Partnering for Education Success

Author: Paul J. Luna, President and CEO

April 14, 2017

At Helios Education Foundation, we believe that partnership and collaboration are essential in ensuring that more students have the opportunity to succeed in postsecondary education.  Collaboration is necessary to maximize the investments we make, and public/private partnerships demonstrate that political leadership in combination with innovative solutions are an effective way to close the achievement gap and address longstanding inequities in education.

Helios is pleased to have strategic partnerships in both Arizona and Florida that are making a difference for students every day.  The following are a few examples of public/private partnerships that are helping improve educational outcomes for Arizona and Florida students.

FosterEd is an initiative of the National Center for Youth Law aimed at improving the educational experience and outcomes of foster youth. It is guided by a framework that all foster youth should have an education champion who can support that studentʼs long-term education success. The program was piloted with great success in Pima County and will now be expanded statewide in the fiscal year 2018 to serve the almost 11,000 K-12 public school students in foster care in Arizona.

Great Schools, Great Leaders
With Great Schools, Great Leaders, we are working with Governor Duceyʼs Office, the Center for the Future of Arizona and the Burton Family Foundation to train the next generation of leaders for Arizonaʼs schools. This initiative creates the Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy in partnership with the National Institute for School Leadership. The Leadership Academy will make high-quality professional development available to many more principals across the state, especially those in low-income areas, and ensure that more Arizona students attend schools led by effective instructional leaders.

Finally, Achieve60AZ — Arizonaʼs new postsecondary attainment goal — demonstrates what can be accomplished when leaders in government, business, education, and philanthropy join forces around a common priority. Achieve60AZ aims to increase from 42 percent to 60 percent the proportion of Arizonans earning a job certification or college degree by 2030. This attainment goal will attract more businesses to Arizona and keep the stateʼs economy growing.

Postsecondary Degree Attainment
The Florida Higher Education Coordinating Council has adopted a postsecondary degree attainment rate of 55 percent by the year 2025.  Recognizing the important role that postsecondary education plays in preparing the state’s workforce, a number of organizations, including leaders in education, government, philanthropy, and the business sectors are working together to ensure the state increases the number of degreed Floridians in order to meet projected workforce demands. It will take the collaboration of partners throughout the state to meet this important goal. 

Florida Grade Level Reading Campaign
The Florida Grade Level Reading Campaign is a statewide movement to promote school readiness, tackle chronic absences, improve summer learning and engage parents as their children’s first teachers.  Local Florida campaigns are established in 16 communities throughout the state. The goal is to ensure that Florida’s children enter school ready to succeed and are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Universities
Recognizing the value and strength of partnership, Helios Education Foundation is proud to fund the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities, which is an innovative partnership consisting of Florida’s three largest urban research universities - Florida International University, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida.  Through this consortium, the universities share best practices, policies, and programs to maximize career-readiness, particularly among first-generation, low-income and minority students.  In addition, they track students’ degree progress, provide more targeted support through mentors and advisers and identify local partnerships that could lead to internship or practicum opportunities for students.

These are just some of the examples of the strategic partnerships that Helios engages in to support student success.  Thank you for your partnership and commitment to students.  By working together through effective public/private partnerships, we can help more students achieve a postsecondary education.

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