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May 16, 2017

Complete College America to Award Second Annual Technology Seal of Approval

Software to be evaluated for functionality that utilizes best practices and empowers college completion

Complete College America released today information on the 2017 GPS Direct Seal of Approval, a program designed to recognize software tools that most effectively promote college completion through adherence to the essential components of the organization’s Guided Pathways to Success (GPS) initiative.

In 2016, Complete College America launched the GPS Direct Seal of Approval program to signal to colleges and universities that implementation of GPS strategies could be effectively supported by innovative technology solutions. The award was also designed to spur software providers toward research-proven best practices for boosting college completion. In its inaugural year, four awards were presented to vendors that demonstrated functionality supporting guiding pathways, including the ability to default students onto their chosen academic map, easy integration of the registration process and software, and the mechanisms for ongoing monitoring and reporting for when students get off track. The recipients of the 2016 GPS Direct Seal of Approval were CollegeSource and EAB. EduNav and Full Measure Education received the Emerging Technology Award, which recognized solutions with smaller-scale implementation that demonstrated innovative approaches and new thinking on the role of higher education technology in student success and the trajectory towards completion.

The 2017 program will expand the award requirements for Guided Pathways and include supports for Informed Choice and Proactive Advising. The award process will be based on a review of solutions evaluated against a defined set of best practices, effective implementations and aspirational standards.

The Seal of Approval advisory board will again oversee the program evaluation and award process. This year’s advisory board includes the addition of Tom Green of AACRAO Consulting, a service extension organization affiliated with American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers; and Jennifer Joslin of NACADA: The Global Advising Community. The advisory board will also include a representative from the National Career Development Association.

“We know that far too many college students wander aimlessly through their academic experience, racking up excess credits, adding extra semesters to their time in college, taking on additional student loan debt, and ultimately graduating late, if at all,” said Complete College America president Tom Sugar.  “The GPS Direct Seal of Approval seeks to recognize those software providers who are tackling these challenges head on, providing tools that put students on a path to graduation and offering technological supports that keep students on track along the way.”

View the official solicitation for entries here.

Winners of the 2017 Seal of Approval will be highlighted in November at Complete College America’s Annual Convening in New Orleans.

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