Gates Foundation awards WCER’s Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions $1.1 million to serve national audience

January 5, 2021   |   By Lynn Armitage, WCER Communications

WCER Communications

The Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT), housed at UW‒Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“This generous grant will enable CCWT to expand our 17-campus study on college internships and Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) programs to colleges and universities across the U.S. that are working to improve their students’ transitions from college to the workforce,” says CCWT Director Matthew Hora. CBPAR, which engages researchers and community members equally in the investigative process, is intended to prompt social change.

CCWT has been at the forefront of applied or translational research on college-workforce transitions that strives to amplify student voices and experiences. Now in the first of two pilot phases, 22 postsecondary institutions are participating in the center’s National College Internship Study. This study provides institutions with fine-grained datasets on their students’ internship experiences, including data on the obstacles many face while pursuing and completing internships. Additionally, it will include a focus on online experiences, which have multiplied during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is my hope that with this grant, we will also be able to create a national resource for the CBPAR research community via a summer methods boot camp, a research-focused webinar series and possibly an online non-credit certificate course,” says Hora. He adds that CCWT will be beta-testing two new programs supporting career opportunities for underrepresented college students. The first focuses on enhancing students’ social capital and networks, and the second on career advising based on a peer-to-peer mentoring model.

For more details on this grant, contact Matthew Hora at: