Press Release

U.S. Department of Education Announces a Call for Institutions of Higher Education to Increase Federal Work-Study Community Service Roles to Support P-12 Students as Part of National Partnership for Student Success

Institutions of Higher Education are Encouraged to Join a National Effort Supporting Local P-12 Students and Communities to Aid Pandemic Recovery Efforts

10 May 2023 | Baltimore, MDThe National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS) Support Hub, based at the Johns Hopkins Everyone Graduates Center, is thrilled to share that the U.S. Department of Education has published a Dear Colleague Letter calling upon Institutions of Higher Education to increase their support to local P-12 students and communities in an effort to accelerate their pandemic recovery. 

Specifically, the call to action encourages colleges and universities to set goals to:

  1. Increase to 15 percent or more the percentage of Federal Work-Study funding that they devote to compensating college students working in evidence-based community service roles such as tutors, mentors, and college/career coaches in P-12 schools or out-of-school time programs; or
  2. Increase the number of college students in these roles, regardless of funding source, by June 2025.

Institutions are moreover invited to join the National Partnership for Student Success Higher Education Coalition, a national effort to increase the number of college students supporting P-12 students as tutors, mentors, post-secondary transition coaches, student success coaches, and wraparound/integrated support coordinators.

“By increasing the number of college students that are trained, placed, and supported in evidence-based roles in P-12 schools and out-of-school time programs, institutions of higher education not only provide valuable support to their local communities and youth, but also offer their students meaningful part-time jobs and valuable experiential learning opportunities that can enhance their education and career prospects,” states Kate Cochran, Managing Director of the National Partnership for Student Success Support Hub.

This effort is already underway thanks to an initial cohort of institutions of higher education that have joined the coalition and set goals as part of NPSS and the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal to place an additional 250,000 caring adults in high-impact roles supporting P-12 students. 

“I’m delighted that the University of Virginia is part of the NPSS Higher Education Coalition, an innovative national initiative to strengthen PreK-12 education at a critical time for students everywhere,” said James E. Ryan, president of the University of Virginia. “UVA’s mission, since its founding, is to prepare students to serve as citizen-leaders, and this is a terrific way for institutions like ours to help address a pressing local need for classroom support—while preparing our own students in the process. It’s a partnership that will pay dividends for students, families, and communities across the country for years to come.”

John B. King, Jr., Chancellor of the State University of New York system expressed, “SUNY could not be prouder to participate in the National Partnership for Student Success and support the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to address the ongoing impact of the pandemic – particularly on under-served students. While the Partnership is tailor-made to accelerate the nation’s pandemic recovery, a broad new push to engage Americans in tutoring and mentoring is highly welcome. SUNY campuses are eager to use their work-study programs to join this fantastic opportunity for both our college students and the K-12 students they will support.” 

Learn more about the call to action from the U.S. Department of Education in the press release and the Dear Colleague Letter

More information on the National Partnership for Student Success and the Higher Education Coalition can be found here.



University Quotes: 

Several college and university leaders have spoken about their campuses answering the call to action in the quotes below.

Philomena V. Mantella, President, Grand Valley State University

“Grand Valley State University is proud to help advance the goals of the National Partnership for Student Success by building upon our robust K-12 Connect tutoring programs,” said GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella. “We recognized early in the pandemic that our students could provide high-quality academic support to elementary and secondary students who were struggling. We look forward to engaging more GVSU students to work in and learn from these crucial tutoring positions.” 

Ron Daniels, President, Johns Hopkins University

As noted in the U.S. Department of Education’s May 10th, 2023 press release: “We know the profound impact of the pandemic on K-12 students in Baltimore. They have lost months and years of academic preparation that will have lingering effects on their economic opportunity in the years to come,” said Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels.Through the National Partnership for Student Success, our work study students will be able to make a measurable and meaningful difference in the lives of future learners while also learning new skills and engaging with our neighbors and communities. This project represents a truly mutually beneficial opportunity for all involved. As the home of the National Partnership for Student Success Support Hub, Johns Hopkins University and the Everyone Graduates Center at our School of Education are thrilled to support not only students in Baltimore through this work, but students in schools and higher education institutions nationwide.”

Dr. Santa J. Ono, President, University of Michigan

Dr. Santa J. Ono, President of the University of Michigan stated, “We welcome the opportunity to join with the National Partnership for Student Success and the Biden-Harris Administration in supporting student success through tutoring, mentorship and wellness. With this partnership, we will further empower students and their families to dream bigger dreams, and then make them realities.” 

Andrew Hamilton, President, New York University

“New York University is honored to be cited for its longstanding efforts to serve New York public schools through its commitment to America Reads/Counts, and is very pleased to join the National Partnership for Student Success Higher Education Coalition, which emphasizes Work Study assignment that enable students to serve their local community,”said President Andrew Hamilton. “Our America Reads/Counts program is a source of pride to the University: since 1997, over 20,000 NYU students have provided over 2.6 million hours of tutoring services to scores of public schools throughout New York City, bringing their energy and enthusiasm into both K-12 classrooms and communities that could use additional help. Their work is especially important as the nation’s youngest learners struggle to cope with the educational disruptions from COVID, and is emblematic of the difference that initiatives like National Partnership for Student Success Higher Education Coalition can make.”

Dr. Kelli Smith, Vice President of Student Success, SUNY Binghamton University

“Binghamton University is thrilled to partner with the National Partnership for Student Success and the Higher Education Coalition initiative. We see this as an opportunity to expand upon our already established signature programs in which our students volunteer in our local K-12 schools since this initiative mitigates the occasional barrier some students may have if they need part-time income to participate in such meaningful opportunities. The NPSS initiative offers benefits for our students as well as the local youth in the schools they serve, providing a wonderful example of true community engagement,” said Binghamton University Vice President of Student Success, Dr. Kelli Smith.

Dr.  Alberto Cardelle, President, SUNY Oneonta 

“As we continue to strengthen the role of higher education in preparing a citizenry and a workforce that can contribute to a safer, cleaner, healthier and more peaceful future, it is critical for our students to learn in the classroom, in the laboratories, in the studios and now more than ever in our communities.  The opportunity for our work-study students to learn by doing out in the communities strengthens both the educational mission, and our mission of steward of place,” said Dr.  Alberto Cardelle, SUNY Oneonta President. 

Amy Kremenek, President, SUNY Tompkins Cortland Community College

“Tompkins Cortland Community College is committed to the growth and development of our region, starting with our youngest community members,” says Amy Kremenek, President of Tompkins Cortland Community College. “We have a long and proud history of preparing future early childhood educators and K-12 teachers to make a positive impact in the lives of children, and through this important initiative, we are excited to send even more of our students into the community to support the academic and social success of area children.”

Dr. Robert Vela Jr., President, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

“Texas A&M University-Kingsville is honored to have been selected as an early adopter of the National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS) initiative. This program aligns with our University’s role in supporting education in our backyard, while offering our students highly-relevant, experiential learning through our Work Study Program. In leveraging evidence-based strategies to address learning loss and educational inequities in our communities, we will ensure our education students are well-prepared to teach and lead in their own classrooms after graduation.Together with our partnering school districts and the NPSS, this opportunity will help create a stronger South Texas,” said Dr. Robert Vela Jr. , President, Texas A&M University-Kingsville


The Everyone Graduates Center at the Johns Hopkins School of Education seeks to identify the barriers that stand in the way of all students graduating from high school prepared for adult success, to develop strategic solutions to overcome the barriers, and to build local capacity to implement and sustain them.

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