JEVS is rolling out an affordable higher ed program -

Professional Development

JEVS is rolling out an affordable higher ed program

By March 2019, the human services nonprofit hopes to have 50 inaugural students enrolled in a blended-learning program.

Joni Trythall (left), Dominique Clarke, Megan Anthony and Girl Develop It Executive Director Corinne Warnshuis at 1313 Innovation.

(Photo courtesy of Joni Trythall)

A hefty grant from TD Bank will let Center City-based nonprofit JEVS Human Services deploy an affordable higher education program for Philly youth.

Starting next spring, backed by that $775,000 check from the TD Ready Challenge, JEVS will partner with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to offer competency-based, blended-learning college programs to 110 students over the next year. The first cohort of 20 will begin classes in March.

“Our goal is to launch and scale this initiative to as many students as possible can benefit from it,” said Sarah Hollister, VP of youth and gateway programs at the nonprofit, told in an email.

The program will follow the JEVS College for America (CfA) model, a blended learning approach where students have access to both online training and in-person support. The program is project-based and focused on competency.

“Students will have a dedicated JEVS coach who will help them navigate all of the challenges that exist, both in the classroom and outside of it, in meeting their educational goals,” Hollister said. “JEVS will also have dedicated space with computers and other resources for students to physically work on their projects if computer access is not available at home.”

(The grant to JEVS was featured in our sister site Generocity’s new column, Money Moves.)

Will this be free for students? Short answer is no, but specific tuition costs per student haven’t been yet finalized.

“The program has affordable tuition,” Hollister said. “According to our partner Southern New Hampshire University, over 60 percent of their students earn their degree without taking on any debt. JEVS is committed to working with students to leverage grant and financial aid resources to help reduce any potential debt incurred.”

The flexibility and focus of the program is part of why JEVS feels it will be impactful for youth in Philly, which has the highest poverty rates of the top 10 largest cities in the country.


“CfA provides Philadelphia youth another option towards earning post-secondary degree that goes beyond the traditional bricks and mortar setting,” Hollister said. “The curriculum and pedagogical framework relates learning directly to the real world with a heavy emphasis in building problem solving skills, writing effectively and working collaboratively.”

Anyone interested in the program, either as a potential student or as a referral partner, can email for more info.

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