Joyce Foundation Awards $3 Million for College, Career Pathways

The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation has announced grants totaling $3 million to four communities in the Midwest in support of a new regional partnership aimed at expanding high-quality college and career pathways.

Through the Great Lakes College and Career Pathways Partnership, the foundation will provide the communities with $400,000 each over two years as well as hands-on technical support from national leaders in the field. The communities — Central Ohio/Greater Columbus; Madison, Wisconsin; Rockford, Illinois; and the northwest Chicago suburbs served by Districts 211 and 214 and Harper College — were chosen based on their  committed leadership and strong partnerships in support of college and career readiness.

In addition to the grants to the four communities, the investment by the  foundation includes $1.4 million in grants to three national leaders in pathway programs — ConnectEd: the California Center for College and Career, in Berkeley; Jobs for the Future, in Boston; and Chicago-based Education Systems Center of Northern Illinois University — to provide technical assistance to the individual communities as well as the partnership itself.

"College and career pathways transform high school by making the experience far more relevant for students and helping to ensure lasting success in education, careers and life" said Beth Swanson, the foundation's vice president for strategy and programs. "And they turn out more knowledgeable and skilled workers to fuel regional economies."