Utilizing federal funding to implement sustainable learner support programs and initiatives
Fall is here. And for many institutions and organizations around the country, this is the time of year when much-anticipated federal grants are awarded. The impact of this funding on wraparound support projects can be truly transformational. Hundreds of colleges, universities and workforce organizations lean on these dollars to create sustainable change for their staff and their learners. Yet not everyone who receives federal grants has a plan in place to maximize those dollars on proven learner support efforts. That’s where we come in.
Using federal grants as a catalyst for transformation
InsideTrack is experienced and adept at working with institutions that have received funding from federal grant programs, both from the Department of Education and from the Department of Labor. This includes:
- Title III
- Title V
- Post-secondary Student Success Grant
- GEAR UP
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
- And more!
All of these grants are designed to improve educational and career success. By helping individuals obtain degrees, certification and training, we work to ensure they are better able to support their families and engage in the communities.
In many cases, grants require using a solution that’s evidence-based and research-confirmed. InsideTrack’s pioneering coaching methodology is listed in the U.S. Department of Education’s “What Works Clearinghouse” of evidence-based practices. Along with direct coaching where our highly trained coaches work one-on-one with your learners, we can also train your team to use our equity-forward coaching methodology. This equips your support staff with the skills they need to scale and carry on the impact.
Grants in action provide proven results
To see how InsideTrack partners with institutions and organizations to implement sustainable coaching programs and initiatives using different types of federal grants, we’re sharing a trio of success stories — each demonstrating how federal grant funding transformed learner and worker success.
Waubonsee Community College
Funds Used: Department of Education Title V: Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant
Waubonsee Community College was looking to transform how their student-facing staff supported current and future students — enabling them to better support Latinx and adult learners. Their goals included increasing enrollment and retention, closing achievement gaps, and helping Latinx and adult learner communities rise.
Using Title V grant funding, Waubonsee partnered with InsideTrack on a three-year initiative to incorporate coaching methodology as a means to increase student support capacity. This included in-depth, long-term coach training for staff members, as well as quality observations and debriefs, manager training and mentoring, and Trainer Certification — meaning Waubonsee staff members who received advanced training could teach others to coach.
As a result, 30 of the school’s case managers and admissions staff were trained, and the majority are now certified as coaches. Three observers are certified to monitor quality in all coaching interactions. And five trainers are certified to enable the program to scale and sustain the impact beyond the partnership.
Learn more about Waubonsee’s grant-funded work to better serve Latinx and adult learners.
Equus Workforce Solutions
Funds Used: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) youth program
Equus Workforce Solutions partners with local workforce boards across the country to drive education and career outcomes for young people between 16 and 24 who are disconnected from school and work. Understanding the difficulty of connecting these young adults to meaningful employment, Equus sought to find new ways to support the next generations — ways aligned with WIOA program requirements that would measurably increase positive mentorship outcomes.
That’s when they created a partnership between four workforce boards (one each in California, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania) and InsideTrack. The program is designed to pair young adults, identified by the workforce boards, with a professional coach — a coach devoted to their individual success and trained in a trauma-informed, healing-centered approach. Fueled by InsideTrack’s proven coaching methodology, this partnership brings an evidence-based lens to mentorship, allowing participants to feel supported as they make progress toward their goals — offering more structure and formality than other mentorship programs in the process.
InsideTrack coaches connect with the young adults via multiple channels, including phone calls, emails, video chats and text messages. By meeting them where they are, coaches support youth to make a solid plan to reach their employment or education goals, build motivation, develop social capital and lean into their own strengths as they advance toward a meaningful career pathway.
As a result, the partnership between Equus, InsideTrack and the participating workforce boards brings innovation and wraparound support to young adults seeking mentorship. Monthly reporting helps measure the progress and impact of coaching, providing best practices and consistent support for young adults who are working hard to create a strong future for themselves and their communities.
Learn more about how Equus Workforce Solutions uses federal grant funding to help young people achieve their education and career outcomes.
Illinois Central College
Funds Used: Department of Education Title III: Strengthening Institutions grant program
Illinois Central College (ICC), a community college that supports one in four graduating high school seniors in their region, wanted to create a sustainable student-support solution to increase retention and drive economic opportunity.
Using Title III grant funding, ICC partnered with InsideTrack on a four-year program to expand the college’s capabilities, redesign academic advising services and ultimately improve outcomes. The program was divided into two parts:
- Phase one included a year of direct student coaching during the height of the pandemic.
- Phase two is a multi-year capacity building program bringing InsideTrack-led training and development to various groups of ICC staff and leadership.
The impact was impressive. After a year of retention coaching, the school showed an 18% increase in retention rates among all coached students — including a 33% increase among African American students. During this same time — the first part of the academic advising redesign — student surveys showed a 95% overall satisfaction rate with ICC academic advising — an increase of 14.7%. As phase two continues to roll out, the school expanded the partnership with InsideTrack, adding re-enrollment coaching.
Learn more about ICC and their funding-enabled work to transform student support.