In order to meet the challenges of post-secondary credential attainment, programs across the United States are engaging in the YouthBuild Postsecondary Education Initiative. Through the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates and Open Society Foundations, seven YouthBuild pilot programs achieved promising results in preparing more students to access and succeed in two- and four-year colleges, technical schools, and apprenticeships.
Within these pilot programs, young people dramatically increased their high school diploma/GED attainment rates to over 70 percent, doubled post-secondary access rates to above 40 percent, and achieved postsecondary retention rates of approximately 60 percent.
Participating programs aligned their curriculum with college entry requirements, built mutually accountable partnerships with community colleges, created real time data sharing agreements, introduced dual credit courses into the program’s curricular offerings, and positioned YouthBuild staff on community college campuses to provide ongoing supports for YouthBuild graduates enrolled in postsecondary institutions.
Due to the success of the pilot program, this initiative has expanded to twelve additional new programs with the support of the New Profit, Inc. Social Innovation Fund, AT&T, GAP, and JP Morgan Chase Foundations.
YouthBuild International was part of a three year, USAID funded initiative in South Africa called the U.S.-South Africa Partnership for Skills Development (the Partnership), a project overseen by the South Africa Department of Higher Education and Training. YBI worked with 12 Further Education and Technical Colleges (FETCs) to strengthen the capacity of these institutions to provide vocational training and to help prepare students for employment in the engineering and the construction trades. The Waterburg and Gert Sibande FETCs became the first colleges to host their own YouthBuild programs, which have enrolled 100 civil engineering students in these programs.