Complete College America (CCA) today welcomed Alabama as the 44th member of the CCA Alliance, a network of states, regions and institutions focused on boosting student success and college completion.

Alabama data indicates too few students are graduating on-time, leading to additional semesters and increased tuition costs. For parents and students, the national average cost in tuition and lost wages for an extra year of college is $50,933 at a public two-year institution and $68,153 at a public four-year institution. As a new Alliance Member, Complete College Alabama has committed to setting college attainment goals, collecting and reporting completion data, and pursuing Complete College America’s Game Changer strategies – interventions that are proven to dramatically increase college completion rates and shorten time to graduation, saving students thousands.

“More than any other time in our history, achieving a college degree or credential of value may the single most important factor in whether or not a person will achieve their American Dream, and at institutions across the country, we’ve fallen short in making that Dream a reality for far too many of our students,” said Complete College America president Tom Sugar. “The leaders in Alabama higher education understand this reality and are committed to doing everything in their power to unlock opportunity for all their students.”

Complete College Alabama will be led by a six-person alliance team that will represent Alabama at national events and work jointly across institutions to improve college completion rates and achieve positive outcomes for their students. Dr. Reginald Sykes, the president of Bishop State Community College, will lead the Complete College Alabama team.

The full team includes:

  • Reginald Sykes, President, Bishop State Community College – Team Lead, Equity Lead
  • Russ Rothamer, Chief Academic Officer, Alabama Community College System – Implementation Lead, Two-Year Institution Lead
  • James McDonald, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Montevallo University – Four-Year Institution Lead
  • Subrena Simpkins, Director of Research Services, Alabama Commission on Higher Education – Metrics, Evidence and Results Lead
  • Danny Garrett, Alabama Legislature – Policy and Legislation Lead
  • Margaret Gunter, Director of Communications and Government Relations, Alabama Commission on Higher Education– Communications Lead

“I am excited about opportunities involving Alabama’s partnership with Complete College America,” said Jim Purcell, executive director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. “The initiatives of the CCA Alliance, particularly involving achieving educational attainment goals, are in line with Governor Ivey’s ‘Strong Start, Strong Finish’ educational plan. Having been involved in CCA programs in other states, I know first-hand the effectiveness of CCA’s Game Changers for institutions and students.”

You can stay up to date on Alabama’s work at