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Guaranteed Employment

FOR Pell Grant recipients. TO increase graduation rate and provide financial sustainability. BY making available guaranteed placements.

Photo of Venkitaraman Hariharan
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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

Student Community/Lower-income students/ Pell Grant recipients University Local businesses/DUMBOs/Incubators Corporations

The following are the key features of the prototype:    

  • Pell grant recipients are automatically eligible for taking part in this program provided they have good grades

  • University/local businesses enable on and off-campus employment

  • Incubators also ensure the same plus can take part in this program to provide employment once the student has graduated

  • The corporations participating in the program guarantee employment once the student has graduated

  • The student is required to maintain a high GPA (3.0/3.5) and the quality of their education

  • Basic vocational training will be provided to the student over the summer or certification courses if the student so desires; a mandatory 40 hours needs to be completed in order to maintain eligibility for employment

  • Corporations have option to tailor curriculum in terms of the electives the students need to take to be eligible

  • A higher GPA equals first preference over corporations

UPDATE 1: Thursday, Novemeber 19, 2015

We have added a video to better describe how we plan on implementing this idea. Please take a look and leave your thoughts and feedback in the comments. 

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We planned on pitching this idea to the corporations and incubators who have their offices in Brooklyn. This is to see if we can generate the required buzz for the program to succeed. As students of NYU, we could speak to the university to consider this proposal for a group of 3-5 students initially so as to test the viability of the idea, as well. Also, we could request the local businesses around the campus to consider this proposal so as to enable the students with part-time employment.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Any related data or information regarding the grants system or the needs and requirements of students in grants program other than the Pell grant. Any other information relating to the key players of the program is also welcome.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • A student collaboration


Join the conversation:

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We’re thrilled to have you in our Refinement phase, Venkitaraman! We love the creative post-graduation pathway your idea highlights, and appreciate that there’s a focus on lower-income students with acknowledging Pell Grant recipients. We love your plan to pitch to corporations and incubators and can’t wait to hear more about how that goes.

In the Refinement phase, continue developing the viability, desirability and feasibility of your idea. The following are some feedback and provocations to consider. You’re right on in having one of your first steps be contacting corporations. Is the video you’re pitching to them? It might be worth collecting feedback on points of confusion as you go along in order to tighten up the way you’re talking about it. Since this idea rests heavily on the involvement of corporations, what are the key incentives that might motivate them to be involved? It might be interesting to do a bit more research into what it might take for corporations and universities to be invested in the Guaranteed Employment Program. The benefit to the student and family is nicely exhibited in the video.

Here are some key questions and milestones we encourage from all ideas in the Refinement:
1. How might this idea address the unique needs of low-income families and first generation college students?
2. Clearly summarize the value proposition of your idea in 1-2 sentences
3. Identify assumptions that need to be answered in order to validate your value proposition.
4. Collect feedback from potential partners and users to answer the assumptions you’ve identified.
5. Communicate your idea in a visual way with user experience maps

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 12/22" to your idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

We’re excited to see this idea progress in the next weeks!

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