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Community Contribution

Advance Program: Using CLA to Support Students to Complete Tertiary Education

Fernanda Soares, Tanya Smith-Sreen, and Alejandra De Freitas

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Youth unemployment rates range from 18-25% in Latin American & the Caribbean, with economically disadvantaged youth falling at the higher end of this range. Regionally, one in five youth are out of school and not working. To meet this challenge, the Advance Program is strengthening the capacity of select two- and three-year technical tertiary education programs to provide market-relevant quality training to disadvantaged youth in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Jamaica. 

In the fourth year of implementation, indicator performance reviewed during pause & reflect sessions revealed that a significant number of students in Guatemala and Honduras from Advance-supported degree programs were not on track to graduate on time. To deepen the program’s understanding of the challenge presented, Advance launched a qualitative study to identify barriers to on-time graduation in Guatemala and Honduras. Using the collaborating, learning, and adapting approach, the team collaborated across country teams and university partners to design the study. The Program not only generated new learnings around what barriers students faced in reaching graduation on time, but also adapted activities across country and university contexts to address these barriers.

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