Strada collaborates with students, policymakers, educators, and employers across the U.S. to strengthen the link between education and opportunity.
We prioritize policies, practices, and programs that help ensure postsecondary education provides equitable pathways to opportunity.
We advance our mission through research, grantmaking, social impact investments, public policy solutions, Strada-supported nonprofit organizations, and strategic initiatives.
Strada supports institutions and organizations working to improve the education-workforce system and engages with policymakers to better align educational opportunities with workforce needs in states and regions across the country.
We engage with strategic partners focused on:
Strada’s student success partners support learners so they can persist and graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to launch meaningful careers. Strada supports multiple strategies including: access to academic and career advising; financial assistance; employer-informed curriculum, internships, and work-based learning; and partnerships between employers and educational institutions.
Learn about student success partners >
Commonwealth Corp. is establishing a statewide system of continuous learning for Massachusetts residents, seeking to launch online programs in health care, information technology, and manufacturing for working adults and young people who are neither working nor studying.
Southeast Indiana’s Community Education Coalition is expanding its regional systems-building efforts, bringing together educators, employers, and community organizations to improve education and career opportunities, especially for low-income and Latino adults.
Strada’s partnership enables JRF to expand its reach through JRF Impact, an online experience helping thousands of students around the country navigate college, explore careers, and develop leadership skills. In addition, Strada engages with 30 JRF scholars, providing scholarships and other support.
JAG collaborates with governors, Fortune 500 companies, and community leaders to help young people overcome barriers to high school graduation and prepare for college and careers. Since 1980, JAG has served more than 1.4 million students. Strada supports statewide JAG projects in Indiana and Nevada as well as Kinexus, JAG’s program in Detroit.
TMCF supports public historically Black colleges and universities, whose students are achieving an 80 to 90 percent graduation rate, compared with a 40 percent graduation rate for African American students nationwide and a 62 percent graduation rate for students of all races. Strada’s funding supports hundreds of students at Fayetteville State, Texas Southern, and Virginia State universities.
In Georgia and Ohio, UNCF works with Strada affiliate Emsi, using real-time data to understand local and regional workforce needs and opportunities for high school seniors. Through its Pathways to Better Futures program, UNCF’s area office in Indiana coordinates opportunities for students to obtain internships and work experiences in their chosen career fields with local employers.
The College Fund is collaborating with Northwest Indian College in Washington and College of Menominee Nation in Wisconsin to deliver culturally relevant student support on-site at tribal campuses, helping Native American students earn degrees and work-based experience so they can launch meaningful careers.
Braven empowers first-generation, low-income learners, as well as students of color, to transition from college to strong first jobs, positioning them for long-term financial and career success. Strada’s support has helped Braven expand to the Chicago area, adding that city to its work in New York, New Jersey, and the San Francisco Bay area.
Strada is a longtime supporter of CLD, which helps high school students discover their interests and strengths, explore potential careers, and transition into postsecondary education. Ninety-eight percent of students served by the center graduate from high school, and close to 90 percent of those succeed in college. CLD is currently serving 4,500 students.
LEDA identifies high school juniors with leadership potential and guides them through the admissions process at highly selective colleges and universities, diversifying the nation’s leadership talent pipeline and helping more students succeed in college and careers.
The Indiana Latino Institute serves 1,800 Latino students in Indianapolis and 1,000 in South Bend, Indiana. The institute has placed 50 scholars in internships with companies including Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis Power & Light Co., Citizens Energy Group, and Morales Group Inc.
To increase access to career advice, college counseling, and work experience for students and to improve their overall college experience, we work with postsecondary institutions to: redesign how institutions partner with employers; research student support programs, policies, and best practices; build consumer-centered career tools and services tied to employer-driven curriculum; upskill and reskill adult learners for in-demand careers, and redesign student and transfer program success with employer input.
Learn about institutional partners >
UIA partners with career services departments at seven higher education institutions to test best-practice changes in student career preparation services. UIA fellows are working with 13 employers to support higher education institutions and help students.
Bay Path’s American Women’s College in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, is helping low-income working women earn degrees in cybersecurity and technology, qualifying them for higher-paying, in-demand jobs.
WGU, the nation’s first and largest competency-based university, serves more than 120,000 students from across the United States through self-paced online courses. Strada’s grant supports WGU’s expansion into North Carolina, where close to 5,000 students have enrolled so far, exceeding the goal of 3,500.
Oregon State is expanding a successful education-to-career curriculum to help the university’s 3,500 business majors pay for college, complete experiential career prep courses, engage with mentors, and seek internships with a network of more than 450 employers.
Collaborating with Northern Virginia Community College and employers in the health care and technology industries, George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, is providing students with on-the-job training and coaching to create seamless transitions from community college to university to work.
ACE is working with its member institutions to research best practices in transfer policies, prior learning assessments, and student success initiatives, and is preparing final reports on an impact study at four California State University campuses and two City University of New York campuses.
Through Strada’s workforce engagement efforts, we have built relationships with employers working to solve talent pipeline challenges by partnering with postsecondary education providers, nonprofit organizations, and workforce coalitions. These efforts have led to: employer-driven talent development partnerships; work-based learning; job search assistance and preparation; and college credit for work experience.
Learn about workforce partners >
SDWP is working to remove financial and other barriers to train 500 working adult learners — including veterans and low-income and first-generation students — and place them in IT careers. It has issued 84 Income Share Agreements, enabling students to take UC San Diego Extension classes and begin paying for their education once they are earning good wages. Since Strada named SDWP as a grant recipient, the partnership has raised an additional $2 million.
Code Nation operates in New York City and the San Francisco Bay area and, in the 2019-20 school year, expanded to Chicago, providing free computer coding instruction and mentoring to 1,469 students from underresourced high schools. Eighty-three percent of Code Nation’s students say they are now more interested in pursuing careers in computer science. In summer 2019, Code Nation’s 47 employer partners hired 286 interns.
Merit America has provided 250 working adult learners in Washington, D.C., and Dallas with classes in computer coding. Eighty-nine percent of its students earned information technology certificates and received job offers in the field within six months of graduation, averaging net gains of $17,800 in annual wages.
Paul Quinn’s model combines affordable higher education with quality work experience, year-round housing, and a significantly reduced student loan burden. During the 2019-20 school year, the historically Black college enrolled 555 students in Dallas and Plano, Texas. More than 300 participated in work-based experiences tied to their majors with 26 employers in the two cities.
Meet our team to learn more about partnering with Strada.
Higher education’s measurement of student success is in the midst of an evolution. For nearly five decades, success efforts focused on access, then two decades with completion as the horizon for success, and now the focus is extending to student outcomes beyond completion.
Credit for prior learning helped Loyce Shelley see herself in a new way — and complete her degree.
Deborah Santiago’s parents always made clear she and her three siblings would go to college.
Long before COVID-19, America’s most vulnerable students were struggling to access not only education and skills training, but the social connections that open doors to great careers. Aimée Eubanks Davis, founder and CEO of Braven, says the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on low-income and minority communities has also laid bare inequities in the education-to-workforce ecosystem. It’s time, she says, to level the playing field so all college graduates can secure strong first jobs that lead to long-term career success.
Strada partners at the Community Education Coalition in Southeast Indiana are engaging with educators, employers, policymakers and community organizations to improve postsecondary education and build a talent pool that will serve area businesses for decades to come.
Strada cast the net wide in 2019 to identify and support seven new partners who are creating opportunities for learners across the country to move seamlessly between education and meaningful careers.
The high stakes for students from underrepresented backgrounds.
I know it’s difficult to believe, but the best part of my job in philanthropy is not giving away money. That’s fun, to be sure, but much more rewarding is building relationships and collaborating with Strada Education Network’s grant recipients, creating stronger pathways between education and employment.