Limitless, a Postsecondary Enrollment Learning Network

Limitless, a Postsecondary Enrollment Learning Network

Limitless Learning Network

Map of Washington state denoting Limitless partnerships between K-12 school districts and higher education.

Overview

Nearly 90% of Washington’s high schoolers say that they want to continue their education after high school, but only 50% of high school graduates today go on to enroll in postsecondary programs—including two- and four-year degrees, apprenticeships, and career certifications.

That’s why we launched the Limitless Learning Network, which is bringing 26 local partnerships together—in person and virtually—over the next four school years. The Limitless Learning Network connects practitioners with other teams of local K-12 and higher education partners across Washington state, creating space to share information, explore new ideas, and develop best practices together to help more students successfully transition from high school into a postsecondary program.

The purpose and design of the Limitless Learning Network is to increase and scale:

  • Partnership capacity-building: Strengthen each partnership’s ability to drive cross-system engagement, action, and outcomes. We hope that what these partnerships learn can be scaled over the long term across Washington state.
  • Data capacity-building: Help regions expand their ability to access and use data so they better understand what programs help students transition from high school to postsecondary.
  • Proven strategies: Introduce partnerships to new strategies and approaches that support postsecondary enrollment—such as high-quality advising and FAFSA and dual credit completion—in addition to improving each region’s ability to implement these strategies.

Education First helped successfully launch Limitless in November 2023. Visit the Limitless portal to learn more about the Learning Network and the participating partnerships.

We’re looking for a Limitless Learning Network Manager

The Gates Foundation’s strategy has always been to transition the management of Limitless to a permanent partner that can build on Education First’s successful launch. The RFP is now open for a permanent Limitless Learning Network managing organization.

The scope of the new network manager will be to maintain the structure that Education First established, and to add improvements as the needs of Limitless members evolve. Once selected, the Learning Network Manager will receive a grant to lead this work.

We hope to see a diverse array of organizations with a strong presence in Washington state apply. The grant is open to government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. We’re looking for prior experience designing and running a learning network, holding in-person convenings and online learning opportunities, providing overall management of participating partnerships and technical assistance partners, and partnering with foundation staff.

Learn More and Apply

To apply to become the Limitless Learning Network Manager, please visit the Gates Foundation’s RFP portal: https://submit.gatesfoundation.org.

An overview of the opportunity, the required qualifications of applicants, and the application questions can be found in the request for proposals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you transitioning to a new Learning Network manager?

We’re thrilled with the diverse network Education First cultivated and launched! And while Education First has extensive experience incubating and managing networks, our strategy has always been to work with a launch partner and then transition to a permanent managing partner with roots in Washington state that can build on Education First’s success.

Education First is a group of seasoned practitioners with a rich history of work on education issues in Washington state and nationally. They have worked with the Gates Foundation and other clients on incubating and managing similar networks across the country. In addition, Education First helped bring together more than 200 community members to provide feedback that informed our updated grantmaking strategy in Washington state—giving them deep knowledge of our strategic goals and our partners’ priorities across the state.

How much grant funding is available for the Learning Network Manager?

The Learning Network Manager will receive a $1.5 million grant over 36 months, beginning in June 2024 and ending June 2027.

How can I learn more about the Learning Network Manager role and the RFP process?

To apply to become the Limitless Learning Network Manager, please visit the Gates Foundation’s RFP portal: https://submit.gatesfoundation.org.

An overview of the opportunity, the required qualifications of applicants, and the application questions can be found in the request for proposals.