Can better data help improve educational outcomes?

The Possibility Lab at the University of California and the California Cradle-to-Career Data System (C2C) are partnering to provide the public with actionable data on student progress, career pathways, and workforce outcomes.

Launched through legislation in 2021 and championed by Governor Gavin Newsom in May 2022, C2C will link together existing data on education, workforce, financial aid, and social services and create public-facing dashboards and other tools for use by students, families, policymakers, researchers and the general public. The Lab will provide technical assistance to the C2C team, including strategy support on stakeholder engagement and user-centered design.

“Comprehensive information on education and workforce is often difficult to find or digest, especially when it comes to tracking how education shapes a range of important outcomes over time. Linking and simplifying data will help the state’s diverse stakeholders better understand California’s educational pathways and workforce trends, at a time when this information is vital to decision-making. In the coming years, the Possibility Lab is excited to work with the Cradle-to-Career Data System to support new public-facing data tools that can serve all Californians.”

Dr. Amy Lerman, Executive Director of the Possibility Lab at the University of California.


The California Cradle-to-Career Data System will be a suite of user-friendly resources focused on early learning through K-12 and higher education, as well as on the financial aid and social services that help students reach their goals. It will include:

  • Planning and application tools for students, families, and educators to streamline the college and financial aid processes and monitor student progress.
  • Dashboards, query tools, and an analytical data set for researchers, policymakers, educators, and community members to inform research, advocacy, and policy analysis.
  • Community engagement and training to raise awareness of the data system and ensure C2C is providing useful tools to students, families, educators, researchers, and policymakers.


“Having authentic community engagement from the initial planning phase through implementation is central to C2C’s mission. We are thrilled to partner with the Possibility Lab and continue providing solutions that truly align with the needs expressed by the communities we serve. The Possibility Lab’s innovation and dynamic testing are complementary to C2C’s goals of fostering evidence-based decision making.” 

Mary Ann Bates, Executive Director of the California Cradle-to-Career Data System.

The Possibility Lab will collaborate and advise C2C staff on the construction and use of new dashboards and provide technical assistance and strategic counsel on stakeholder engagement. The team will prioritize displaying existing data in a manner that is high-quality, provides contextual analysis, and makes it easier to visualize data in different ways. The partnership began in 2023 and will continue through 2025.

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