of higher education, employers, government, labor, and the social sector. Aided by knowledge, expertise, and resources from the Network, the community connects, enhances or adds services in order to increase the number of Comebackers who complete degrees. Communities can vary in leadership and in some details of in-person or virtual delivery of services. However, the essential model is based on the principles and proven methodology of the Graduate! Network.

1. Engage Key Organizations

Partnerships are the foundation of a Graduate! program. Graduate! coaches help to ensure that key organizations are engaged and committed, and see a clear benefit to participation.

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2. Adapt the Model

The Graduate! Network has developed an approach to advising and supporting clients through college completion that addresses critical navigational, bureaucratic, social, motivational, and financial barriers, allowing colleges to focus on the academics with students who are now well-positioned to succeed.

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3. Build a Plan & Benchmarks

Bringing our approach to large and small cities, regions and states, we help you develop a strategic plan tailored to your community, and translate it into an implementation plan, with realistic goals, benchmarks, roles, and timetables.

4. Training & ongoing learning

The Network provides periodic and on-demand training for advisors and other key roles. Every community brings value to the Network with their ideas and own expertise. The Network creates spaces to learn and create collaboratively as a network.

5. Tools

To jumpstart and accelerate regional programs, the Network offers turnkey tools, including data capture and management, and other customized solutions, samples, templates, contracts, staffing structures, and talking points.

6. Metrics

Outcomes in several communities over ten years have contributed to the Network’s evidence base, yielding benchmarks and practices for data capture and analysis.

7. Sustainability

As part of the Network we are situated to help identify and leverage resources locally and regionally.

8. Growth

Communities stay connected to the Network as they grow, contributing to a national evidence base and deepening insights and expertise that link community-specific experiences with one another in a knowledge partnership that will benefit all current and future network partners.