American Dreams Are Powered By College Completion

Complete College America is at the center of a movement to restore the promise of higher education as the most powerful way to advance social mobility, economic opportunity, and racial justice. We advocate for policy change, create new conditions on campuses, and support the implementation of student success strategies so more students can reach their goal of attaining a college degree or valued workplace credential.

Our Work

CCA has a long history of identifying and sharing evidence-based strategies that improve college success. From new remediation approaches to structured course pathways, we’re committed to helping colleges and universities create student-centered campuses that remove unnecessary barriers to degrees completion. In 2020, we defined 4 pillars of success—and a set of corresponding strategies—that must be at the center of all student-centered higher education systems.

Our Work

Shifting Policy

Advancing state, system and institutional policy that increases graduation rates.

Creating Conditions

Building student-centered campuses committed to eliminating barriers to graduation.

Implementing Strategies

Identifying, promoting, and implementing strategies that transform the student experience.

Purpose

Students thrive when their “why” is clear. We’re working to help students define a clear purpose and align the college experience to each student's goals for the future.

OUR STRATEGIES

First-Year Experience

Develop structures to connect students with resources that foster their academic and career goals.

OUR STRATEGIES

Career Exploration

Make information on careers readily available to all students, empowering them to make informed decisions about programs of study that meets their skills, aptitudes, and aspirations.

OUR STRATEGIES

Academic & Career Alignment

Create a clear connection between learning taking place in the classroom and the competencies associated with careers.

OUR STRATEGIES

Adult Learner Engagement

Proactively communicate the value of a higher education degree to address the unique needs and goals of adults.

Momentum

We must design multiple avenues for students to get started, earn credits faster, and stay on track to graduate. As students feel confident given their progress, they are better equipped to weather the challenges that arise.

OUR STRATEGIES

Credit for Competency

Recognize the prior learning, skills, and knowledge that students possess and establish mechanisms to award appropriate credits.

OUR STRATEGIES

Multiple Measures

Consider a variety of placement options that include high school grade point average to provide more ways for students to take a college-level class in their first semester.

OUR STRATEGIES

Corequisite Support

Design structures and pedagogical approaches for students needing or requesting additional support to succeed in college-level foundational math and English courses that allow students to complete requirements in a single academic term.

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OUR STRATEGIES

Concurrent Enrollment

Provide high school students opportunities to take college classes while they are still in high school so they can get an early start on college.

OUR STRATEGIES

15 to Finish/Stay on Track

Invest in coordinated communications efforts and structural solutions to match student credit loads with the credits needed for on-time graduation for both part-time and full-time students.

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Structures

We help institutions build course road maps that make the path to a degree or valued workplace credential clear. By providing structure, institutions can help students focus on learning.

OUR STRATEGIES

Math Pathways

Identify the appropriate gateway math course that is aligned with the skills students need for their chosen program of study.

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OUR STRATEGIES

Meta Majors

Provide students with opportunities to explore related programs of study that allow them to make more informed and deliberate decisions about their majors, while making progress towards their degrees.

OUR STRATEGIES

Academic Maps & Milestones

Delineate the path to graduation and highlight significant milestones that contribute to student success in a clear and comprehensive format.

OUR STRATEGIES

Smart Schedules

Design schedules that contribute to degree progression and meet the needs of all students. 

OUR STRATEGIES

Stackable Certificates & Credentials

Create competency-driven structures that encourage lifelong learning and attainment of degrees of value.

Support

There are lots of things that can get in the way of student success. By addressing student needs and removing barriers, we can ensure students have the best chance at success.

OUR STRATEGIES

Active Academic Support

Provide students with programs and services to help them develop the academic skills needed to be successful.

OUR STRATEGIES

Proactive Advising

Require advisors to take a preemptive approach that anticipates and helps eliminate concerns, roadblocks, and barriers affecting student success. Through strategic and consistent outreach, ensure advisors are a resource for students, working with them to create a holistic plan for a timely graduation.

OUR STRATEGIES

360° Coaching

Provide students with a designated coach to contact whenever issues arise in and outside of the classroom. Train coaches to work with students to find answers, identify appropriate resources, and advocate or intervene on their behalf.

OUR STRATEGIES

Student Basic Needs Support

Ensure that students have access to food, housing, childcare, physical and mental health services, financial assistance, and transportation.

A New Way Forward

CCA is committed to college success for every student, but we know higher education wasn’t designed with every student in mind. The barriers to degree attainment—rooted in structural racism and inequality—have a disproportionate effect on Black, Latinx, first-generation, adult, and low-income learners. Our work focuses on advancing strategies that give all students the purpose, momentum, structure, and support they need to build on their talents and succeed in college and beyond. Join us in reigniting the promise of college success and providing a pathway for all students to achieve their dreams.

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Purpose

First-Year Experience

Purpose

Career Exploration

Purpose

Academic & Career Alignment

Purpose

Adult Learner Engagement

Momentum

Credit for Competency

Momentum

Multiple Measures

Momentum

Corequisite Support

Momentum

Concurrent Enrollment

Momentum

15 to Finish/Stay on Track

Structure

Math Pathways

Structure

Meta Majors

Structure

Academic Maps & Milestones

Structure

Smart Schedules

Structure

Stackable Certificates & Credentials

Support

Active Academic Support

Support

Proactive Advising

Support

360° Coaching

Support

Student Basic Needs Support

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