The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) is one of four entities nationwide chosen to receive training and technical assistance that ultimately will bolster student access and success programs.
The selection announcement was made by Third Sector, a 501(c)3 organization that has worked with communities across the country to deploy more than $455 million of government resources toward outcomes. Third Sector announced its new PFS in Higher Education national cohort today; the partner sites chosen – ODHE, Arizona State University, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and Connecticut State Colleges and Universities – will receive support in using Pay for Success to fund student access and success programs.
Supported by a grant from the Kresge Foundation, Third Sector will help the partner sites leverage innovative financing as a way to fund wraparound support services to improve matriculation, persistence, and graduation outcomes for underserved students.
“The technical assistance provided will allow Ohio to develop tools that enable effective funding and implementation of these student support services,” said ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner. “This will greatly enhance Ohio’s ability to improve student access and success in higher education, while working to close the equity gaps that exist for low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color.”
“We are excited to help states think through how Pay for Success can be leveraged in higher education and support improved student outcomes,” said Third Sector CEO and Co-founder Caroline Whistler. “These four sites are committed to ensuring that student outcomes are the primary focus of our work together.”
Third Sector will lead cohort teams through a series of workshops, exercises, and convenings as a way to better connect resources for underserved student populations. As part of this work, cohort team members will collaborate with college access and success service providers as well as national and local funders. Tools and resources developed during this project will prepare sites to potentially apply for funding available through the Fund for Innovation and Success in Higher Education (FINISH) Act. The FINISH Act is a bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to support innovative, evidence-based approaches that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of postsecondary education for all students; to pay for success initiatives; to provide additional evaluation authority, and for other purposes.
PFS projects are best suited for programs that serve a clearly defined population, aim to improve specific outcomes, have the support and data necessary to prove success, and have been rigorously evaluated for effectiveness.
Those participating in the cohort were selected through a competitive application process. Each participant represents a large public system of higher education, has committed leadership engaging in the training and technical assistance designed to explore PFS and build toward pilot projects, and is dedicated to holding equity and student outcomes at the center of the project.
About the Ohio Department of Higher Education
The Ohio Department of Higher Education (formerly known as the Ohio Board of Regents) is a Cabinet-level agency for the Governor of the State of Ohio that oversees higher education for the state. The agency’s main responsibilities include authorizing and approving new degree programs, managing state-funded financial aid programs and developing and advocating policies to maximize higher education’s contributions to the state and its citizens.
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