Changing the System

The shortcomings of today’s higher-ed system are complex and intertwined—which is why CCA believes a three-part approach is the only solution. By helping states and institutions align policy, perspective, and practice, we’re working to replace the current system with an alternative that leads to more college diplomas and, therefore, greater opportunity for minoritized students.

Ven diagram with 3 circles labeled Policy, Perspective, and Practice

How We Get Things Done

If we want more students in more colleges to earn more degrees, we need to fix the systems that are putting obstacles in their way. That means shifting policy at the state and federal level, changing perspectives among educators and administrators, and implementing proven strategies across hundreds of campuses.


Since our founding in 2009, CCA has worked tirelessly to make student success the number-one priority of colleges and universities. We do that by collaborating with state leaders to shape policy, re-framing critical issues with data-driven reports, and connecting a national network of higher-ed leaders determined to change the status quo.

Get Support

What We Do

  • Policy Development & Analysis
  • National & State Campaigns
  • Expert Testimony


CCA is leading efforts to create campuses that are built around students’ needs. That means challenging assumptions among higher-ed leaders and illustrating the shortfalls in the system, so that all of us see where we can—and must—do better, if we are to prepare students for what’s next.

Get Support

What We Do

  • Research & Reports
  • Thought Leadership
  • Events & Workshops
  • Postsecondary Data Partnership


There is no one-size-fits-all approach to making colleges more student-centered—but a number of proven practices can make a difference. CCA helps colleges identify their biggest challenges, craft strategies that will effect change, and implement tactics that transform the student experience.

Get Support

What We Do

  • Strategic Planning
  • Implementation Support
  • Equity Analysis

Change Through Collaboration

CCA brings together cohorts of higher-education leaders from across the country together so they can learn from one another as they work to transform policy, perspectives, and practice within their institutions.

The work begins with identifying shared challenges and crafting a singular vision for student success. We then help participants turn those insights into actionable steps, offer guidance on their implementation, and help as members of each cohort continue to learn and refine their approaches.

Join the Movement

CCA’s Alliance includes more than 47 states, higher education systems, and consortia working together to transform policy, practice, and perspective. Our diverse Alliance members are committed to building higher education systems that increase economic opportunity, social mobility, and racial justice.

If you’re ready to learn from your peers—and help them learn from you—contact one of CCA’s strategy directors today, and we’ll connect you to higher-ed leaders who share your goals.

CCA Strategy Director Map


Headshot of Brandon Protas


Headshot of Melanie Harris


Headshot of Nikolas Huot



A Commitment to Equity

Colleges and universities have historically assumed that a “one-size-fits-all” approach works for most students—and that the rest will somehow figure it out. CCA believes the best colleges put students first, because that’s the only way to achieve true equity.

CCA staff and Board of Directors represent the lived experiences of those we ultimately seek to support: Black, Latinx, low-income, adult, and first generation students. We work with courageous and forward-thinking higher education leaders on campuses serving the most marginalized and minoritized students, using data to identify best practices and advancing the policies, perspectives, and practices that meet the needs of students who have been systematically excluded for far too long.

Big-Picture Thinking

CCA expects—and even demands—serious, substantive change at every level of higher education. We help institutions make those meaningful changes possible with our reports, events, workshops, and campaigns available, and by connecting our network of impatient reformers to learn from one another.