When services are delivered in an integrated way, community colleges can help students meet their educational goals and find meaningful careers that allow for economic security.
To recap the three main pillars of the Working Families Success approach:
- Education and employment services: Services that provide students with the skills needed to enter and retain employment and advance in the career of their choice.
- Work and income supports: Services that assist students in accessing public benefits and other income supports to increase family economic stability and encourage college retention and completion.
- Financial and asset building services: Services that build the financial knowledge of students, increase their access to savings and wealth-retaining financial products and encourage the meeting of both short-and long-term financial goals.
Many colleges that have tried integrated service delivery begin with low-touch services and move toward high-touch services as their WFS strategy becomes institutionalized. Some other colleges have started first by offering higher touch services, in many cases targeting a smaller cohort of students and then moving to offer lower-touch services to a wider population. For instance, Los Angeles Harbor College is working with former foster youth through more intensive financial counseling as it begins its WFS program. The next step will be to include a financial literacy component in its Personal Development class, which is a lower touch service that can reach many more students.
This section of the guide offers detailed descriptions of each of type of service or activity, including discussing what low-, medium-, and high-touch might mean for the college. Since most colleges have greater experience in education and employment services and can rely on existing programs, more space is given to describing the various components of the other two pillars.