A New Strategic Course: Empowering Student Success Through Collaboration and Innovation 

Driven by our commitment to fostering equitable opportunities for all students, particularly those from historically marginalized communities, the EdSystems team has spent the past seven months reflecting on and reimagining our strategic direction.

From November 2023 to March 2024, we worked with Embark Strategies to conduct a needs assessment and develop a new strategic plan. The process included interviews with key stakeholders to garner feedback about EdSystems’ culture, strengths, areas for improvement, and recommendations on how best to grow and develop the organization. One key takeaway included a call to update EdSystems’ mission, vision, and theory of change to better reflect our priorities and ways of working.

An Updated Mission and New Vision

As we reflected on our mission, vision, and theory of change, we considered our purpose in alignment with today’s priorities and evolving educational landscapes while trying to clear up ambiguities in our scope. The new mission and vision statements are:


EdSystems fosters collaborative partnerships to design, implement, and evaluate policies and practices that ensure successful transitions to and through postsecondary and career opportunities for students, with a particular emphasis on historically marginalized populations.


EdSystems helps create a world where students have clear, unambiguous paths to college and career opportunities that equip them for meaningful participation in the global economy.

Our Theory of Change

Central to our strategic framework is a new, comprehensive theory of change. Recognizing the persistent challenges faced by marginalized student populations, our theory of change aims to catalyze systemic transformation. From fostering strategic partnerships with educational stakeholders to championing data-driven decision-making, each element underscores our commitment to equitable student outcomes. 

Students from marginalized communities benefit most from clear, aligned systems of support. Yet, inadequate data and resources have been devoted to aligning those systems and ensuring every student has a clear path toward postsecondary and career success.
  • Partner with school districts, community colleges, and state agencies to design and support the implementation of evidence-based and innovative approaches to ensuring seamless student transitions.
  • Facilitate community networks and partnerships to achieve community-driven postsecondary and career attainment goals.
  • Create and sustain data systems for rigorous outcomes analyses and program evaluations to support community goals.
  • Support the development of local and state policies aimed at supporting student success.
  • Design, pilot, and scale practices that will support students’ college and career success.
  • High schools, community colleges, and four-year universities implement aligned, seamless college and career pathways, increasing postsecondary attainment and career success for learners, particularly for historically marginalized populations.
  • Community partnerships are developed in support of student success.
  • State agencies and researchers have access to longitudinal data to assess impact and chart course corrections.
  • Programs and policies undergo continuous improvement cycles to maximize positive student outcomes.
  • Innovative practices aimed at creating seamless transitions and student success are understood and positioned for scaling.

Work is now underway to operationalize our strategic framework. The results will include deepening our own understanding of key transition points in the student lifecycle, defining a policy agenda, implementing a design process and corresponding workflows to better support our partners, strengthening and amplifying our focus on centering equity, and deepening our networks with key partners to promote equity-centered outcomes. 

We look forward to strengthening our existing partnerships and developing new collaborations as we continue to grow.  

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