Post-secondary Pathways to Success

The Powell Foundation seeks to ensure that all students are prepared for, can access, and complete a post-secondary program that leads to meaningful employment opportunities.

Our Post-Secondary Pathways to Success investments are focused in the following areas

Access and


Policies and

Photo Courtesy of: BridgeYear

We invest in organizations who champion efforts to:
  • Increase access to and participation in advanced coursework, career awareness programming, and college and career entrance exams.
  • Strengthen post-secondary advising and counseling and provide replicable and scalable tools to improve access.
  • Bolster the academic preparedness of students to pursue post-secondary pathways; increase student proficiency in non-cognitive and affective skills critical to post-secondary success.
  • Strengthen post-secondary persistence, certificate/degree completion, and career attainment.
  • Support policies that increase post-secondary access, persistence, and success.

The Powell Foundation is interested in understanding the extent to which our Post-Secondary investments impact the following population-level indicators:

Number of youth who graduate from high school demonstrating college, career, and military readiness

Percentage of the population who have earned degrees or credentials of value

Percentage of young adults (25-30) who are meaningfully employed

Median income of young adults (25-30)

Narrowing disparate outcomes along the lines of race, gender, income, and ability

Grantee Spotlights

Complete College America

Complete College America works to increase college completion rates and close institutional performance gaps by collaborating with colleges and universities, promoting policies that improve student success, and enacting structural reforms. Funding will be used to support Complete College America’s work with seven Texas institutions of higher education (IHE) who will implement equity-centered policies, strategies, and action plans for college completion.


BridgeYear connects underserved youth to careers and educational pathways that provide economic stability and independence. Powell Foundation funding supported the development of BridgeYear’s More platform and the delivery of career exploration encounters known as CareerTest Drive® to connect thousands of Houston-area youth to workforce training programs and careers.

Breakthrough Central Texas

Breakthrough Central Texas strives to create a path to and through college for students who will become the first in their families to earn a college degree. Powell grant funds were used to support Breakthrough Central Texas’s innovative twelve-year core program, its Post-Secondary Schoolwide Advising Program, and the expansion of its College Success team. Through its work, Breakthrough supports over 2,300 students at more than 50 middle and high schools across Greater Austin and 100 colleges and universities.

Interested in applying?

Review our Application Process for deadlines, qualifications, and more.