In this commentary, originally published in The Hill, MDRC’s Alyssa Ratledge highlights the value of postsecondary institutions in rural communities and describes innovations that rural colleges have developed during the pandemic that could be expanded with more support.
A Partnership Between Child Support Agencies and Local Service Providers
The Families Forward Demonstration examined strategies to help parents with low and middle incomes make reliable child support payments by increasing employment and earnings. The model, which emphasized free occupational training activities, shows promise for helping parents qualify for jobs in their chosen fields and for improving child support compliance.
MDRC, Ascendium Education Group, and Rural Matters partnered to present an audio series about higher education that aired on the Rural Matters podcast. This special supplement presents summaries of all four installments in that series.
A Statewide Education Collaboration That Centers on Rural Communities
A West Virginia campaign to double college degree attainment by 2030 includes five evidence-based strategies proven to help students succeed and is customized to suit the particular needs of rural communities. This paper summarizes Part II of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.
College Access Strategies in Rural Communities of Color
Education strategies that consider the local context, needs, and desires of rural students of color, who have historically been shut out of equal access to a college education, are getting increasing attention. This paper summarizes Part III of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.
When Washington state’s Division of Child Support closed its offices in March 2020 in response to COVID-19, its employment program—Families Forward Washington—kept running with minimal interruption, because the original design was based on working remotely. Its model may offer useful pointers for other service agencies for adapting to the pandemic.
Rural colleges are using technological advantages to try to boost enrollment as well as their local economies through infrastructure development and workforce training in advanced fields. This paper summarizes Part IV of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.
Amid keen interest in helping students, young adults, and low-wage workers build the skills necessary to succeed in a technologically advanced economy, MDRC is studying a range of programs that feature employer involvement, such as career pathways from high school into college and the workforce, work-based learning, apprenticeships, and sectoral training.
Current Policy, Prominent Programs, and Evidence
This paper reviews the available evidence supporting various types of career and technical education programs, touching on both the amount of evidence available in each area and its level of rigor.
This grant program funds semester-long paid internships for college juniors and seniors with financial needs. These part-time opportunities, typically with hourly wages of $10-$14, are intended to provide meaningful experiences connected to students’ career interests. Despite some difficulties, many students had highly positive impressions of the program overall.