Our Approach and Tools
Preventing Loss, Creating Momentum
We now know from research and experience the critical junctures in students’ college experience. These are points at which many students drop out. Our approach to increasing community college completion rates is to work closely with community colleges around these critical junctures. We will support colleges in analyzing their data to pinpoint when and where they are losing students, and to identify strategies to address those student loss points. Our Preventing Loss, Creating Momentum Framework outlines this approach in more detail.
Download the framework
Student Loss and Momentum Tools
The Completion by Design team has developed several tools and resources to help colleges identify their student loss points and develop strategies to address them. Tools developed during the planning phase include:
Applied Inquiry Framework for Student Completion
This framework presents a 5-stage process for developing a culture of inquiry within community colleges and catalyzing institutional change to increase student completion.
Changing Course (by WestEd) & Revised Pathway Design Principles
- Changing Course: A Guide to Increasing Student Completion in Community Colleges
- Changing Course: A Planning Tool for Increasing Student Completion in Community Colleges
The Changing Course guide and planning tool bring together the best thinking on community college completion practices and strategies. These resources include a set of self-inquiry questions and eight design principles that stand out as promising for supporting colleges' efforts to dramatically increase student completion.
Download Pathway Design Principles (Revised March 2012)
Knowledge Center (by WestEd)
This searchable database catalogs foundational and emerging research and planning documents to support decision-making by community college planning teams. It includes high-level findings and recommendations, key factors from past implementation efforts, and information for further reading.
Pathway Design Principles
These eight design principles draw from research, practice, and participating colleges’ experience during the planning phase. While there is no single model for a completion pathway – defined as an integrated set of institutional policies, practices, and programs intended to maximize students’ likelihood of completing a credential – these principles can help inform the choices colleges make when designing their pathways. Creating systemic change requires attention to these principles, but colleges must strategically implement them based on their local context and students’ needs.
Download the Principles (Revised March 2012)
Pathways Analysis (by CCRC)
This analysis uses participating colleges’ data to pinpoint the dynamics of student momentum and loss at each institution. These results will inform the development of redesign strategies that support student success at a large scale.
State Policy Profiles (by Jobs for the Future)
These policy profiles outline each Completion by Design state's engagement in the completion agenda, recent policy changes relevant to the completion agenda, the political environment, and governance issues to show progress in increasing college completion rates.
Student Voices on the Higher Education Pathway: Preliminary Insights and Stakeholder Engagement Considerations (by Public Agenda with support from WestEd)
This report, based on student focus group data from 161 community college students in four states, presents student viewpoints on the relationship between their education goals and their college experience.
News and Events
March 21st, 2013Thank you for your interest in Completion by Design! We release this newsletter every two months or so to share what we’re...
February 25th, 2013Thank you for your interest in...
June 27th, 2012Inside Higher Ed reported today that the Senate has agreed to keep the interest rate on federally subsidized student loans at 3.4 percent for another...