Dear Partners and Friends,
It is with great enthusiasm and eagerness that we reach out to you today to announce our new strategic direction and invite you into the process of reimagining education and socioeconomic mobility. At College Futures Foundation, we believe in the power of innovation and collaboration, which are crucial elements of our unwavering dedication to learner success.
In order to achieve the inclusive society we dream of for California’s diverse students and workers, we must leave the status quo behind.
We all want the best for our families. Public higher education is about opening doors to opportunity. Today, we stand at a critical inflection point for our state and nation. The pace of change in technologies and job markets is increasing while income gaps persist.
It is time to update and reshape our collective perspectives on learners’ aspirations and ensure that postsecondary education can ensure a thriving democracy and deliver on its promise of opportunity for people of all backgrounds. It is time to reimagine the future.
A New Strategic Framework for College Futures Foundation
Since announcing our new mission and vision last year, the team at College Futures has been developing a new strategic framework to guide our efforts.
We aim to tackle the crisis of value in postsecondary education by adopting a deeply learner-centered approach tailored to meet current challenges and opportunities. We need to educate, train, and reskill workers for tomorrow’s job landscape, keeping equity at the heart of all our actions.
We envision a future where education fosters racial, social, and economic equity, unlocking upward mobility for generations.
Our new priority goal: to ensure that, by 2035, at least 70% of underserved California learners will complete a postsecondary degree or credential that increases opportunity for economic mobility.
Our focus areas:
- Advancing Learner-Centered Innovations: We will foster creative and effective educational experiences through learner-centered policies and practices. By supporting innovative and equity-informed approaches, we aim to empower learners and dismantle barriers with a focus on: cost/affordability, access, time to degree, learner supports, credit portability, and flexible learning environments.
- Aligning Postsecondary Education for Economic Mobility: We will advance deeper understanding and a new narrative regarding the future of postsecondary education as a driver of economic mobility. Through research and convening, we will drive an actionable conversation about how to deliver value, improve access, and create meaningful opportunities for learners.
- Reimagining Education for the Future of Work: We will ensure that education aligns with our ever-evolving economy. By reimagining and redesigning policies, narratives, and financing mechanisms to support lifelong upskilling and reskilling and increasing equitable opportunity, we can equip learners with the know-how needed for successful careers in changing job markets.
Our roles: As a funder and strategic thought partner with a point of view on postsecondary opportunity, we intend to play two key roles in the years to come: focusing the field by elevating ideas, innovations, and changemakers inside and outside public higher education; and brokering relationships between thought and innovation leaders, decision-makers, and expert practitioners with purviews in policy, practice, and funding.
We look forward to contributing to progress against the state and Governor Newsom’s priorities for degree and credential attainment, with a specific and unwavering focus on underserved learners and the end goal of economic mobility.
We will share more in the coming months as we conduct research, talk with potential partners, and develop initiatives to advance this framework. We intend to stay rooted in our organizational values with an explicit focus on DEI. And, as always, we deeply value partnership. Indeed, the future we imagine requires a movement to become reality.
In this year of learning and listening, we welcome thoughts and ideas that may fit under our new strategic focus areas in service of achieving our 70% goal. Please also let us know any questions you have.
We are excited about the journey ahead. Join us in reimagining postsecondary education and unlocking limitless opportunities for future generations.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley
President & CEO
College Futures Foundation