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Want to go to college? Begin a new career? Find out how!

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ABOUT ACCELERATING OPPORTUNITY: KANSAS

What is Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas?

Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas (AO-K) is all about jobs, the economy and opportunities that promote self-sufficiency. AO-K is providing Kansans with streamlined pathways that lead to targeted skills and credentials valued by employers. AO-K combines basic education with practical, hands-on training resulting in skills and credentials - including a GED - that lead to good jobs. At community and technical colleges across the state, AO-K is increasing the number of Kansas adults with the industry credentials and job skills they need to succeed.

Why Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas?

The number of adults who lack skills and a high school diploma is a statewide and national emergency. This contributes to the difficulty employers across the state report in finding qualified workers to fill skilled positions. The Kansas Board of Regents and partnering community and technical colleges are delivering solutions through AO-K.

Challenge

AO-K Solution

More than 900,000 working-age adults in Kansas lack a meaningful postsecondary credential that would enable them to find employment in high-demand occupations.

Accelerate the education experience to combine basic and technical skills, and align instruction to industry needs resulting in job placement for students.

By 2018, 64 percent of jobs in Kansas will require workers with some form of postsecondary credentials.

Provide comprehensive services to support working adults' unique academic, professional, and family obligations.

More than 32,000 job openings in Kansas are currently unfilled; many of these jobs require postsecondary credentials, particularly in health care and advanced manufacturing.

Match credentials to current employer input and projected labor market demand.

Adult Basic Education (ABE) is available to only a fraction of adults without high school diplomas - even though ABE is the first step back on the track to higher skills and postsecondary credentials.

Transform institutions and analyze our state policies to better align programs and funding sources.

Opportunities for family supporting jobs are available right now for individuals with the right skills. Adults in Kansas can seize these opportunities with access to the education, skills, and credentials that employers want.

Who is Promoting Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas?

The Kansas Board of Regents, in partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce, received $1.6 million to transform workforce training models. This partnership supports nine community and technical colleges that offer AO-K programs: Butler Community College, Dodge City Community College, Garden City Community College, Hutchinson Community College, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Neosho Community College, Seward County Community College, Washburn Institute of Technology, and Wichita Area Technical College.

Nationally, Accelerating Opportunity: A Breaking Through Initiative is managed by Jobs for the Future in partnership with the Washington State Board of Community & Technical Colleges, the National Council for Workforce Education, and the National College Transition Network. The initiative is funded through a groundbreaking coalition including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations.