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June 2010
What's Happening

IHELP Speaks at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grantee Convening
- IHELP Director Nancy Shulock was invited to participate in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success 2nd Annual Grantee Convening, “Supporting Student Success: Preventing Loss, Creating Momentum,” in Seattle, Washington on June 7-9. Nancy joined a panel titled “Beyond Completion Measures: Discussion on Developing and Using Interim Measures of Student Progress.” IHELP is partnering with the Community College Research Center (CCRC) on CCRC’s Gates Foundation grant to evaluate the Washington State incentive funding system that is based on the kinds of intermediate measures discussed at this panel session.

CSU Graduation Initiative Workshops - The California State University recently hosted two Graduation Initiative Leading Indicator Workshops to continue their efforts to improve graduation rates. The workshops involved representatives from the Education Trust and the CSU Chancellor’s office and teams from every CSU campus.  They focused on the use of leading indicators (measures of student academic behavior that help predict success) as a tool for CSU campuses to use as the system works to increase graduation rates. Two recent IHELP reports, Advancing by Degrees and Student Flow Analysis: CSU Student Progress Toward Graduation, were used as resources for the workshops. The workshops stem from CSU’s participation in the Access to Success initiative of the National Association of System Heads, which, in collaboration with the Education Trust, sponsored the IHELP report on leading indicators. View the workshop presentation.

Features This Month

Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving College Readiness Through Coherent State Policy

This new policy brief, jointly produced by the Southern Regional Education Board and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, examines the college readiness problem and offers recommendations to help government and educational leaders strengthen their efforts to lessen the college readiness gap. IHELP Director Nancy Shulock participated in the workgroup that produced the report, which analyzes the causes of the college readiness gap and discusses how states could better address the problem. The brief recommends specific policy changes and offers state leaders a model college readiness agenda consisting of state-wide college readiness standards developed and adopted jointly by P-12 and

postsecondary education. It describes assessment, placement, curricular, teacher development, and accountability practices carefully designed to reflect and implement the standards.
View the brief

In case you missed it -Advancing by Degrees: A Framework for Increasing College Completion

This report, produced by IHELP for The Education Trust, offers higher education leaders guidance on using data to monitor student progress and applying the results to inform changes in policy and practice to help more students earn degrees. The report describes a framework of milestones, or intermediate educational achievements that students reach along the path to degree completion, and leading indicators, or academic and enrollment patterns that are related to a greater likelihood of graduation. The report uses data from the State University System of Florida and the California Community Colleges to demonstrate how the framework can be used in four-year and two-year institutions to diagnose where and why students fall off the path to success and to make changes in policy and practice to increase degree completion. The Education Trust, working with the National Association of System Heads, is distributing the report to leaders of higher education systems across the country.
View the report


Spotlight On

Complete College America’s Alliance of States – Complete College America, a nonprofit organization working with state governments to help increase college complete rates in the nation, recently announced the commencement of its Alliance of States, a collaboration of states (currently numbering 22) committed to taking action to increase the number of college graduates and close attainment gaps for underrepresented students. These states, in partnership with their colleges and universities, have pledged to: 

  • set campus-specific degree and credential completion goals;
  • develop and implement policies and strategies to increase the number of college graduates by ensuring students are college-ready, redesigning remediation to improve success, developing more efficient pathways to degrees, and providing financial incentives to students and colleges; and
  • adopt common metrics to measure and publicly report progress.

To formally kick off this new alliance, Complete College America held an Inaugural Convening on June 3-4 in Tennessee where teams or representatives from all 22 states were present. The convening focused on essential steps to increase completion rates, including fixing remediation programs, creating more structured and efficient pathways to a degree, and changing the postsecondary financial structure to focus on completion rather than enrollment.

For more information on Complete College America and the Alliance of States, please click the links below.

Complete College America
Complete College America – Alliance of States



Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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