New grant established to help Adams County adults earn college degrees, land top jobs – The Denver Post

Adams County adults who are 25 and over with some college but no degree will have access to more student support services intended to help them earn a postsecondary credential and land a top job, thanks to a new grant piloted by the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

The $300,000 grant is a partnership between COSI and Third Sector, a nonprofit organization that pushes for “pay for success” funding focused on providing money up front and then bonus payments tied to hitting measurable goals and outcomes.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education is one of the first state higher education agencies in the country to use the “pay for success” model to improve the outcomes for adult higher education seekers.

The goal of the grant is to increase graduation rates and college retention for low-income adults from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds who have stalled out of higher education before completing their degree or obtaining a credential. The grant is designed to accomplish this by funding relationships between public higher education institutions and college access and success providers, and giving students in need more services while they learn.

“Completing a college credential or degree is critical to economic success,” said Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City and chair of the Joint Budget Committee, in a Colorado Department of Higher Education news release.

Nationwide, Moreno said more than 29 million students have enrolled in college and left without receiving a degree or certificate.

“A disproportionate number of these ‘some college no degree’ students are students of color,” Moreno said. “This issue continues to ring true throughout Adams County and I’m thrilled at the opportunity this grant provides.”

Student support service providers, community partners, public institutions of higher education, workforce centers and other organizations working to support adults in Adams County to complete a credential or degree are encouraged to apply.

Applications are due Jan.8 and can be found on the Colorado Department of Higher Education website.

“For students who are low-income, adult learners, and/or students of color, additional student support services are crucial for navigating enrollment and persistence through institutions of higher education,” said Caroline Whistler, CEO and co-founder of Third Sector, in a news release.

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