A college education remains one of the most reliable investments an individual can make. Communities, regions, and states also benefit enormously from investing in education after high school. Billions in economic gains result when more working-age people have a degree, certificate, or professional license.
In Arizona, Helios Education Foundation and Education Forward Arizona are partnering to ensure that the public discourse about education after high school focuses on its tangible value—from individual advantages to the collective good—and that this conversation is firmly rooted in reputable research.
Together, these organizations have carefully developed interlocking research, communications, and awareness-building efforts intentionally designed to help diverse stakeholders understand complex economic data and engage with issues that will define the future of their state. This thoughtful, strategic approach to using research to inform public engagement crystallized last month when Helios hosted a convening of students, educators, opinion leaders, and policymakers to formally release Billions to Gain—a powerful new report on the economic impact of investing in a more-educated Arizona.
The team at Collaborative is gratified to serve as an integral partner in this work. Our efforts—from writing, editing and overseeing development of the report and companion assets, to support conceptualization and execution of a launch convening that shared data and storytelling, to developing multi-faceted short- and longer-term engagement strategies—were informed by a shared belief that complex research can and should be explained in ways that present compelling narratives to different audiences.
Inviting public engagement with actionable insights and informing an ongoing dialogue have been central goals of Collaborative’s work with Helios and Education Forward Arizona. Deep and meaningful engagement across sectors will shape what comes next in that partnership.
Collaborative is embarking now on work with Education Forward Arizona to sustain attention to research and related messaging on the value of college. Working with business and policy leaders, educators, the nonprofit community, and parents and families, we will develop messaging that reaffirms the value of education after high school in statewide public discourse, emphasize the personal and collective benefits, and bolster support for investing in policies and initiatives that ensure access for all students and the opportunity to succeed in education after high school.
Collaborative is honored to partner with Helios and Education Forward Arizona to advance research-based conversations about the value of education—and to ensure that such important conversations are not one-offs, but rather a sustained dialogue with the power to change perceptions, counter harmful narratives, and, ultimately, support transformational policies, investments, and initiatives.