Creating Opportunity through Blended Learning
JFYNetWorks, a Boston-based nonprofit organization, has a four-decade history of conceiving, developing, and conducting programs to enhance the academic and economic success of low-income urban youth and young adults. Our programs have utilized various education and training strategies over the years as the labor market has evolved, from competency-based GED instruction to biotechnology lab training to online college readiness.
Our strategy throughout our history has been to recognize changes in the economy and adjust our programs accordingly.
Today, JFYNetWorks addresses the need for developing college-level skills in high school. An associate’s degree is worth $330,000 more in lifetime earnings than a high school diploma; a bachelor’s degree $840,000. However, fewer than half of our high school graduates complete any level of post-secondary degree or certificate. In community colleges, 63% of incoming high school graduates are assigned to remedial courses because they do not have the requisite skills to perform at the college level. Remedial courses cost students full tuition and fees but give no degree credit, causing a drain on students’ limited financial resources and valuable time that could otherwise be spent earning college credit. A staggering 90% of remedial students drop out of community college without a degree.
JFYNetWorks addresses this college readiness problem by providing focused blended learning programs in high school to help students build the academic skills they need to enter college or technical training earning academic credit. The JFYNetWorks blended program model — infusing specialized online content into the regular curriculum — also facilitates scalability, as the low cost of the online platform can easily be expanded to entire schools.