PFS requires the collaboration of government, service providers, and funders. While the uAspire feasibility signaled where PFS in higher education may hold promise, Third Sector has found through past project work that often the most advantageous approach is to bring stakeholders together to workshop and refine an idea, pilot demonstration projects, and then learn from the process together. Third Sector is excited to lead this work with a national learning community cohort in higher education and is actively recruiting cohort members across all three stakeholder groups, to workshop PFS in higher education throughout 2019.
Potential Cohort member types include:
- States with a strong leader(s) with a track record of exploring and implementing innovative approaches in higher education;
- States where an outcomes-based funding formula exists/can be enabled;
- State systems or higher education institutions with accessible data to measure the achievement of student success outcomes (outcomes may include: matriculation, persistence, graduation);
- Nonprofit college access and success providers that offer wraparound student support services, such as advising and coaching, toward low-income, first-generation, and/or students of color;
- Nonprofit college access and success providers with data to demonstrate a measurable impact on achieving student success outcomes (ideally has undergone a rigorous evaluation, e.g. RCT);
- Funders or investors interested in Pay for Success or supporting wraparound student support services that improve outcomes to and through college.
Third Sector’s goal is to develop a strong cohort of higher education institutions, providers, and funders by fall 2019 that will then develop and pilot PFS projects focused on improving college access and success outcomes. Cohort content will draw on effective practices identified through feedback from our past and current cohorts. Participating stakeholder groups will develop a common language and understanding of how state policy, and other enabling factors, can provide the environment for PFS to be used as a tool to promote student success. This cohort approach, with customizable tools shared across the network, will be an effective way to reach a variety of stakeholders to scale and influence the larger national system.
Third Sector’s Cohort Experience
Third Sector uses our cohort model to network organizations and institutions working toward similar goals. To-date, Third Sector has developed three cohort experiences across issue areas and jurisdictions. Third Sector’s cohorts typically run for around 18 months, with 3-4 in-person convenings combined with a series of webinars to share subject-matter content. During convenings Third Sector curates a combination of panels from leaders in the field, facilitates workshop time for project teams, and offers working-sessions for sites to compare notes and troubleshoot common challenges. We have found that cross-state cohorts provide motivation and support to leaders across jurisdictions because they are not constrained by the “status quo” from their own state and are able to jointly identify creative ways to use federal funds.
Visit our Empowering Families and Administrative Data Pilot pages to find out more about our current cohort work.
Please contact Sarah Walton if you are interested in learning more about the PFS in Higher Education National Cohort.