Joyce Program Education

To make sure our young people are prepared for the future and well-positioned to improve their economic status, the Joyce Foundation will work to ensure equitable access to high-quality education and jobs.

We will advance policies to ensure K-12 students attend schools with high-quality educators, graduate from high school with the momentum they need to succeed in college, and earn college credentials leading to careers with family-sustaining wages. We will focus our efforts on young people of color and those from low-income backgrounds. We also will invest in innovative ideas in K-12 schools, and in emerging concepts about how safety net and workforce development programs will need to adapt to a changing economic landscape. To advance these polices and strategies during 2018-2020, Joyce has merged its Education, Employment, and Joint Fund programs into the new Education & Economic Mobility Program.

Get updates on our work in Education and Economic Mobility and other programs

Educator Quality

Research consistently shows that students are more likely to graduate from high school ready for college and career success if they have high-quality teachers and principals. But too few students have access to top-notch educators. It is vital that we develop policies to ensure students, especially those from low-income and minority families, attend schools where high-quality teachers and principals work together to create strong learning environments. To reach that goal, we will support efforts to improve federal, state, and district policies that ensure students have teachers and principals who are highly trained, properly evaluated, and well supported in their professional growth.

Joyce educator quality investments in policy development and implementation, advocacy, coalition building, and convening will focus mainly on Chicago, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis, and ­­on state policies in Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota. But we will support national educator quality policy development and advocacy when it makes sense.

Goal

Accelerate the number of low-income students and students of color who graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary success by improving the quality of principals and teachers in their schools.


Objectives

Pathways to College Credentials and Careers

One of the most direct routes to economic mobility for low-income individuals is the attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials. Increasingly, a college credential is essential for earning a family-sustaining wage. The Joyce Foundation seeks to help low-income and minority K-12 students get a head start on college and career through advanced college coursework opportunities in high school, career planning, and more seamless transitions from high school to college. Additionally, we will support state and federal policy development and advocacy to increase student postsecondary completion, transfer, and post-graduate outcomes, especially at community colleges and open-access four-year institutions. We also will support projects to increase the likelihood that low-income students and students of color complete credentials or degrees at more selective public institutions.

Goal

Increase the number of young people in the Great Lakes region who enter college prepared to succeed, and who complete quality college credentials that lead to careers with family-sustaining wages.


Objectives

Innovation

K-12 schools are not built for the 21st century and lack the innovative practices to prepare students for a rapidly changing economy. Moreover, the current policy environment makes it tough for schools to experiment with new practices. We will support efforts to test innovative K-12 classroom practices and policies that enable such experimentation. In the labor market, the past decades have seen increasingly tenuous employment and job growth concentrated in work that does not offer clear pathways to advancement. We will support state polices that increase economic competitiveness, support middle-class job growth, and develop a workforce of the future. We also will support state safety net policies that mitigate the impact of troubling trends on hard-hit populations.

Goal

Support development of innovative practices and policies to help shift the conversation about school reform and how to respond to a markedly changing labor market.


Objectives

What We Fund

We focus on initiatives that make an impact on the Great Lakes region.

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How To Apply

Learn about our submission process for applying for a grant.

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Our Research & Reports

Explore our research and reports on Education. 

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