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completion rates

The main purpose of this planning tool is to help community colleges facilitate productive conversations and develop systemwide plans to raise student completion rates substantially. The planning tool is initially targeted at colleges participating in the Completion by Design initiative. Based on these colleges’ experiences and feedback, the planning tool will be revised and augmented as a living document, to capture and disseminate information about improving student completion rates.

This planning tool draws from the ideas described in Changing Course: A Guide to Increasing Student Completion in Community Colleges and is designed to serve as a complement to that document. Whereas the guide introduces the key goals and principles of the Completion by Design initiative, this planning tool offers a series of self-reflective questions to assist community colleges in examining their own areas of strength and their emphasis on increasing student success on their campuses. As colleges use these questions and other inquiry-based processes to rethink and redesign their services and programs, this planning tool also provides them with information about the range of practices that community colleges have used to improve student completion rates.

Venezia, A., Bracco, K., and Nodine, T.

The goal of this guide is to assist community college faculty, staff, and administrators as they begin rethinking and redesigning their systems, programs, and instruction to increase student completion. The guide identifies the goals of the Completion by Design initiative; summarizes key design principles for improving completion rates; and, in the process, offers a common language for initiating this work. It is understood that the community colleges participating in the initiative bring a wide range of expertise and skills to this process and that their work will refine and advance what we know about improving student completion rates in community colleges.

A companion document, Changing Course: A Planning Tool for Increasing Student Completion in Community Colleges, offers additional information and strategies, including a series of self-reflective questions to assist colleges in planning their own approaches to improving college completion. The companion document will be further developed during the planning year, based on participating colleges’ experiences.

In conjunction with these documents, Completion by Design has developed a Knowledge Center to provide an online space where colleges and individuals can find and share information about innovative practices, research findings, student metrics, self-assessment tools, and other materials related to the initiative.

Nodine, T., Venezia, A., and Bracco, K.

This searchable database contains expert-identified and vetted research and planning documents to support Completion by Design colleges through the planning, decision making, and implementation stages.

Completion by Design

In this brief, Crossing the Finish Line: A National Effort to Address Near Completion, IHEP lays out a framework through which higher education leaders, federal and state policymakers, institutional administrators, and private sector executives can effectively address near completion as part of the larger call for accomplishing America’s goal to increase the number and diversity of people who complete college. Based on a series of focus groups held across the country, a national summit, and individual interviews with a range of key college completion stakeholders, IHEP’s agenda focuses on dealing with four issues that impede the success of near completers: (1) Recruitment, (2) Assessment, (3) Affordability, and (4) Recognition of Completion.

Institute for Higher Education Policy

This toolkit provides information for state governments on promising state and local practices as well as available U.S. Department of Education resources.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education

This report recommends a set of common metrics that states should use to improve the completion rates and efficiency of public higher education systems.  These common metrics were developed by a Work Group on Common College Completion Metrics, convened by the National Governors Association, which sought to develop common standards for public higher education that states should use to monitor system performance and inform future policy decisions.

Ryan Reyna
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices