Innovative Strategies to Close Postsecondary Attainment Gaps: Building Collaborative Partnerships through the Stakeholder Engagement ProcessPublished Mar 2020
Community. Collaboration. Co-creation. These are the three principles that the Community Engagement Coalition (CEC) has applied for more than ten years to tackle myriad community-wide challenges. A partnership of several coalitions in the southeast Indiana region, the CEC understands that increased rates of postsecondary completion benefit not only the individual who earns the degree but the community as a whole. To promote postsecondary educational attainment, the partnership developed a unique framework known as the Stakeholder Engagement Process to build education-to-career pathways for all. Through this framework, the CEC has cultivated a strong talent pool and is supporting regional prosperity.
This guidebook describes exactly how the collaborative process works in practice, highlighting how the process improved outcomes for Latinx residents in southeast Indiana. Building Collaborative Partnerships through the Stakeholder Engagement Process includes the Stakeholder Equity Assessment Tool for use by other communities interested in forming similar collaboration.
To develop this guidebook, IHEP interviewed key representatives from the regional Community Engagement Coalition, the Economic Opportunities through Education (EcO) Network, and CivicLab, to learn how they created and are employing the Stakeholder Engagement Process to promote increased degree attainment and sustain a 21st-century workforce. When the collaboration began in 2010, only 27 percent of local adults between the ages of 25 and 64 had earned at least an associate degree. Today, that figure is 33 percent. Latinx enrollment in adult education programs increased by 22 percent between 2016 and 2017 alone and the gap in high school graduation rates had dropped from 16.6 to 3.5 percent over an 11-year period.
This profile and interactive tool are part of the Innovative Strategies to Close Postsecondary Attainment Gaps series, as part of IHEP’s work with Lumina Foundation’s Talent Hubs.