Bridging the Gap from College to Careers (C2C)


Bridging the Gap from College to Careers (C2C) is a Kessler Foundation-funded initiative that aims to improve the employment rate of college graduates with disabilities who have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In January 2014, PolicyWorks began work on this initiative with collaborative partners San Diego State University, Paul Hippolitus and the University of California at Berkeley and California State University/Fullerton. Professional Development and Disability, an instructor-led online course that teaches students and clients with disabilities the principles and practices associated with successful employment seeking and advancing strategies, is a cornerstone of this effort. The course is available to colleges, universities and other non-profit organizations to use with students and young people in other settings. In August 2014, PolicyWorks started our first round of classes.

To date, we have completed two semesters of the program and served 109 students enrolled for credit. The results are very promising. Of eight graduates, two have gone on to graduate school. Four have been placed in positions – at an average wage of $62,000 – and the final two are actively interviewing with national firms. A total of 47 students are placed with an average full-time wage of $80,000 for full-time employment and $10.08 cents for part-time employment. One of our students reported, “I have a great start to my career at a startup as a full stack rails developer. I work in Walnut Creek building a solution to make physical therapy better. I earn $125K/year with additional stock options and health insurance.”

As a team, we are excited to know that we are making a difference by providing assistance and support to young adults in the process of building their careers. Social Security Administration (SSA) data indicate that one of two students who graduate with a college degree – baccalaureate through doctoral programs – is not working within five years of graduation (SSA/Baccalaureate Study/2010). With the help of the Kessler Foundation, the C2C Team is changing those odds and students are able to bring the skills and talents to the marketplace and fully participate in the economic rewards.