Helping Adults to Prosper Through the Power of Education
ProjectAttain! celebrates its five-year anniversary this month and as we look back on our journey so far, we can’t help but to be proud of all that’s been accomplished. ProjectAttain! is a Sacramento-based social impact organization helping adults who found it necessary to pause their education find their way back to attain their diploma, certificate, or degree.
This work is so important because under-credentialed adults tend to have greater hardships, lower quality of life, and less social advancement and economic opportunity — contributing to the region’s growing inequities. But that is something we have the power to change. With close to a million adults in the Sacramento Region stepping away from their education, ProjectAttain! is creating solutions for the services and pathways they need to finish what they started. This is a game changer not just for these individuals, but also for employers, educators, and our economy.
Adults who complete their education:
- Are 25% more likely to be employed
- Are 47% more likely to have health insurance
- Are 72% more likely to have a retirement plan
- Utilize less than $82,000 in social service support
- Are 2 times more likely to volunteer and vote
These are the reasons why we are set to mobilize a bold, seven-year plan to increase educational attainment.
It is a future that promotes career growth for under-credentialed adults, empowers adult-ready and adult-friendly institutions, and meets employer needs for a highly skilled workforce.
The regional systems change work that ProjectAttain! drives is carried out through a comprehensive set of programs and services. Here’s a snapshot of what our Roadmap to 2030 looks like.
- Comebacker Services include a high-tech and high-touch model and process for re-engaging adults who are ready to come back. The program includes appreciative and trauma informed advising, coaching, and support in navigating to and through the best fit educational program.
- Adult Attainment Networks (Diploma, Certificate & Apprenticeship, Degree) are collective action networks focused on co-creating projects and solutions that increase equity and talent by decreasing barriers and improving pathways to and through education and into high-quality careers.
- Employer Talent Solutions include on-site advising and pop-up intake for employees, organizational assessment of educational benefits and policies, and access to educational institutions with adult-friendly mindsets.
- ProjectAttain!’s Annual Adult Learner Summit convenes education, industry, workforce, economic development, and community-based organizations and includes regional updates, state, and national perspectives, and working sessions for planning projects and sharing successful models.
- ProjectAttain! is the backbone organization coordinating the Sacramento K-16 Collaborative, a statewide program that cultivates regional economies, strengthens education-to-career pathways, and ensures that education, vocational, and workforce programs work together to provide broader access to education and employment opportunities.
- Diplomas, Certificates, and Degrees When Due are regional efforts that focus on credit reclamation, reverse transfer, and re-engagement with adults lacking a high school diploma or equivalent, those needing to complete a certificate or apprenticeship, or adults who lack an associates or baccalaureate degree.
- Degrees When Due – Research Report is a comprehensive report on the Degrees When Due California Cohort. The research includes interviews, focus groups, and artifact review that illuminates practitioner challenges and opportunities and amplifies success and innovations.
- Degrees When Due – Practice to Policy Group is a community of practice led by the Institution of Higher Education Policy to support practitioners in further developing skills and resources to be advocates for and storytellers of the important work-related adult re-engagement, degree reclamation, and reverse transfer.
- Building Rural Community Learning Systems is a cross-sector pilot project aimed at creating clear and supported pathways between adult learners, higher education, workforce investment boards and job centers, public and private employers, and supporting social services in rural communities.
- Return2Earn is a collaborative research project funded through the Kresge Foundation that will build an evidence base for and advance promising postsecondary practices to better engage comebackers and propel them to degree completion.
- California Reconnect is a statewide research-practice project that includes a “career first” outreach and engagement effort aimed at reconnecting adult learners that opted out of community colleges or universities. With funding from Kresge Foundation, Strada Foundation, and technical assistance from InsideTrack, 30 institutions from three regions are anticipated to join the project.
- Reverse Transfer Project is a multi-institution degree-awarding project to recognize and award associate degrees and certificates regardless of institution of origin. This project will enable degree reclamation at the associate degree level and provide an innovative model for stopped-out students to reset attainment pathways.
- California Adult College Completion Project is a portfolio of three interrelated projects. The first intends to expand adult degree completion and improve supports for returning adults through technical assistance aimed at increasing institutional capacity for implementing change and using data to understand impact. The second focuses on understanding the impact of policies, processes, and interventions that do or do not support adults that re-enroll. The third project enables the sharing of research on completion strategies, data gathering/tracking processes, and lessons learned.
- Regional Adult Learner Success Dashboard is collaborative tool to highlight needs and success across multiple categories that indicate social mobility, multi-generational attainment, and real economic impact. The dashboard will feature aggregate data from local partners, members, and institutions to establish baseline performance metrics, track completion rates, highlight needs and progress, and demonstrate collective impact.
ProjectAttain! is grateful for the regional support and trust we’ve been bestowed over the past five formative years and looks forward to a productive, collaborative, impactful future. Together we can change the trajectory for adults who are ready to reclaim their education goals.