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Funding Expanded Early Postsecondary Opportunities

Districts across the country are implementing unique pathways that respond to the needs of their students and communities. Research shows that investing in early postsecondary opportunities can promote students’ current and future success, and many districts are realizing the positive impact of providing meaningful and relevant college and career opportunities.

Our downloadable guide explains how district leaders can use ESSER funding to successfully expand quality postsecondary opportunities and support students’ success. 


Download the Guide


What Are the Benefits of Investing in Early Postsecondary Opportunities?

Schools that have dedicated time, resources, and capacity toward developing relevant postsecondary experiences in K-12 have proven to:

  • Increase GPAs and on-time high school graduation rates.
  • Increase enrollment in a postsecondary institution immediately after graduation.
  • Increase persistence between a student’s first and second year of postsecondary education.
  • Increase postsecondary completion rates.
  • Expand networks of support for students—which can be especially important for students from low-income backgrounds.


How to Spend ESSER Funds to Accelerate Early Postsecondary Opportunities

ESSER funds and other short-term infusions can be prime resources for starting and expanding postsecondary opportunities.

Specifically, district leaders can use these short-term funds across these key focus areas:

  • Defining early postsecondary opportunities.
  • Designing the schedules and modes of instruction for postsecondary instruction.
  • Supporting students to and through postsecondary 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.


Download Our Guide on Expanded Postsecondary Opportunities to:

  • Learn about the key areas for a holistic and sustainable investment in quality postsecondary opportunities.
  • Explore ways to use short-term resources (like ESSER) to expand these opportunities equitably.
  • Discover how four schools and districts around the country have created strategic schedules and staffing models—that you can implement, too! 
  • Access models for leveraging online instruction for expanding postsecondary opportunities at scale.


Download the Guide


Additional Resources and Real-World Examples of Expanding Postsecondary Opportunities


Using ESSER Funds for College & Career Success: Q&A Session With Leaders From Denver Public Schools

In Denver Public Schools, leaders are using ESSER investments to reimagine the high school experience and ensure that every student is prepared for college and career success. Learn more.

Toolkit: Multi-Tiered Supports Through Early Warning Systems

District leaders across the country are implementing a growing practice called Early Warning Systems (EWS) that can predict which high school students need additional supports toward graduation and ensure they have what they need for postsecondary success. Find our toolkit and additional resources on providing multi-tiered supports through EWS. Learn more.

Toolkit: Building Strong Relationships Through Advisory & Lower Teacher Loads

Students are returning to school with unprecedented social and emotional needs due to pandemic-related disruptions. District leaders can improve student outcomes by investing ESSER funds into key components of their advisory approach and strategically scheduling and staffing to lighten teacher loads. Explore our toolkit and additional resources to help you build stronger relationships in your high schools. Learn more.

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