Core Investment Principles

Every community should:

  1. Prioritize pathways to postsecondary and career success in their pandemic-recovery investments.
  2. Provide focused support for students of color, students experiencing poverty, and other historically marginalized communities at every stage of their education to career journey.
  3. Assume shared responsibility for student success between K-12, higher education, workforce/business, and nonprofit sectors.
  4. Empower and support students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and relationships to discover their path, find success in that journey, and ultimately thrive in their adult life.

Investment Priorities

As districts and states work to invest forward, we urge a deliberate focus on putting students on a path to economic mobility beginning in high school. Students, families, and communities consistently report that helping students successfully access postsecondary education and succeed in future career pathways are among the most important goals of high school. Yet, amidst the competing priorities in K-12 school systems, investments in the structures and systems to support students’ postsecondary pathways are often overlooked. Too often, this means schools only provide supports to a select few students, rather than build the systems that support each student on their postsecondary pathway. The impacts of COVID have exacerbated and made more visible these gaps in our systems and their disproportionate impacts on Black, Hispanic, low-income and first-generation college students.

We recommend every community designate a sufficient amount of stimulus resources to shore up support for students in grades 9-12, accelerate postsecondary and career preparation, and ensure more equitable postsecondary access.

We recommend each community invest to support its students to:

Build college and career momentum early in high school

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Investment Strategies - Principles - Acquire Knowledge

Acquire knowledge, experiences, and relationships necessary for career success

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Investment Strategies - Earn College Credit - Principles

Earn college credit and/or stackable credentials before graduation

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Investment Strategies - Principles - Gain Credentials

Directly enroll in postsecondary education or training programs that lead to credentials with labor market value

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