The Case for Expanding Navigators in Mississippi to Support Adult Learners
The From Programs to System Change series highlights community college programs and innovations that were initially funded through the U.S. Department of Labor’s TAACCCT program, but sustained beyond the life of the grant and scaled for greater reach, through changes to systems within colleges, between colleges and partnering organizations, and across colleges within a state.
The value of deploying navigators to support lower-skilled adults in MIBEST is an important lesson learned from the engagement of Mississippi community colleges in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) initiative. Navigators, coaches, and other non-academic advisors were an important element of many TAACCCT-funded programs.
This case study illustrates how several Mississippi community colleges embraced the navigator role through a TAACCCT-funded project. It then discusses how the non-academic supports provided by navigators were scaled across all community colleges, and further expanded to a broader group of adult education students, extending the reach of navigators to many more low-skilled adults in the state.
This profile outlines the steps taken in Mississippi to scale and sustain non-academic advising roles and services, which include:
- Identifying low-skilled adults as an important population to address state workforce needs
- Utilizing varied funding streams to expand needed student supports
- Aligning with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act plan