During the Year 2 interviews of the Learning Together study, the students resoundingly reported that the cohort model enabled them to access and succeed in a B.A.-level education in a way that would not otherwise have been possible. The students reported progress in overcoming the challenges described in the Year 1 report, and decreasing their reliance on some of the program supports as they progressed through the program. The students also identified the importance of employer support in successfully pursuing their educational goals.
The Learning Together study focuses on four California counties’ (Alameda, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and San Francisco) efforts to expand bachelor’s degree opportunities in early care and education (ECE) for working adults. The student cohort model – in which small groups of ECE students with similar interests and characteristics pursue a bachelor’s degree together and receive targeted support services – has emerged across the country.
The Learning Together study is supported by: First 5 Alameda County-Every Child Counts, First 5 Santa Barbara County, First 5 San Francisco, the WestEd – E3 Institute, and the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation.