This toolkit provides career pathways consortia leaders with tools and strategies to create a sustainability plan for innovations created through Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants and highlights examples of sustainable innovations for each of the TAACCCT core elements.

“This toolkit is designed to support the sustainability of the programs and innovations developed by grantees through the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program. It has been developed for project managers, directors, and others responsible for implementing and overseeing TAACCCT grants” (p.1). “These innovations can be successful program practices, institutional policies, instructional designs, new staff roles such as navigators—any key innovation that has been created through…grant efforts and that contributed to…success. Once [programs have] identified and prioritized innovations to sustain or scale, the toolkit will help [them] develop a plan to ensure that they become a permanent part of how [a] college/consortium helps students build successful careers” (p.2). The toolkit provides a guide and accompanying worksheets to help guide TAACCCT planning teams.  “The questions and the examples in each worksheet…will help …guide [a] planning team through a process that includes analyzing…progress, identifying opportunities to sustain and scale key elements of success, and developing a full sustainability work plan” (p.7).

Additionally, the toolkit describes “a few of the many innovations created across the core elements of TAACCCT, and provides examples of the strategies that grantees have used to sustain those innovations” (p.4). Strategies and corresponding examples include:

1.    “Creating a Permanent, For-Credit Offering” (p.4)

    a. “Embedding industry-recognized credentials in programs of study” (p.4)

    b. “Expanding credit for prior learning” (p.4)

2.    “Creating Registered Apprenticeships” (p.5)

    a. “Developing work-based learning elements” (p.5)

3.    “Building a Case for Funding by Showing a Return on Investment” (p.5)

    a. “Adding greater student support” (p.5)

4.    “Adopting New Designs as Permanent Offerings of the College” (p.6)

    a. “Developing new instructional designs” (p.6)

5.    “Obtaining Statewide Funding and Adopting Practice Statewide” (p.6)

    a. “Redesigned developmental education” (p.6)

(Abstractor : Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“Sustainability planning for consortia can be a two-phase process: each college within the consortium can consider what to sustain and how to scale key elements of the project within their college. At the same time, college representatives from across [a] consortium can consider together what to sustain and … how to scale efforts consortium-wide” (p.7). The toolkit provides a six-step sustainability process, with accompanying worksheets, for consortia: “Step 1. Who should be on your planning team? It is important to engage a broad team in the planning process—grant staff, senior leadership, faculty, deans, student services staff, and others should all be included in discussions about sustainability” (p.8). “Step 2. How is your TAACCCT vision aligned with the strategic priorities of the institution, the state, and other community college reform efforts? Make sure that everyone on the planning team is aware of all of the programs, program components, major partnerships, innovations, and strategies of your TAACCCT project” (p.9). “Step 3. What has had the greatest impact on your success? Demonstrating your success through data is a critical part of sustainability” (p.12). “Step 4. What mechanisms will you use to sustain your innovations? …consider how you will sustain/scale the innovations you have identified previously” (p.16). “Step 5. What might require additional funding? Some of the innovations that will be sustained, and the mechanisms for sustaining them, will require additional funding. For example, elements that might require additional funding include student support staff, faculty who have been paid to teach non-credit courses, or a subscription service for a tool to analyze the labor market with real-time labor market information” (p.17). “Step 6. Your sustainability work plan” (p.18) “…get as concrete and specific as possible regarding the specific action steps you will need to develop the mechanism/ strategy that you decided (in Step 4) you need to develop to sustain each innovation” (p.18). The toolkit concludes with the following advice from the authors: “The process of designing a sustainability plan isn’t linear. Begin the process early and review over time the innovations that you had flagged as keys to success. Pay attention to new opportunities that emerge, as well as what else is happening at the college, and revisit your work plan to update it as your sustainability effort moves along” (p.19). (Abstractor : Author and Website Staff)