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BRAIDED FUNDING TOOLKIT

 

Using the BRAIDED FUNDING Toolkit

Each Accelerating Opportunity state and college team develops a braided funding model—its own standardized and sustainable approach to identifying, utilizing, and expanding funds to support integrated career pathways. State and college teams can use the tools and resources in The Braided Funding Toolkit as a guide to thinking about and creating such models.

The Braided Funding Toolkit has four sections:

  • Funding Streams describes the federal, state, and private funding sources that each Accelerating Opportunity state and college braids together to support integrated career pathways.
  • Funding Strategies goes beyond the braiding of existing funding streams to describe many potential sources of funding that state and college teams could develop to support integrated career pathways.
  • Assessment is an interactive tool for the use of college and state teams in determining their current use of each funding stream and strategy, as well as identifying opportunities and challenges to using them to implement and support integrated career pathways.
  • Innovative Ideas is a searchable database of funding streams and strategies that Accelerating Opportunity states and colleges have used to support integrated career pathways.

BRAIDED FUNDING

In Accelerating Opportunity, braided funding, the weaving together of various state, federal, and private funding streams, along with funding strategies, is critical to implementing integrated career pathways. The Braided Funding Toolkit provides Accelerating Opportunity state teams and colleges with resources to identify the major federal and state funding streams that may be available to support integrated career pathways and their students. The toolkit, built in part from the Center for Law and Social Policy’s Federal Funding for Integrated Service Delivery Toolkit, is designed to support state and college teams through the complex process of developing a comprehensive, sustainable funding model for integrated pathways.

WHY DEVELOP BRAIDED FUNDING?

Colleges and states cannot rely on one or two major sources of funding to support and sustain new and innovative programs like integrated career pathways. They must pull from multiple smaller sources, each with specific goals, target populations, and performance indicators. Braided funding leverages federal, state, and private funds by “braiding” them together to support integrated career pathways and the students enrolled in them. 

 

Just as important, cuts in federal funding for workforce development and education have made it significantly harder for community colleges to serve low-income, lower-skilled, first-generation college goers. For example, Pell Grant funding falls for short of the number of students in need or their level of need. Moreover, the federal government has eliminated, at least for the time being, “Ability to Benefit” eligibility for federal grant and loan programs as a substitute for the requirement of a high school diploma or GED.  Read More...


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