About Us

Researching. Understanding. Co-designing. Testing. Improving outcomes.

The Student-Centered Design team at Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) partners with colleges and training providers to engage the student voice, tailor systems to underserved student needs, and develop ways to become more student-centered.

We can help adapt student success strategies to the “next normal” brought on by COVID-19, fostering student and institutional success in this changing environment.

Using a collaborative approach, we tap directly into the knowledge and experience of students, staff, and faculty to remove student barriers and identify opportunities to be more responsive to student needs. We then co-design and implement student-centered solutions.

Community or technical college staff and faculty working on a student-centered design project in the library
A student confused by a community and technical colleges system that they don't fully understand

Students and the System: How We Began

The Challenge: Many low-income students struggle to access and complete education and training programs, often stymied by a complex system of processes and requirements. The onus is on the students to navigate a system they don’t fully understand.

This is the challenge that we aim to solve. Over the past 5 years, SJI learned that our partners and clients had an increasing need and desire to better align programs with the needs of underserved students, and the Student-Centered Design team was born.

More About SJI and Our Experience

SJI’s mission is to create opportunities for people to support themselves and their families through living-wage careers. Over the past 20-plus years, we have acquired deep practical and research-based knowledge and expertise in workforce development, college systems, and the needs, challenges, and motivations of underserved populations.

We provide local employment and training programs; research, policy, and evaluation services; and national technical assistance to government agencies, community-based organizations, and community colleges. In addition, we are the nation’s leading expert in helping state and local governments and provider partners build and grow their SNAP E&T programs.

Community and technical education (CTE) students collaborating together in a college classroom

Learn more about how we work with partners