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 National College Completion Initiatives 

This list is partially based on A Guide to Major U.S. College Completion Initiatives by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a policy brief that provides an overview of projects related specifically to improving postsecondary attainment across the country.

List of National Completion Programs

Access to Success (A2S) sponsored by the National Association of System Heads (NASH) and The Education Trust with funding partners the Lumina Foundation for Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the effort is to cut the college-going and graduation gaps for low-income and minority students in half by 2015. (Each participating system sets its own improvement targets based on the economic and workforce needs of the particular state.)

ACE Commission on Education Attainment sponsored by the American Council on Education (ACE), American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). The goal of the effort is to assess the need for improved college retention and attainment and to chart a course for improvement. The panel will convene throughout 2012 with the hope of producing a final document by the end of the year.

Achieving the Dream sponsored by the Lumina Foundation for Education (Founding Investor) and over 20 funders. The goal of the effort is to help more community college students, particularly low-income students
and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree.

Adult College Completion Network sponsored by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) with funding partner the Lumina Foundation for Education. The goal of the effort is to unite organizations and agencies working to increase college completion by adults with prior credits but no degree in a collaborative learning network.

Boosting College Completion for a New Economy sponsored by the Education Commission of the States (ECS) with funding partner the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the effort is to work with legislative and higher education leaders to improve their state economies by increasing the number of residents with a postsecondary credential.

College Completion Agenda sponsored by the College Board with collaborating partners the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Excelencia in Education and National Council of La Raza. The goal of the effort is to increase the proportion of 25-to-34-year-olds who hold an associate degree or higher to 55 percent by the year 2025 in order to make America the leader in educational attainment in the world.

College Completion Challenge sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Association of Community College Trustees, the Center for Community College Student Engagement, the League for Innovation in the Community College, the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. To promote the development and implementation of policies, practices and institutional cultures that will produce 50 percent more students with high quality degrees and certificates by 2020, while increasing access and quality.

College Completion Initiative sponsored by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). The goal of the effort is to increase significantly the numbers of students who complete postsecondary career certificates and associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, so that 60 percent of each state’s adults ages 25 to 64 will have one of these credentials by 2025.

Complete College America sponsored by funding partners: Carnegie Corporation of New York, Lumina Foundation for Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Ford Foundation. The project is a collaboration by nearly 20 national and regional higher education organizations for policy and research expertise. The goal of the effort is to significantly increase the number of Americans with a college degree or credential of value and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.

Complete to Compete sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) with funding partners the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education and USA Funds.The goals of the effort are: raise national awareness about the need to increase college completion and productivity, and the consequences of inaction; create a set of common higher education completion and productivity measures that governors can use to monitor state progress and compare performance to other states and between institutions; develop a series of best practices and a list of policy actions governors can take to achieve increased college completion; provide grants to states to design policies and programs that increase college completion and improve higher education productivity and serve as models for other states around the country; hold a learning institute for governors’ senior advisors in education, workforce and economic development focusing on successful state strategies to graduate more students and meet workforce demands.

Ensuring America’s Future by Increasing Latino College Completion (EAF) sponsored by Excelencia in Education. The project is a collaboration of 60 organizations, including ACT, Inc., American Council on Education, College Board, Complete College America, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Institute for Higher Education Policy, Jobs for the Future and National Conference of State Legislatures with funding partners the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education and Kresge Foundation. The goal of the effort is to inform, engage and sustain efforts to promote the role of Latinos in making the U.S. the world leader in college degree completion.

National Coalition for College Completion (NCCC) sponsored by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). The project is a collaboration of more than 20 organizations, including Boys and Girls Club of America, Business Roundtable, Center for American Progress, Center for Law and Social Policy and National Urban League with funding partners the Ford Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the effort is to mobilize a diverse, non-partisan voice in support of college completion that speaks for the collective interests of the American public by demanding a policy agenda that encourages higher education institutions to provide better support to underrepresented students.

Project Win-Win sponsored by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). The project is a collaboration of: State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO)—evaluation partner with funding partners the Lumina Foundation for Education and Kresge Foundation. The goal of the effort is, focusing wholly on the associate degree: to match student attainment with its official recognition; to improve de facto degree completion rates at participating colleges through a retroactive award process; to improve institutional data systems, student tracking, advising, communication with students, understanding of problems in degree qualifications, and degree audit systems; to place qualified and interested students back on track to complete degrees in a relatively short time span.

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