Counseling/Advising

For many low-income college students, one of the biggest barriers to attendance is cost. While federal and state financial aid is available to help with tuition, fees, books, and some living expenses, students still often have unmet need, particularly if they are from the poorest families or are independent from their parents. Working while going to school is one...

The Supporting Healthy Marriage project is the first large-scale, multisite, multiyear, rigorous test of marriage education programs for low-income married couples. Supported by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ), the project is motivated by research that indicates that married adults...

Policy debates about child poverty and welfare reform, which once focused almost exclusively on single mothers and their children, have in recent years begun to train the spotlight on fathers. Fathers are important sources of financial and emotional support for their children, but noncustodial fathers with low incomes and poor job prospects often do not fulfill their...

Alexander Mayer, Oscar Cerna, Dan Cullinan, Elizabeth Zachry Rutschow

Community colleges enroll almost half of all U.S. undergraduate students, yet the majority of these students leave without earning a degree or certificate or transferring to another institution to continue their studies. As a result, they risk losing the opportunity to learn and to earn a livable wage.

Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count was a...

The wages and earnings of low-income workers have been stagnant or declining in real terms for approximately 35 years. Nationwide, the labor market-driven growth of the low-wage workforce has become a major issue for both the business community and the public. Low-wage workers represent a significant segment of the nation’s workforce: According to the Bureau of Labor...

To prepare young people for productive and satisfying adult lives in the competitive global marketplace, local high schools and employers are being asked to develop effective school-to-work programs. These programs have an important place in the school reform movement, because they change the nature of high school for their students by utilizing the experiences and...

At the time this project began, a third of all babies in the United States were born to unmarried mothers, and the fraction was even higher among low-income families. Although many children of unwed couples flourish, research has shown that, on average, they are at higher risk of living in poverty and of developing social, behavioral, and academic problems than are...

In the mid-1980s, three developments long in the making — a dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock childbearing, the high cost of providing welfare to young poor women who become mothers, and the difficulties faced by their children — became a focus of concern among policymakers and the public alike. Little was known at the time about how to help young mothers receiving...

Developed by the Institute for Research and Reform in Education ( IRRE ), First Things First is an ambitious comprehensive school reform model that seeks to address the impersonal nature and poor performance of many secondary schools serving disadvantaged students. Calling for changes in structure, instruction, governance, and accountability in low-performing middle...

Launched in Houston in 1993 by James Ketelsen, retired CEO of Tenneco, and since expanded to 12 additional school districts, Project Graduation Really Achieves Dreams ( GRAD ) combines a variety of promising reforms to improve instruction and raise student achievement in schools that serve primarily minority and low-income students. With the overarching objective of...

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