— Strada Education Network℠ today announced its launch as a new kind of nonprofit organization that takes a fresh approach to improving student success in higher education and connecting graduates to rewarding careers.
Strada Education applies a unique combination of strategic philanthropy, research and insights, and innovative solutions to improve the college-to-career connection that is critical to the future economic prosperity of our nation and its citizens. Building on the 56-year legacy of USA Funds® — which helped more than 22 million students and parents pay for college — Strada Education promotes Completion With a Purpose®, enhancing student success in college — or other postsecondary programs — and connecting graduates to rewarding careers and fulfilling lives.
“We are proud of our work of promoting financial access to higher education during the past half-century,” said William Hansen, Strada Education president and CEO, “but the challenges facing higher education, as well as the evolving needs of our nation’s workforce and economy, compel us to direct our attention to helping more students succeed in postsecondary education and graduate with the skills and competencies they need to smoothly transition to their careers and lives following graduation.”
Hansen noted that “strada” means “road” or “pathway” and evokes the notion of being on the right path. He added the new name accurately captures the organization’s focus on helping students, educators, employers and policymakers make better decisions that promote the most effective path through education and training to help Americans realize their career and life goals.
According to Hansen, a disconnect between the skills and competencies that graduates take with them into the job market and the needs of employers threatens future economic growth and prosperity. As one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations focused on improving the connection between college and careers, Strada Education works to ensure all students have the tools and resources they need to compete successfully in the 21st century workforce, by:
- Connecting students to meaningful work experience throughout their education and providing improved data on the value of college programs to help students make better decisions about their career paths.
- Engaging employers to play a more central role in the education process to promote better alignment between graduates’ skills and employers’ needs for talent.
- Cultivating innovative technologies, education and training programs, and partnerships to enhance college completion and career preparation.
- Assisting at-risk youth and young adults who are out of school and not working to ensure that they, too, have the opportunity to earn a postsecondary credential and pursue a rewarding career.
Additionally, Strada Education sponsors research that offers insights to inform higher education and workforce development policies and practices. Its groundbreaking partnership with Gallup will deliver a stream of survey research results, offering the perspectives of hundreds of thousands of higher education consumers.
Strada Education also supports a growing network of companies that offer innovative solutions to improve student outcomes in higher education and facilitate the transition to successful and meaningful careers.
Those companies include:
- Roadtrip Nation empowers individuals to define their own roads in life.
- Student Connections provides innovative student success solutions, developed in collaboration with colleges, universities and their students, to provide relevant and engaging resources throughout the student life cycle.
- Education at Work partners with corporations and universities to provide professional part-time work opportunities for students, promoting career-readiness, minimized student loan indebtedness and a smooth transition to full-time employment for its student workforce.
- DXtera Institute helps higher education institutions and their partners to better use data to promote student success and college completion.