This paper focuses on strategies for creating postsecondary pathways for high school dropouts in order to close the skills gap as well as connect the talents of these youth to postsecondary skills and credentials. The paper argues that in order to improve educational and economical outcomes for high school dropouts, there must be alignment of secondary, postsecondary, workforce, and adult education systems and several actions must be taken. These actions include: providing flexibility in the way that credits and credentials are awarded through options such as credit recovery, bridge programs and dual enrollment; making dropouts aware of the possibility of going to college, remediation, and youth development programs; connecting postsecondary pathways to occupational credentials and good jobs through supports such as learning communities, internships, wrap-around supports, and mentors; and providing support for students in order to promote postsecondary persistence and completion of credentials. Recommendations for addressing the dropout crisis at the federal and state level are also provided.
Creating Postsecondary Pathways to Good Jobs for Young High School Dropouts: The Possibilities and the Challenges
Center for American Progress