Learn more about JFF
Learn more about JFF

Request for Applications for Colorado OPT Project


On-Ramps to Postsecondary Transitions (OPT) is a groundbreaking model that eases student transitions from secondary, to postsecondary, to the workforce by creating a connected and streamlined career and college readiness navigation system that integrates proven acceleration strategies for attaining career-aligned college credit into existing high school curriculum, including supporting early high school graduation. 

Jobs for the Future (JFF), in partnership with Colorado Succeeds (CS) and NORC at the University of Chicago, is pleased to announce an exciting new funding opportunity to support Colorado districts and high schools in accelerating career-aligned college credit attainment for their students. OPT will give schools the opportunity to create a college and career navigation system that centers students who often face barriers in college and career advising models, including students from low-income households, students of color, and students who were significantly impacted by COVID-19.

Schools and districts participating in OPT will leverage existing programs, including:

  • Concurrent enrollment

  • Work-based learning

  • Student advisory models

  • Wraparound support for disengaged youth

Building on several existing efforts in Colorado, including ICAP, ILOP, CDIP, CTE, concurrent enrollment programs, Path4ward, and work-based learning, OPT seeks to demonstrate the value of integrated student support systems that use these strategies in concert: student advisement in college and career, work-based learning, and concurrent enrollment. As a result of this integrated support system, OPT intends to increase academic achievement, student engagement from students who face barriers accessing these supports, early high school graduation, and access to transitional on-ramps to postsecondary education.

OPT is funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Education, Innovation and Research (EIR) Program. Selected schools will partner with JFF and our collaborative partners to develop the resources and implementation plan for the launch of the OPT model in the fall of 2024.

Quick Highlights


ant begins January 2024 and ends in August 2027.

Schools will be divided into treatment (20 schools who will implement OPT model) and control (20 schools who will continue business as usual) for the purposes of evaluating the impact of the OPT model. 

Schools will share data related to the OPT model to support the evaluation process.


OPT treatment schools will receive comprehensive professional development, resources, and access to a national network of experts and best-in-class models related to student advisement models, concurrent enrollment, and work-based learning.  


All 40 schools will receive a small grant for participation. Treatment schools receive $35,000 and control schools receive $5,000.

Request for Applications

No longer accepting applications.


Key Deadlines

Application Window: No longer accepting applications

Application Due Date: No longer accepting applications

Notice of Selection: December 4, 2023

Contract Development: December 5, 2023 - January 2, 2024

Start Date for Contracts: January 5, 2024


Please email Shana Payne, director at JFF, at spayne@jff.org with questions related to the RFA and the application process. 

This opportunity is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program.