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DO NOW, BUILD TOWARD: Using ESSER Funds to Expand Early Postsecondary Opportunities

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ESSER funding provides a unique opportunity for districts to support school recovery and redesign. Additional guidance on spending, scheduling, and staffing can help district leaders—who are stretched thin and have many priorities to balance—get programs off the ground and lay the foundation for sustainable, long-term change.

With some time still remaining to seize these opportunities, our ESSER strategy guide, “Expanding Early Postsecondary Opportunities,” draws on decades of research, leverages key takeaways from direct work in districts, and includes insights gathered from experts and partner organizations in the field.

Why Invest in Early Postsecondary Opportunities?

School districts across the country are implementing unique pathways that respond to student and community needs for meaningful and relevant college and career opportunities. 

Our ESSER strategy guide, “Using ESSER Funds for Expanding Early Postsecondary Opportunities,” helps district leaders who are looking to build or assess postsecondary offerings use ESSER funds to get programs off the ground—and do so in an intentional, strategic, sustainable manner.

As part of our “Do Now, Build Toward” approach, we show high school leaders how to design, schedule, and staff intentional and relevant college and career opportunities, while providing deep support for and through these experiences.

Download our Postsecondary Opportunities Guide to….

  • Address urgent student needs and longstanding inequities.
  • Engage students in relevant and timely standards-aligned work.
  • Access real-world examples of staffing and scheduling models that your school/district can implement now and continue to build upon along the way.

Examples and Benefits of Postsecondary Opportunities

Hamilton County Public Schools invested in the creation of Future Ready Institutes, hiring industry-experienced teachers to support students toward relevant career credentials. These electives are aligned to fulfill both high school and industry-certification credits, and leverage industry partnerships to ensure sustainable funding. As a result, at least 70% of students in the Class of 2023 will have a postsecondary experience and certifications earned have increased from 60 to 1,100.


Download the Guide

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