Allison Danielsen on college being one of multiple options

A campaign encourages employers to hire those Skilled Through Alternative Routes

By tearing the paper ceiling, companies create opportunity for STARs – people Skilled Through Alternative Routes – by eliminating the need for a college degree.

Allison Danielsen, executive director of BigFuture Careers and Partnerships at the College Board, says her organization is excited to be a part of the campaign from Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council. “I do think working with organizations who have connections to talent across their lifetimes is going to be helpful for employers to see where they could actually intervene and support and cultivate their future workforce.”

She says, “This campaign isn’t about making college degrees the enemy. It’s about making sure that there’s validity and quality information that is available from other credentials and skills, and that those are recognized for individuals.”

The organization recently launched its multiple pathways hub. Danielsen explains, “College is one option in the set of potential options for individuals. It’s not the only pathway that should lead you to economic opportunity.”

She says the organization is committed to making sure more students have access to opportunity. “The College Board is a more than a hundred-year-old mission-driven nonprofit education organization. Many people know us for our AP programs, our SAT and PSAT assessments. We reach more than seven million students a year and we have a new focus through our BigFuture division on helping every student take the right first step after high school, even if that’s not directly into a four-year program”

“We’re taking a number of steps to make sure kids understand how their skills align to potential opportunities. We want to make sure on the other side of that, they’re recognized for their talent and the work that they’re putting in,” says Danielsen.

She explains the organization’s navigation resources help students understand the “alignment between the quantitative and literacy skills we measure [on the SAT and the PSAT] and what’s required to be successful in the workforce.”

Learn more about The Paper Ceiling.
Learn more about Opportunity@Work.
Learn more about the Ad Council.
Learn more about BigFuture Careers and Partnerships.
Learn more about the BigFuture Career Quiz.
Learn more about BigFuture’s Multiple Pathways hub.