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Education and Skilled Workforce

The income gap between those with a college degree and those without is widening. But, for many, higher education remains out of reach. Students, particularly minority and first-generation-to-college students, face several barriers getting into and succeeding in college—poor academic preparation, difficulties navigating the college enrollment and financial aid process, and no clear pathways to a degree with value in the labor market. While there is much work to be done to address these problems, there are models of success in higher education, proven strategies that are helping students succeed in college and secure career-related jobs after they graduate.

Since 2010, Burness has provided communications support to a growing number of nonprofits in the higher education sector, specifically the community college space that comprises 40 percent of our nation’s post-secondary students. Through our work with the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, we have promoted the biennial announcement of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and other initiatives that strive to improve student success, especially for the growing population of low-income and minority students in this country. Burness has engaged in extensive broadcast, print and online media outreach spotlighting key data and the highly successful models and innovative approaches that are helping students get through college and on a pathway to a career.