In Arkansas, state higher education leaders are changing their approach to help adult students. The state’s Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) connects multiple systems to cover tuition and other expenses for low-income, educationally underprepared students. It uses federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families dollars and engages state agencies to ensure students can access child care, transportation, and other services.
The program has been extremely effective. It’s created a culture of student success within higher education institutions. Students participating in CPI are more likely to graduate than other community college students. And for every dollar invested in CPI, the state receives a return of $1.79 through growth in the tax base.