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New State of Preschool Report Released

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has released The State of Preschool 2014 report. The newest edition of this annual report profiles state-funded prekindergarten programs throughout the United States, as well as documenting growth. The annual preschool report helps track and understand progress across states and the nation. National Highlights in this year’s State of Preschool report includes: State funding for Pre-K programs increased by nearly $120 million in 2013-2014. In 2013-2014, 29% of America’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in a state-funded Pre-K program. After a loss of 4,000 seats in 2012-2013, student enrollment increased by 8,535 in 2013-2014. Pre-K quality standards improved in 2013-2014. The annual report is divided into three sections: The first section describes trends in

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Federal Program Spotlight: Family and Youth Services Bureau

In the series highlighting federal programs, Transform Consulting Group is now highlighting the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB). FYSB is a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support organizations and communities that work to put an end to youth homelessness, adolescent pregnancy, and domestic violence. FYSB offers an array of services and programs in an effort to support the social and emotional well-being of youth and families. FYSB offers three key programs: Runaway and Homeless Youth Program supports street outreach, emergency shelters and longer-term transitional living and maternity group home programs to serve and protect this population. An executive summary of young people who experienced homelessness is available here. Family Violence

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Protecting Students, and Holding College Programs Accountable

Students pursuing education beyond high school have several different paths to choose: attend a trade school, community college, baccalaureate program, or for-profit institution – all of which can either be public, private non-profit or for-profit. Unfortunately, student outcomes and costs vary tremendously depending on the path pursued. According to the U.S. Department of Education, attending community college is one-fourth the cost of attending two-years at a for-profit institution. This causes 80 percent of students attending for-profit institutions to borrow, while less than 50 percent of students at public institutions have to borrow. The Obama Administration has announced new regulations that will go into affect on July 1, 2015 to help improve outcomes for students and also protect them from massive

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Transformational Organization Spotlight: Wabash County Promise

The Wabash County YMCA is “planting seeds of hope,” in its youth through a new initiative: Wabash County Promise. Wabash County Promise is a community-wide initiative to promote college and career readiness in students in grades K-12. The initiative includes four key college and career ready components: Educational Savings: At school registration, families enroll in a CollegeChoice529 college savings account and may receive help in doing so. Students with a college savings account are more likely to enroll in and complete college. College & Career Discovery: All students participate in college and career discovery in the classroom throughout the month of September. In the younger grades this includes lessons such as: “What do I want to be when I grow

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Federal Program Spotlight: Job Corps

  This post is part of Transform Consulting Group’s blog series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities. Job Corps is a free education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program is designed to help low-income young people ages 16-24 gain experience needed for a career or higher education. The Job Corps was initiated in 1964 under the Economic Opportunity Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson as a part of the war on poverty. Since then, the Job Corps has offered resources to young adults looking for meaningful careers. Last year, the Job Corps budget was $1,691,923,000. Job Corps offers career planning, on-the-job training, job placement, residential housing, food service, driver’s

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Grad Nation Report Released

  America’s Promise Alliance, Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises and Everyone Graduates Center for John Hopkins University has released the 6th annual report update demonstrating progress towards a national quest to achieve a 90-percent high school graduation rate by 2020. The GradNation campaign, led by America’s Promise Alliance, not only hopes to increase the on-time graduation rate, but also increase postsecondary enrollment and completion rates for groups of students that have traditionally struggled to earn a high school diploma. The Report reveals a continuing pattern that shows high school graduation rates are not increasing because of broad national economic, demographic, or social trends. Rather, the collection of leadership, reforms, and multi-sector efforts at state, district, and school levels are

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Program Spotlight: Indiana Afterschool Network

  According to a study by the Afterschool Alliance, roughly 11.3 million school-aged children are left alone and unsupervised during the hours afterschool. Approximately 19.4 million children would participate in out-of-school time (OST) programs if they were offered. Indiana Afterschool Network (IAN) is an organization with a mission to promote afterschool and summer learning through connecting and inspiring youth, community partners, and advocates. IAN hopes to ensure all K-12 youth have access to high quality learning experiences that extend beyond the school day. IAN recently launched the Indiana Academy for Out-of-School Learning to help educate OST professionals in a partnership with the National Afterschool Association and Child Care Aware. Roberta L. Newman is credited with creating the 36-course Certificate Series, and

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Inaugural Red Nose Day USA

  Red Nose Day is a day of fundraising to help young people living tough lives around the world. On May 21, 2015, NBC is teaming up with Comic Relief to raise money during a three-hour entertainment special featuring superstar actors, comedians, musicians, and original sketch comedy. Since 2009, Comic Relief has made grants totalling more than $300 million to create lasting change. The money raised through Red Nose Day goes to organizations that help children and young people in the US and across the world by keeping them safe, educating them, and making sure they are healthy. Comic Relief has helped over 1 million children in Africa and the world’s poorest countries to get an education. The campaign formally kicked off in April and will conclude

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Federal Grant Opportunity: First in the World

  The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education has launched the First in the World (FITW) grant program for higher education institutions to drive innovations in higher education and increase college affordability, completion, and quality outcomes through the development and testing of new approaches and strategies. This year, FITW will have two tiers: In the development tier, projects will be funded in three areas (with specific descriptions in the announcement): Improving teaching and learning Developing and using assessments of student learning Facilitating pathways to credentialing and transfer In the validation tier, projects will be funded in these four areas: Improving success in developmental education Improving teaching and learning Improving student support services Influencing the development of non-cognitive factors In

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Meet the Newest Team Member

  Transform Consulting Group is thrilled to announce its newest team member, Monica DiOrio!  As Project Coordinator, she will assist with several client projects.  Monica graduated from the University of Missouri with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies, as well as a certificate in Multi-Cultural Studies. She recently completed a one-year term of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for the Indiana Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, focusing on capacity building through grant management, reporting efficiency, and cultivating community partnerships. Working to expand the impact of local organizations has been a passion of hers for many years. Her experience in non-profit organizations spans small community-based organizations to a large medical non-profit in Chicago. During her spare

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