Newsletters (Read More)

Newsletters (Read More)

Our Partners | FAFSA Completion Rate

County partners set goal of increasing FAFSA completion rate to 65%

The FAFSA completion rate for foster youth high school seniors in L.A. County increased from 33% in 2018 to 61% in 2019. The L.A. County Office of Child Protection recently reported back to the County Board of Supervisors highlighting this progress of the foster youth FAFSA Challenge, led in partnership with John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY) and the OYC Foster Youth College Advancement Project (FYCAP). Building from this tremendous success, countywide partners have set a goal of increasing the rate to 65% in 2020.

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Our Impact | CSUN Connections


CSUN Connections & L.A. Compact Participate in Reverse Transfer Conversation

Juana Hernandez, Senior Manager of Postsecondary Initiatives at UNITE-LA, participated in California Competes’ “Higher Ed Chat” on CSUN Connections, a reverse transfer initiative to support adults in the L.A. area who have faced barriers to completing their degree. Moderated by California Competes’ Interim Executive Director Ria Sengupta Bhatt, Hernandez was joined by Dr. Ryan Cornner, vice chancellor of education programs & institutional effectiveness at Los Angeles Community College District, and Dr. Deborah Cours, interim assistant vice president of academic undergraduate programs at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). 

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Our Corner | New Higher Ed Manager


Welcome, Adam Gottlieb!

We are excited to have Adam Gottlieb join the L.A. Compact team as our new Higher Education Manager! In this role, Adam will support the L.A. Compact Institutions of Higher Education Collaborative in implementing several large-scale projects, including the CSUN Connections reverse transfer pilot, the Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT) research project and the L.A. College Promise partnership. Adam will also contribute to our higher education policy efforts and help connect our local systems change efforts to state and federal policy.

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Our Impact | FAFSA Completion


Increased FAFSA completion rates among foster youth

One of the largest barriers to postsecondary education completion is access to financial aid. Despite being eligible, only 50 percent of foster youth receive a Pell Grant and 9 percent receive a Cal Grant. In 2017, FYCAP co-convener John Burton Advocates for Youth, launched the statewide “FAFSA Challenge.” The goal of this challenge is to support local jurisdiction in eliminating the FAFSA as a barrier to college enrollment. 

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Our Impact | L.A. College Promise


L.A. College Promise First Cohort Graduation

On May 29, the L.A. College Promise celebrated its inaugural class of graduates. Hosted at Cal State L.A., the ceremony brought together over 500 family and community members to celebrate 150 graduating students. The program included keynote remarks by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who launched the program in 2016, and by notable education leaders, including LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia, L.A. Community College District Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez, and California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley. While final numbers for the Class of 2019 are still pending, the Promise has been very successful at increasing the direct college enrollment rates of LAUSD graduates.

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Our Impact | EDI Expansion


EDI Expansion Continues in Los Angeles County

UNITE-LA staff interviewed eight EDI implementing communities across the nation to learn how communities have used the EDI data to move the needle on early childhood policies and systems change. Staff traveled to four of the communities (Erikson Institute, Chicago; ReadyKidSA, San Antonio; Oakland Starting Smart and Strong, Oakland; Starting Smart and Strong, San Jose). Some of the communities had just completed their first round of EDI data collection, while others had already gone through multiple rounds. Communities used the EDI results to make informed decisions on how to best support young children. For instance, some school districts opened up new early learning sites based on the percentage of vulnerable children in a specific region. Having a consistent measure of kindergarten readiness leads to a shared understanding of what it means for a child to be ready for school; however, this work takes years to unfold and it will be important for the L.A. Compact Early Childhood Stewardship Group to identify how cross sectors groups, not just schools, can benefit from the EDI.

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Feature Story July 2019


Ensuring a successful future for foster youth


On July 9, 250 practitioners from child welfare, higher education and workforce development agencies came together at the California Endowment to deepen their knowledge about innovative programs and best-practices that support foster youth success in higher education and the workforce. Hosted by the Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC), the Fostering Connections to Transition-Age Youth Self-Sufficiency Summit focused on strengthening connections between college campus foster youth support programs, workforce providers, juvenile probation, K-12 districts, community based agencies and LA County's child welfare system.

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Feature Story | June 2019


Public sector collaboration to improve postsecondary outcomes for foster youth


In May, the OYC Foster Youth College Advancement Project (FYCAP) partners presented a session at the Collective Impact Forum in Chicago, titled “Driving Public Sector Systems Change: Lessons from Los Angeles County.” The session described the process that FYCAP co-conveners, John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY) and UNITE-LA, undertook in order to build buy-in from the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and to co-design College Bound Antelope Valley, a project that is training social workers to initiate college exploration and planning activities with middle and high school aged youth. FYCAP also supported DCFS in launching two new higher education courses this past April that will increase the capacity of Resource Parents to assist youth with college exploration and planning. To learn more about this new postsecondary education curriculum for caregivers, register for this webinar on June 5.

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Our Corner | Sept. 2019

Our Impact | Reverse Transfer | June 2019


L.A. Compact Student Success Workgroup focuses on community college transfers & reverse transfers


UNITE-LA staff and representatives from the CSUN Connections reverse transfer partnership traveled to Detroit, MI at the end of April to participate in the Lumina Foundation’s national Talent Hubs convening to think about how to support and scale reverse transfer through state and system-wide policy development. The partners, including project leaders from CSUN, L.A. Mission College, L.A. Valley College, L.A. Pierce College, and California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office participated in a half-day institute on reverse transfer that was facilitated by the Institute of Higher Education Policy, where we joined Shasta County’s North State Together team members in sharing implementation lessons with other communities that are exploring reverse transfer.

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