The Game Changers
Systemic reforms. Significant results. More college graduates.
  • THE ESSENTIALS
  • Tie funding to progress and success
  • Provide unambiguous metrics
  • Reward success for underrepresented populations
  • Incorporate through base funding
  • BEST PRACTICES
26
Number of states working toward outcomes-based funding
Do This!
Pay for outcomes, not just enrollment. Use metrics to tie state funding to completion of degrees and certificates, including financial incentives for deployment of other strategies to boost college completion.
  • THE ESSENTIALS
  • Enroll in gateway courses as default
  • Align mathematics to programs of study
  • Use multiple measures to create placement range
  • Provide support as corequisite, not pre-requisite
  • BEST PRACTICES
56%
of students at two-year institutions start in remediation
Do This!
Default many more unprepared students into college-level gateway courses with mandatory, just-in-time instructional support. For the most unprepared students, provide remedial help parallel to highly structured certificate programs.
13%
of part-time students graduate in 8 years for 4-year degrees
Do This!
Incentivize students to attend full-time -- 15 credits per semester. Use banded tuition so 15 credits per semester cost students no more than 12 credits. Cap degree credit requirements (120 for bachelor's and 60 for associate) to ensure degrees can be completed on time.
37%
of students attend school part-time, often juggling families, jobs, and school
Do This!
Use structured scheduling to help working students balance jobs and school -- doing so enables many more students to attend college full-time, shortening their time to completion.
81
Average credits associate-seeking students take to graduate -- 60 is standard
Do This!
Enabled by technology, default all students into highly structured degree plans, not individual courses. Start students in a limited number of "meta majors," which narrow into majors. Map out every semester of study for the entire program, and guarantee that milestone courses will be available when needed. Provide informed choices and intrusive, just-in-time advising to help them stay on track

Game Changers in Action

Maryland

The University of Maryland at College Park identifies about 20 percent of its incoming students as deficient in math and enrolls the top 60 percent of them, based on placement test scores, in a combined math course.

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Colorado

Adams State University revised its tuition policy so students pay the same for 15 credits as for 12 and promoted the resulting “free courses” to students and parents.

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Tennessee

At the 27 Tech Centers, students enroll in whole academic programs, not individual courses, streamlining the path to completion by removing the burdens of individual course selection and availability.

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News

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal: GPS will make college more affordable, save taxpayers millions

U.S. Rep. George Miller: Remediation a "Killer for College Completion," Jones Testifies Before House Committee

Indiana selected for $1 million Lumina/Complete College America grant to boost college completion. Read the story.

22 CCA states and DC commit to gateway course success. Read the blog post.

Complete College announces five recipients of the Guided Pathways to Success (GPS) in STEM Careers Initiative technical assistance grants supported by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Read the press release.