Connecting Cradle to Career: Why Universities Need to Care About Early Childhood
When we talk about the health, well-being, and future of our society, we often focus on statistics like adult education, employment, income, and family make-up. While these measures are important to target and track, understanding the inputs that improve these outcomes is also critical. In recent years, the concept of cradle-to-career (C2C) planning and investing has highlighted how we can best use our resources across a person’s lifetime to improve their individual outcomes, as well as improve outcomes for the collective whole. While the C2C movement is making significant strides in the way communities look at early childhood, there can still be disconnects along this spectrum.
In this conversation, we learned how two universities have taken on innovative roles in their communities’ C2C pipelines and connected the “career” end of the spectrum back to the “cradle.” As the community lead for their local Campaign for Grade Level Reading in Stockton, California, University of the Pacific has convened stakeholders to share ideas and turn those ideas into action. In Garden City, New York, a researcher at Adelphi University has taken her research interests and built a new movement toward supporting minority language learners and creating a true culture of diversity and inclusion not only in her department, but with partners throughout the community.
- The role that universities can play across the cradle-to-career continuum
- How University of the Pacific has functioned as a community convener and funder
- Adelphi University’s hands-on approach to turning research into action