Melanie Harris

Strategy Director

Complete College America

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at Complete College America

Melanie Harris

Strategy Director

Complete College America

Melanie Harris proudly serves as a Strategy Director with Complete College America. During her career, she has focused on identifying and narrowing the gaps prevalent in higher education that vastly affect marginalized groups.

Prior to joining the Complete College America team, Melanie served as an Implementation Project Manager for one of the largest education technology companies serving over 80 percent of the world's top academic institutions. During her tenure, Melanie worked with over 100 clients, working to advocate for client’s needs, serve as a liaison between clients and the company, and was the point person to successfully execute all project needs and goals. With a passion for student success, Melanie previously worked at Georgia State University as a Coordinator of First-Year Success Programs. She successfully revamped training and instructor resources for faculty, staff, and graduate students teaching the university’s required academic orientation course. Additionally, Melanie established Gen1: First-Generation Success Programs providing resources, scholarships, mentorship, and events to 4,500 first-generation students at the university.

Melanie is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at Clemson University pursuing a degree in Educational Leadership-Higher Education. She also serves as the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Region III NUFP (NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program) Coordinator. Melanie earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Education from the University of South Florida in Curriculum and Instruction – College Student Affairs.

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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.

Math Pathways

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.

Corequisite Support

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.

Momentum Year

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.

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.

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.

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