Opportunity Pathways, college completion for community college students

This fall, Wallin Education Partners launched a new pilot program to support scholars who are interested in a career-ready course of study offered at three community colleges. Applications for Opportunity Pathways opened on December 1, 2018 and can be accessed through the Wallin Education Partners website. This program is made possible by the NorthStar Education Finance Foundation and other individual donors who will support up to 75 scholars in 2019.

Modeled after our four-year college program, the pilot combines financial aid with robust, comprehensive advising support. The project stems from an increasing awareness of the number of employment opportunities that require a two-year degree/diploma and the interest of students who view community college as a significant path to employment. The pilot framework is the result of ten months of research, curriculum development, and identification of key partners who are integral to the program including Saint Paul Public School System, Burnsville High School, Genesys Works and AchieveMpls, in addition to Minneapolis College, Normandale College and Saint Paul College.

Wallin Education Partners will administer the program and coordinate its efforts with colleagues at the colleges to increase degree completion and optimize support for students. We are looking for employers to become business partners especially in health care, manufacturing technology, information analytics and business process management. A collaborative effort, Opportunity Pathways brings key partners together with a common goal to increase graduation rates and ensure a diverse, talented workforce for our state.