American Dreams Are Powered By College Completion
At CCA, we're leveraging our Alliance and implementing strategies around the country to close institutional performance gaps, boost graduation rates and ensure every student has the opportunity to achieve their dreams.
There are more than 20 million Americans enrolled in college right now. Recent high school graduates, working parents, first-generation students, skilled-trade workers – all of them striving to earn a degree or other credential, build a fulfilling career, and pursue their dreams. Far too often, American higher education is failing them.
The College Completion Crisis
The barriers to student success are clear: low credit enrollment, poorly designed and delivered remedial education, overwhelming and unclear choices, and a system out of touch with the needs of students who must often balance work and family with their coursework.
The result is a system of higher education that costs too much, takes too long, and graduates too few.
Together, we can change that.
of students complete their associate degree within 2 years
of students complete their bachelor's degree within 4 years
Provide a Strong Start
Most students begin their college career by taking too few credits, delaying important gateway courses, or getting placed into broken remedial sequences, costing precious time and money and decreasing their likelihood of completion. Using the strategies below, we're building Momentum Pathways that ensure students start strong, stay on track, and make it to graduation day.
15 to Finish
Boost the number of students who are on track for on-time graduation by encouraging enrollment in 15 credits each semester (30 credits per year, including summers). Financial aid dollars, as well as institutional process and practice, should support that standard.
Ensure all students enroll in and complete gateway math in their first year by designing math courses that are aligned with the skills students need for their chosen program of study.
Increase gateway course completion within the first year by enrolling entering students into the college-level math and English courses, providing those who need additional help a concurrent course or lab that offers just-in-time academic support.
Build momentum so students meet first-year benchmarks: informed choice of meta major or major, enrollment in 30 credits with nine in the program of study and completion of gateway courses. Provide early support and guidance for decision making, using interest assessments and labor-market data.
Rather than allowing students to wander aimlessly through the course catalog, Momentum Pathways also provide the support and guidance needed for students to stay on track. Clearly articulated, semester-by-semester plans give students certainty about what it takes to graduate on time, and advisors intervene when students are about to go off course.
Academic Maps with Proactive Advising
Default students onto highly-structured academic maps that include 15 credits per semester (or 30 per year), indicate milestone and pre-requisite courses, and empower advisors to effectively monitor progress and provide intervention as needed.
Today's college students often balance work, family and school, and in a system of higher education not designed for that complexity, they struggle to complete. For adults trying to return to education, the challenges are seemingly insurmountable. To increase attainment, these students need a better deal and a redesigned system focused on their success.
A Better Deal for Returning Adults
Increase degree attainment by inviting adult learners back to complete their education, providing a redesigned system that offers accelerated courses, year-round enrollment and predictable schedules. Give credit for prior learning and experience and additional support to help students navigate the system.
A New Way Forward
Alongside a growing Alliance of impatient reformers and tireless advocates, we're working to close achievement gaps and boost student success. The work isn't easy, but it's necessary. Join us in reigniting the promise of college success and providing a pathway for students to achieve their dreams.