Highlights from the Network and National News

Community Spotlights

Community Spotlight: Greater Minds – Greater Spokane, Incorporated

This week features Greater Minds, an initiative of Greater Spokane Incorporated. The program launched just a year ago and is making progress towards its goal to raise the proportion of residents in Spokane County with high-quality degrees or certificates from 40 percent to 60 percent by 2025. Read about how the initiative came to be […]

Community Spotlight: Graduate! Philadelphia

Community Spotlight with Tom Ahart, Director of College Success Services at Graduate! Philadelphia

Every so often, we bring the spotlight to one community within the Network so that you can continue to learn about the background, interests, and insights of your peers. This week, read about Tom and his work as Director of College Success […]

Community Spotlight: Upgrade San Antonio

Community Spotlight with Micaela Rios, Director of Upgrade San Antonio

Micaela Ríos joined the Education Partnership in March 2015 as a College Access and Success Advisor for cafécollege. She is now the Program Director for Upgrade San Antonio. Ms. Rios enjoys guiding families through the college application process, as well as dispelling myths for first generation […]

Community Spotlight: Graduate! ABQ

Community Spotlight with Dan Mendelsohn, Director of Graduate! ABQ

How did an adult completion agenda first come about in your community?

Graduate! ABQ is part of a larger initiative in our community called Mission: Graduate, which is focused on increasing the number of degrees and certificates by 60,000 by the year 2020. The key […]


Our partnership with New America, highlighting the Comebacker Movement. Click the links below to read articles written by Graduate! Network staff and contributors.

2019 Data That Move Us Report

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Federal Reserve Bank – Invest in Work Chapter

The Graduate! Network contributed a chapter to the Federal Reserve Bank’s book series Invest In Work. You can download the three books or read our chapter here.


Pairing for Completion – How Peer Mentoring and Connection Bring Adults Back to College

(from New America)
Inside the library, all was quiet as is usual in libraries – just whispers and murmuring.

Even so, nobody shushed Patricia Gray, 58, and Victoria Gallagher, 57, as they hugged in the corridor, alternately weeping and smiling, trying to keep their joy courteous, given the location.

“We’re miracles, that’s what we are,” Gallagher said.

Gray and Gallagher hadn’t known each other before that September Saturday, when they met at the Brooklyn branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library for an Adult Scholars Summit held by College Now Greater Cleveland, an affiliate of The Graduate! Network, a national organization.

Click here to read more.

AARP Kentucky Kernels Newsletter March-April 2020

The adult education partnership between The Graduate! Network and Kentucky AARP was recently featured in the bi-monthly AARP Kentucky newsletter.

Click here to read the newsletter.

Adults Completing Degrees—How Tackling A Persistent Problem Creates New Value

(from Higher Learning Advocates)
The urgency to integrate adult learners into national and regional economic growth plans is—finally—tangible. Colleges and universities are reporting lower enrollments and are looking to adult learners to fill seats. Employers are looking for candidates with postsecondary credentials and national funders are looking for solutions to the persistent Some College No Degree problem. These adults themselves are looking for ways to make a “comeback” to postsecondary education to upgrade their knowledge and skills in order to be more competitive in the job market. Lumina Foundation estimates that in the last 20 years, more than 31 million students started school but did not make it to graduation. 3.8 million had earned two years or more of college credit, and are identified by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center as Potential Completers. This population, now in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or older, is the enticing “low hanging fruit” everyone is reaching for.

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In Time for Spring Training, Baseball Brings People back to College

(from New America)
In Cleveland, it doesn’t matter if it’s Thursday.

If the Indians are in town, it’s time for the grownups to play hooky. In their red T-shirts and baseball caps, fans of the team pack the trains, heading towards Progressive Field, with Cleveland’s skyscrapers near enough for envious office workers to almost field a fly.

Doesn’t matter either if the season ended as this year’s did, with mid-September’s hope for a postseason spot dying one sad game after another.

Win or lose, the Indians never have a problem recruiting employees – drawn by the romance of the game, plenty of college graduates are eager to work in baseball.

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Two unique programs are helping Nashville adults go back to school

(from Brookings)
Even in a region experiencing unprecedented job growth and a city where unemployment is at a historic low, there are residents of Nashville, Tenn. still being left behind. Nashvillians understand the need for education beyond high school, but for many, the journey to a higher education degree or credential is complicated by barriers such as lack of transportation or reliable child care and balancing work, school, and family. Too often, they are left disconnected from vital resources that could support their goals.

Nashville is now working to close these equity gaps through a “sorting in” approach for education beyond high school. With the help of two novel programs— Reconnect Cafés and Reconnect Ambassadors—people can move into jobs with clear paths for growth in position and salary.

Click here to read more.