Organization partnerships for basic skills, family services, health services, library services, post-secondary education and/or career pathways

Hello Colleagues,

This new discussion thread is about adult basic skills program (including ESL/ESOL and adult secondary education program) partnerships. I hope the discussion will be wide-ranging, with many different kinds of partnerships described. It's an opportunity to write about your program's partnership(s) to explain what has and hasn't worked, what challenges you have faced, and how you and your partner organizations have overcome them. You could focus on just one kind of partnership, for example one that your program or agency has with a community health center or library or a job skills training partner, or a larger partnership with many organizations in which your program or organization takes part. These can be rural, small town, county-wide or urban partnerships.

This will be a chance to pose questions about how to build and maintain partnerships, as well as to share partnership features that have worked well for your program.

To begin, here's an example of a partnership outside of Denver Colorado, described by innovative educator Tom Vander Ark in a recent short Forbes Magazine article called "Earn and Learn Banking: Stackable Credential Career Pathway in Financial Services". I was struck by how a career pathway partnership can begin in a trusted community-based organization, lead to a job, further education in a community college and then to a Bachelor of Science degree in banking, with stackable credentials at every phase.  I know this kind of partnership is not unique. We have heard here from adult basic skills educators in Minnesota who have built multi-level career pathways with partnering agencies.  For a couple of examples, see these LINCS discussions:

Let's hear about your partnership(s) !

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Program Management group


David and others interested in organizational partnerships for post-secondary education will find this article from EdSurge valuable.  5 Years Since Starbucks Offered to Help Baristas Attend College, How Many Have Graduated? looks at how the coffee companies' initiative to support employees in earning a post-secondary degree has fared over the first five years.  

What lessons can be learned from corporate partnerships supporting adult employees' pursuit, and completion, of post-secondary education?

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator