Fostering Opportunities: Closing the High School Graduation Gap for Youth Who Experience Foster Care

Only one in four Colorado students who experience foster care during high school graduate with their class. Most interventions aimed at improving the graduation rates of foster youth are spearheaded by child welfare agencies or the judicial system with services typically ending when students exit the foster care system. Yet there is evidence to suggest that the risk for poor educational outcomes may increase after foster care ends. Fostering Opportunities is different because it is delivered by a school system and continues service until a student graduates or demonstrates sustained academic success.

School Counselor Corps Grant Program

The Colorado School Counselor Corps Grant Program (SCCGP) is intended to assist local education providers to access effective school counseling in order to increase graduation rates, decrease dropout rates, and increase rates of matriculation into institutions of higher education. SCCGP has shown promising results in achieving all of its stated goals over the past 10 years of implementation. The goal of this project is to develop a plan and prepare to conduct a rigorous evaluation of program effectiveness and measure the program’s ROI.

Improving Data Systems to Support the Early Childhood Workforce Phase II

The successful creation of early care and education workforce data assets in Phase I led to an extension of Colorado Lab’s partnership with CDHS’ Office of Early Childhood through the Federal Preschool Development Grant. This second phase of work will support the rebuild of the early childhood workforce registry data system and will fill in data gaps including postsecondary pathways of the workforce as well as a comprehensive look at wages and compensation.

Governor’s Budget Seeks Boost to Wages for ECE Workforce

The Colorado Lab is dedicated to creating actionable research. A recent effort to create a snapshot of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce, funded by the Piton Foundation and the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, was no exception. The Snapshot Report demonstrated that “high turnover in the field exacerbates the workforce shortage and hinders childcare quality,” and pointed to low pay as a contributing factor.