A new report from MDC examines the recent experiences of community colleges across the United States, ranging from California to Connecticut, which are implementing the Center for Working Families (CWF) approach to help low-income students attain financial stability and move up the economic ladder. The approach combines what community colleges do so well—provide individuals with training that connects them to dynamic careers—with the financial education and asset building tools necessary to complete their education and connect with a career path. “Center for Working Families at Community Colleges: Clearing the Financial Barriers to Student Success” takes a closer look at this emerging CWF Community College Learning Network and shows how the individual colleges provide their CWF services, whom they seek to serve, how the CWF fits and adapts within local college contexts, what outcomes they are accomplishing, and provides the answers to other key learning questions. The report includes detailed case studies of five institutions that are approaching the CWF in especially innovative ways.
The report is part of the CWF Community College Learning Network’s desire to chronicle how integrated service delivery is being implemented at community colleges. The study is not meant to be an evaluation, although evidence is offered about the significant impact the centers are having on colleges and their students. Instead, it offers a detailed explanation of how the CWF is working at selected community colleges and providing guidance for other institutions to help their students gain the financial security they need to achieve success in the classroom and beyond.