Key Points

· This article focuses on a particular approach to large-scale, community-based educational change – Local College Access Networks in the state of Michigan – to answer two key questions: What factors serve to shape the social-change agenda? How can community foundations serve to promote and advance the agenda?

· A multidimensional framework is developed for agenda setting, drawing on linear transformation models, layering, and collective impact to examine the contributions of community foundations to the formation of local college access agendas.

· Particular attention is paid to the horizontal alignment of partners within a community to address local challenges and vertical alignment of partners, programs, and resources at the local, regional, state, and even national levels.

· The findings illustrate that local agendas are influenced by both local pressures to adapt to the community context and state incentives and pressures to conform to a set of programmatic priorities. Those responsible for managing the change agenda must simultaneously be able to attend to both dimensions.

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