· Certification programs can provide a way for nonprofits to ensure adherence to generally accepted standards.
· The KH2GO Certification Pilot Project, supported by the Lumina Foundations, developed a set of standards for high-quality college access services, including standards for programming, operations, and organizational effectiveness.
· The project was implemented in two states with an evaluation designed to assess the quality of the assessment tools and the ease and rigor of implementation.
· The more clarity that applicants had about the goals of the process, potential benefits, and details about procedures, the more benefits they perceived.
· Many applicants felt that the self-assessment improved their work and could be more beneficial if certification resulted in additional prestige and funding.
· Lessons for funders include developing a clear scoring rubric, being thoughtful about who should lead the effort, and including partners in the development of the standards and assessment protocols.
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Jarosewich, T., & Mir, N. (2011). The Quest for Quality: Lessons From a Certification Pilot Project for College Access Providers. The Foundation Review, 2(3). https://doi.org/10.4087/FOUNDATIONREVIEW-D-10-00011