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Charter Oak State College Awarded National Pay for Success Structuring Grant

Charter Oak State College building

Unique public-private partnership will focus on scaling Charter Oak's degree completion model.

The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance today announced Charter Oak State College in Connecticut as one of three awardees of a nationwide Pay for Success (PFS) competition.  Awardees will work to develop PFS projects that expand high-impact social interventions to measurably improve the lives of those in need.  The competition is supported through funding awarded in 2016 by the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

"A strategic and well-thought out Pay for Success structure will help these enterprising organizations make a significant impact," said President and CEO Jeremy Keele of the Sorenson Impact Center.  "We're looking forward to working with our partner, Social Finance, and these leading practitioners to do what we do best, which is work across public, private and nonprofit sectors to make a difference for those who need it most."

The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance will provide both technical assistance to structure high-quality PFS projects and cash grants of up to $100,000 to support the awardees in hiring staff dedicated to their PFS efforts.

"For the three awardees announced today, Pay for Success provides an innovative pathway to grow their impact," said Tracy Palandjian, CEO and co-founder of Social Finance.  "We look forward to working with the Sorenson Impact Center and our three partners to structure transactions that deliver enduring, measurable and meaningful results in their communities."

Pay for Success is an innovative public-private partnership model that combines nonprofit expertise, private funding and independent evaluation to transform how government leaders respond to chronic social issues.  PFS unites three key stakeholders - investors, nonprofit service providers, and government - leveraging private capital to scale effective programs and ensure that government only pays for results.

Charter Oak State College (COSC) is a fully-accredited Connecticut-based completion college, supporting adults who have "stopped out" of college with few options for finishing their undergraduate educations.  COSC supports adult-learners in earning college credit for knowledge and skills acquired throughout employment, military experience, continuing education, and corporate training.  With this award, COSC will work to expand out-of-state enrollment and scale their established model.

"We have aggressive efforts in Connecticut to provide cutting-edge education services to the residents of our state, and Charter Oak State College is playing a big role in connecting people with opportunities that are allowing them to receive degrees and open doors to a host of career and life changing prospects," Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said.  "Investing in our workforce by helping Connecticut residents achieve a college degree will help us build a future for our state in which we are graduating as many students as possible into good paying jobs with good benefits."

"We are very grateful to have been recognized by the Sorenson Impact Center as a leader in adult degree completion," said President Ed Klonoski of Charter Oak State College. "This unique opportunity pilots a new economic model in public higher education - engaging private investment to more robustly support publicly accredited college degree completion efforts.  Charter Oak plans to leverage private investment to scale enrollment and student support services, reinvigorating our business model and contributing to solving the national degree completion crises."

The two additional awardees are Boise, Idaho based The Lee Pesky Learning Center, and Tennessee based The Workforce Investment Network (WIN).

Awardees will work collaboratively with the Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance to structure PFS transactions.  To support the development and launch of PFS projects, awardees will receive technical assistance, active performance management support, capacity-building resources to structure and launch projects, and comprehensive communications and stakeholder engagement strategies.