CLASP & National College Transition Network: Ability to Benefit State Leadership Webinar

Online webinar

For those in education and workforce development, the economic instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has generated a need to think about effective program designs that provide education & training to people who will need it to rejoin the workforce. In previous recessions, those most likely to lose their job -- and who take the longest to recover and find a new position -- are people without high school diplomas (or their equivalent). These students are also more often Black or Latinx, and they, in particular, face multiple structural barriers that have impacted their success in elementary and secondary education. Many people seeking high school diplomas may also be immigrants to this country.

To protect the economic security of those workers, and ease their re-entry into, or advancement in, the workforce, colleges can use career pathway programs. These provide contextualized education that is meaningful to students and supports their needs while also aligning to the skill needs that are in-demand with local employers. Importantly, career pathway programs have the potential of being an affordable education option for these students because they may award federal financial aid to pay for coursework through the Ability to Benefit provision of the Higher Education Act. While colleges are ultimately responsible for awarding aid and determining their program offerings, states can play an important role in helping to expand the use of this provision and provide support to colleges and students.

Join CLASP, World Education's National College Transition Network, and state community college partners from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Wisconsin as we discuss three different strategies that state agencies are using to expand Ability to Benefit and make it easier for adults to simultaneously earn their high school and college credentials.

Register here