Tag Archives: programs


One innovative program that addresses the issue of food insecurity among college students is FarmHouse Delivery at the University of Missouri. The program was started in 2018 by a group of students as a social entrepreneurship project. It functions as a grocery delivery service that provides healthy, affordable food options to students on campus. Students can order groceries through an app and have them delivered directly to their dorm or campus apartment within a few hours.

FarmHouse sources its products from local farms and producers to keep costs low. This gives students access to fresh fruits and vegetables as well as pantry staples. It aims to fill the gaps between dining hall meals at an affordable price point. Pricing and partnership with the university’s food bank helps make healthy groceries accessible to low-income students as well. The student-run operation models sustainable business practices and food systems education. It has grown steadily since inception and continues to address campus hunger through an entrepreneurial solution.

Another notable program is Student Emergency Services (SES) at the University of California, Berkeley. Founded in 2010 by three students, SES operates a food pantry and meal delivery service for students experiencing food and housing insecurity. Like FarmHouse Delivery, it relies on a student-run cooperative business model. SES collects food donations from campus dining halls and local supermarkets which it redistributes free of charge to students in need via the on-campus pantry.

Through its Bear Necessities program, SES delivers free emergency food bags to students unable to physically access the pantry due to issues like illness, disability or lack of transportation. This service helps address barriers to accessing campus food resources. Students sign up online and receive groceries hand-delivered to their dorm within a few hours. SES is a non-profit that raises operating funds through campus fundraising and donations. It exemplifies how entrepreneurial problem-solving by students can directly help peers facing financial hardship.

Another standout program is the Locker Project at Seattle University. Launched in 2016 through a student initiative and now run in partnership with the campus dining department, it provides free food storage lockers across campus. The lockers are stocked daily with non-perishable foods, toiletries and menstrual products donated by the university community. Students can anonymously take what they need from the lockers at any time without stigma or paperwork. This innovative approach eliminates obstacles to discreetly accessing resources on demand.

The founders designed the Locker Project specifically with food-insecure students’ experiences, needs and perspectives in mind. Maintained through student and university staff volunteers, it fills an important gap, as many college students grapple with intermittent or unpredictable access to food. By normalizing the lockers as convenient additions to campus rather than solutions only for those facing hardship, it helps further reduce stigma. The program has effectively addressed institutional knowledge gaps around student hunger through grassroots, empathetic entrepreneurship.

A program with broader institutional support is the Grocery On-the-Go Market at Iowa State University. Launched in 2016, it is a partnership between Dining Services, the Dean of Students office and student groups. The market operates out of a custom-built food truck that parks in alternating high-traffic campus locations for set weekly hours. Students can purchase pre-packaged fresh, canned and dry goods at discounted prices using dining dollars, cash or credit. Partnerships with local anti-hunger organizations allow the market to offer select culturally appropriate frozen meal options as well.

Unlike most food banks or pantries, the market avoids stigma by being open to all students, not just those facing need. Its entrepreneurial approach of meeting students where they are has proven popular—serving hundreds per week and freeing up resources for other initiatives to coordinate with. The on-campus employer hires work-study eligible students, promoting leadership and skills development too. By bridging various student and campus partners campus-wide through an innovative model, Grocery On-the-Go Market effected positive change on multiple levels.

These programs demonstrate some creative ways that students themselves are developing solutions to food insecurity on campuses through social entrepreneurship. By directly addressing gaps, reducing stigma and empowering peers in need, they are making a tangible difference. Partnering with various campus and community stakeholders allows these initiatives to operate sustainably while continually improving services. Their innovative, action-oriented models inform how future programs and university policies could better serve students facing basic needs barriers to academic success. Student entrepreneurship shows great potential to address this pressing issue in impactful yet pragmatic ways.


Provide Clear Guidance and Structure: One of the biggest challenges students face is not knowing where to start or how to approach their capstone project. Programs need to provide very clear guidance and structure around capstone projects from the beginning. This includes setting clear learning outcomes and objectives for what a project should accomplish, guidelines for the scope and scale of projects, formats and templates for project proposals and final reports, deadlines for milestones and progress check-ins, and rubrics for grading. Having standardized documentation and clearly defined expectations makes the requirements much more manageable for students.

Scaffold the Process: Many capstone projects fail because students try to take them on all at once instead of breaking the work down into smaller, more digestible pieces. Programs should scaffold the capstone process using milestones, check-ins, and project coaching. For example, require students to submit a detailed proposal and get feedback before starting serious work. Then implement progress reports where students submit portions of their work for review. Coaches can help keep students on track to complete tasks sequentially. Scaffolding helps prevent procrastination and makes complex projects feel less overwhelming.

Offer mentorship and coaching: Mentorship and guidance from faculty is invaluable for capstone success but can be difficult to provide at scale. Programs should aim to connect each student with a dedicated coach or advisor who is responsible for reviewing their documents, providing feedback on their progress, helping address roadblocks, and assisting with any other issues. Coaches can help motivate students when they lose momentum and redirect efforts if projects go off track. Mentorship maintains accountability and support throughout the extended capstone timeline.

Emphasize process skills: It’s easy for students to get stuck focusing solely on the technical aspects or content of their capstone projects. Developing skills like self-awareness, time management, problem-solving, research, and professional communication are also important learning objectives. Programs need to explicitly teach and assess process skills throughout the capstone experience. For example, assign reflective journaling, include process questions in coaching sessions, and evaluate skill development in final reports or presentations in addition to the project outcome.

Support team/group work: Many capstones involve group or team projects which introduce social and coordination challenges. Programs must provide supplemental training, documentation templates, and systems to support collaborative work. For instance, require students to draft team charters that specify group norms, roles & responsibilities, a communication plan, and a conflict resolution process. Train students in skills like active listening, consensus building, and providing constructive feedback. Implement regular check-ins for groups where issues can be addressed early. Collaborative work needs extra scaffolding for success.

Consider resources and compensation: Time commitment and lack of financial support are prohibitive for some students. Programs should evaluate what institutional resources can be applied to capstones, such as funding, research assistance, facility access, professional mentorships, or course credit. It may also make sense to provide modest compensation for longer capstones through work-study programs, grants or fellowships. Looking at non-financial support like alumni networks, community partnerships or corporate involvement can help with completion rates and quality of projects. Programs will see diminishing returns if capstone work is not sustainably supported.

Build in flexibility: No project plan survives first contact with real-world constraints. Programs need policies that account for flexibility while maintaining standards. For example, allow timeline extensions for documented hardships or when substantial improvements are proposed. Accept alternative final formats like portfolios, exhibitions, or performances when properly vetted. Grade on a rubric rather than a pass/fail scale to reward effort and progress. Failure to be adaptive can demotivate students and undermine learning opportunities when projects encounter unexpected challenges outside their control. Striking the right balance is important.

Assess and evaluate continuously: To improve over time, programs must continuously gather feedback, evaluate outcomes, and make adjustments based on lessons learned. Conduct project reviews and exit interviews or surveys to understand pain points and successes from the student perspective. Review grading rubrics and coaching notes to identify where guidance or support could be strengthened. Pilot new strategies on a small scale before wholesale changes. A culture of assessment and continuous enhancement will help address emerging challenges and maximize the impact of capstone experiences.

For programs to best support students through capstone projects, clear expectations, mentorship, flexible structures, scaffolded learning, access to resources, and ongoing improvement are all key strategies. Programs that implement comprehensive systems of guidance, accountability and adaptation will see the most students successfully complete high-quality capstone work on time and gain maximum benefits from the experience.


One of the biggest potential limitations associated with after school programs is funding and budget constraints. Developing and maintaining high-quality after school programming is costly, as it requires resources for staff salaries, supplies, transportation, facility rental/use, and more. Government and philanthropic funding for after school programs is limited and not guaranteed long-term, which threatens the sustainability of programs. Programs must spend time fundraising and applying for grants instead of solely focusing on students. Securing consistent, multi-year funding sources is a significant challenge that all programs face.

Related to funding is the challenge of participant fees. While most experts agree that after school programs should be affordable and accessible for all families, setting participant fees is tricky. Fees that are too low may not cover real program costs, risking quality or sustainability. But fees that are too high exclude families most in need from participating. Finding the right balance that allows programs to operate yet remains inclusive is difficult. Transportation presents another barrier, as many programs do not have resources for busing students and families may lack reliable pick-up/drop-off. This restricts which students are able to attend.

Recruiting and retaining high-quality staff is a persistent challenge. After school work has relatively low pay, high burnout risk, and often relies on a cadre of part-time employees. The after school time slots are less than ideal for many as it falls during traditional “off hours.” Programs must work hard to recruit staff who want to work with youth, are well-trained, and see the job as a long-term career. High turnover rates are common and disrupt programming.

Developing meaningful, engaging programming that students want to attend poses a challenge. Students have many after school options, from other extracurricular activities to open free time. Programs must carefully plan diverse, interactive activities aligned to students’ interests that encourage learning but do not feel like an extension of the regular school day. Specific student populations, such as teens, English learners, or students with special needs, require more targeted programming approaches to effectively engage them.

Accountability and evaluation is an ongoing struggle for many programs. Measuring short and long-term impact across academic, social-emotional, health, and other domains requires resources. Yet, funders and the public increasingly demand evidence that programs are high quality and achieving stated goals. Collecting and analyzing the appropriate data takes staff time that could otherwise be spent on direct services. Relatedly, programs may lack evaluation expertise and struggle with identifying meaningful performance metrics and tools.

Partnering and collaborating with community groups and the local K-12 school system presents hurdles. All parties need to define clear roles, lines of communication, and shared goals. Resource and turf issues can emerge between partners that must be navigated delicately. Schools may be wary of outsider programs if they are not seen as an enhancement or direct extension of the school day. And community organizations have their own priorities that do not always align perfectly with academic or social-emotional learning outcomes.

Beyond funding and operations, the specific needs of the youth population served pose programmatic challenges. For example, students from high-poverty backgrounds have greater needs and face more barriers compared to their middle-class peers. Programs need extensive supports to address issues like hunger, chronic stress, lack of enrichment activities, and more for these youth. Similarly, managing student behaviors and social-emotional challenges is an ongoing concern, as many youth struggle with issues exacerbated by out-of-school time that require sensitivity and intervention. Finding the right balance to simultaneously support all students can be difficult.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic illustrates another limitation of after school programs – Public health crises that disrupt in-person operations and learning. Switching to remote platforms is challenging due to lack of family access and comfort with technology as well as limitation in virtual engaging activities for youth. Public health concerns also increase costs related to hygiene, distancing, and protective equipment that stretches limited budgets further. Programs demonstrated flexibility amidst COVID, but future uncertainties loom large. Long term, climate change and other disasters may present related continuity issues.

While after school programs present many positive impacts, underlying limitations around long-term stable funding, staff recruitment and retention, collaboration, evaluation, access and inclusiveness, pandemic response, and meeting diverse student needs present systemic barriers. Successful programs require significant resources and strategic partnerships to sustainably overcome these challenges affecting the youth they serve. With care and collaboration, these obstacles can be navigated.


One highly regarded program is the Harvard Business School Executive Education leadership development programs. They offer both open enrollment and custom programs to help participants become stronger leaders. Some of their most popular programs include:

Advanced Management Program (AMP): A top-rated 11-week general management program to help experienced executives enhance their leadership abilities. Participants examine strategic initiatives, team dynamics, and change management strategies. With a curriculum designed by Harvard faculty, this immersive program allows executives to learn from faculty, peers, and real-world case studies.

Global Executive Leadership Program (GELP): A 2-week intensive course focused on global leadership skills like cultural agility, cross-border negotiation strategies, and leading multinational teams. Participants come from various industries and work on challenges their organizations face in international markets.

Leading Professional Services Firms: Specifically designed for leaders in professional services firms like consulting, law, and accounting. It focuses on topics key to the industries like customer relationships, talent strategies, and building an innovative culture.

Strategic Perspectives in Not-for-Profit Management: For leaders in non-profit and social sectors, this program emphasizes strategic thinking, revenue diversification, impact measurement, and using data/analytics for greater community outcomes.

Another highly rated program is the Stanford Graduate School of Business Stanford Executive Program. Some noteworthy courses they offer include:

Strategic Leadership and Management: A 4-week program teaching general management skills and providing a strategic framework to assess opportunities and address complex business issues. Popular with C-suite executives.

Creativity, Design Thinking, and Leadership: Focuses on design thinking, innovation strategies, and leading creative teams. Leaders learn to identify customer/market needs and apply structured processes to develop solutions.

Leading Change Management: Examines the theories and frameworks behind leading organizational change and transformation. Discusses change readiness assessments, communication plans, and strategies to gain buy-in at all levels.

Developing your Leadership Presence: Helps leaders enhance self-awareness, influence without formal authority, deliver impactful presentations, and handle difficult conversations skillfully. Deep reflection is encouraged.

The Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Program is another highly sought-after option. Their graduate level courses include:

Executive Coaching Skills: Addresses the models, skills, and techniques required for executive coaching like active listening, thoughtful questioning, giving effective feedback, and holding accountability conversations.

Strategic Coaching for Organizational Change: Focuses on using coaching methodologies to address cultural shifts, new strategic directions, M&A integrations, and other major organizational transitions.

International and Intercultural Coaching: Develops an awareness of cultural differences and nuances, and explores techniques for coaching global and diverse teams effectively across borders and regions.

Coaching for Sustainability and Social Impact: Helps leaders support organizations committed to goals like environmental protection, poverty alleviation, and community development through coaching conversations focused on mission and values.

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business also develops leaders through their Executive Education programs at both their Ann Arbor campus and global locations. Some examples are:

Advanced Leadership Program: Blends academic theories with experiential activities to build capabilities in critical thinking, navigating complexity, leading innovation efforts, and developing high-performing teams.

Strategic Human Resource Leadership: Focuses on using HR strategies and practices like compensation planning, talent management, performance management to achieve business objectives.

Advanced Negotiation Workshop: Addresses negotiation challenges specific to senior executives. Participants analyze real case studies and hone skills in managing difficult internal/external stakeholder dynamics.

Leading Transformational Change: Uses interactive simulations and hands-on explorations to help leaders create and communicate compelling visions for change, align people, overcome resistance, and drive new strategies successfully.

These are just a few examples of the intensive, sought-after leadership development programs and courses offered by top-ranked business schools globally. Programs are designed to help senior leaders enhance their strategic thinking, build self-awareness, develop innovation mindsets, address organizational complexities, and inspire high performance through proven frameworks, case studies, and experiential learning methodologies. Participants gain from peer networks and access to renowned faculty as they refine their approaches to leadership.


It is critical for early childhood education programs to be culturally relevant and inclusive in order to best support the learning and development of all children. There are several steps policymakers can take to help achieve this important goal.

One of the most important things policymakers can do is to require that programs conduct comprehensive evaluations of their curriculum, teaching methods, parental engagement strategies, and learning environments to assess how culturally responsive they currently are. Programs need to examine if they authentically represent and embrace the racial, ethnic, linguistic, and ability diversity of the children and families they serve. They should look for and address any biases, gaps, or areas in need of improvement.

Policymakers should provide funding to support programs in redesigning and enhancing aspects found to lack cultural relevance. This could include helping to update curriculum materials to better reflect the lives, experiences, and contributions of different cultures; incorporating home languages into classroom instruction and communication where applicable; or ensuring accessibility for children with disabilities. Professional development for educators should also be offered or required to learn effective strategies for teaching through a culturally responsive lens.

Hiring practices and standards should be examined as well. Policies could incentivize or require programs to recruit staff that match the diversity of the children, so all feel represented by their educators. Teaching standards should include demonstrating knowledge and skills for promoting inclusion and celebrating various cultures. Compensation should be improved so the field can attract and retain more minority teachers.

Parental and community engagement is another area that needs addressing. Programs must create a welcoming environment for all families and establish genuine partnerships. Communication should accommodate families’ home languages and access needs. Input from an inclusive family advisory group could guide culturally responsive programming and policies. The classroom curriculum should also incorporate community knowledge and invite local cultural institutions and leaders as guests.

Funding formulas and reporting requirements can promote accountability. Policies might provide additional funding to programs serving predominantly low-income children and families of color, who often lack equitable access to high-quality early education. Regular reporting on demographics, family surveys, hiring practices, and curriculum responsiveness could ensure ongoing progress. Targeted subsidy amounts may support serving children with disabilities or dual language learners.

Assessment policies require modification too. Testing and other evaluations should be inclusive of all cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Translating materials alone does not ensure comprehension – tools must be vetted with diverse communities. Compliance results should not punish programs serving populations still learning English or with special needs without also recognizing improvement efforts.

Policymakers must lead by example. Statements, frameworks, reports, and other government documents shaping early learning should model cultural sensitivity, avoidance of biases, and representations of people of all backgrounds. Partnerships across agencies are important – early childhood programs cannot successfully promote inclusion without support from areas like transportation, public health, etc. Leadership communicating the value of diversity and equity will inspire further advancements.

Culturally relevant early childhood education requires a systemic approach. No single policy in isolation will make programming truly inclusive and equitable. But through a coordinated set of standards, funding priorities, professional development supports, accountability measures, and community engagement requirements – all focused on authentic representation and celebration of diversity – policymakers can help early education better serve the needs of every child. Ensuring this type of high-quality, culturally responsive programming from an early age will offer long-term benefits for both individuals and society.