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Best Bet Profile

The Best Bet Profile is the result of the Counseling to Careers training - a developed "brochure" for counselors to use with students. Read more...

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What school designs are effective for off-track and out-of-school youth?

  • How do we develop a school culture and operations that support students on a path to a postsecondary credential?
  • How do we staff the school to engage and accelerate off-track youth?
  • What instructional and assessment strategies should we use with this population? 
  • How do we develop partnerships so that youth graduate college-ready and transition smoothly to postsecondary education and training?  
  • How do we support off-track students in dual enrollment?
  • How can we best deliver social and emotional supports?
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JFF Tools and Resources
Complete a survey based on the Back on Track model to better understand how your program/school maps to the three phases and what may be needed to improve your students’ graduation rates and college readiness.
Texas's Rio Grande Valley is home to a groundbreaking model for dropout recovery (based on the Back on Track Through College model) that helps youth transition into college. The College, Career, and Technology Academy has graduated almost 1,000 former dropouts and off-track youth in five years — a significant percentage of whom attained postsecondary credits before graduating — putting college success within reach for students who once left school without a diploma or were at high risk of not graduating. This approach is being replicated across the Southwest, as other school districts recognize the promise and potential of recovering this population and helping them achieve their postsecondary and career goals.
This white paper shares lessons from “best in class” GED to College programs that show early, positive results in preparing youth for college and helping them persist once there. It also explores key issues connected to the growth of this programming within the field and lays out a framework for leaders and program staff looking to transform short-term GED programs into more intensive, college-connected designs.
This paper highlights the Postsecondary Success Initiative, launched in 2008 as a collaboration of Jobs for the Future (JFF), YouthBuild USA, the National Youth Employment Coalition, and as of 2011, the Corps Network with generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Open Society Foundations.
The Rudy Lozano Leadership Academy of Chicago requires all students to complete a graduation check-list and a senior portfolio. This tool contains sample graduation check-list requirements and an outline of requirements for the senior portfolio.
Despite growing interest in student-centered approaches to learning, educators have few places to turn for a comprehensive account of key components of this emerging field. Students at the Center aims to build the knowledge base for these innovative approaches that beat the odds for underserved students, and improve learning and achievement. This project includes 9 papers and additional resources on student-centered learning.
This brief by Youth Development Institute, for JFF, seeks to build an understanding of the needs and strengths of young people who are underrepresented in higher education and the ways that youth development organizations and colleges can collaborate to improve student success.
This tool is designed to help assess key steps schools and programs can take to start to embed college readiness skills into their daily activities and identify next steps for improvement.
This tool is designed to inform the planning and building of support infrastructures for students transitioning to postsecondary institutions from second chance systems.
This toolkit consists of two tools: one that provides an overview of principles for practice in ensuring good attendance, and another that offers a self-assessment for schools on a full range of attendance strategies.
This toolkit provides examples of how Rudy Lozano Academy, a campus of Youth Connection Charter School, has structured its combined graduation portfolio to incorporate postsecondary exploration, preparation, and application. This example provides a basis from which to customize a list of graduation requirements that go beyond course credits and assessments and to design a portfolio process that conveys high expectations for college readiness.
The intake process at College Career and Technology Academy in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, Texas starts when an enrolling student arrives and ends when he or she is attending classes and his or her enrollment paperwork is complete. This tool describes their intake process. An accompanying tool offers a self-assessment for schools on how they would like to utilize their intake process to accomplish a range of goals.
This tool enables your school/program assess their recruitment strategies for off-track and out-of-school youth.
This tool provides a platform for discussion about making data an essential part of practice.
This tool includes strategies for supporting high school students dual-enrolled in college courses, and the conditions required for implementation. Review the strategies and conditions to determine next steps to implementation.
This tool includes key features of a college skills for success course, an overview of these courses in four postsecondary institutions, and a matrix that staff can use to design or enhance their college skills for success course.
Bringing Off-Track Youth in the Center of High School Reform provides a "starter kit" for school districts seeking to introduce a systemic approach to dropout prevention and recovery. This tool kit supports the efforts of a school district and its partners to create a system of back-on-track options for off-track and out-of-school youth. It focuses on key decision points in identifying young people who are falling off track and on creating high-quality learning environments to help them reengage and graduate college-ready.
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo partnered with South Texas College to create the College, Career, and Technology Academy (CCTA), a college-connected dropout recovery school that puts former dropouts onto a supported path to postsecondary education.
Additional Tools and Resources
This publication describes lessons learned from a multiple organization partnership in New York City during the development and implementation of the College Access and Success model.
The College Prep Academy operated jointly by Capital IDEA and Austin Community College in Texas provides an accelerated program to assist underprepared adult learners wishing to satisfy the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements in order to enter college and earn a degree or certificate.
This publication describes successful practices and program models that serve off-track and out-of-school youth, gathered from leading practitioners in New York City.
The purpose of this report by David T. Conley is to provide an operational definition of college readiness that differs from current representations of this concept primarily in its scope. This report is relevant to the Back on Track Postsecondary Bridging work and provides a good foundation for developing strategies for bridging.
This brief describes a number of finance-related policies that states can use to support the development of education options that serve struggling students and disconnected youth.
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