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About Our Areas of Work
We organize our work into three areas to help low-income youth & adults:

Blog

Thursday September 8, 2016
Originally posted on Completion By Design's blog on September 7, 2016. The completion agenda has been effective in shifting the national conversation on postsecondary attainment from access to completion, as reflected in the measurable completion goals set to be achieved by Lumina Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Obama Administration, and numerous states. This is tremendous progress, but for low-income Americans who seek postsecondary credentials to secure employment and advance in our economy, it is not enough to simply complete. Several recent studies from the...
Tags: Credentials, Labor Market Information, Federal Higher Education Policy, Developmental Education
Thursday April 7, 2016
A professor is helping two students in a classroom
Principle 4. Additional academic support should be integrated with gateway college-level course content — as a co-requisite, not a pre-requisite. Principle Four opens the question of what needs to be done for students who enter college with skills so low that it is not likely they can benefit from default placement in a college-level course. The honest answer is that we don’t know. Whatever the eventual solutions, student supports will need to be a central feature. Principle Four focuses on “additional academic support,” but I argue that “additional support” needs to go far beyond the...
Tags: Credentials, Developmental Education, Dropout Recovery, Opportunity Youth
Wednesday April 6, 2016
Students in a Math classroom
Principle 2: Enrollment in college-level math and English courses or course sequences aligned with the student’s program of study is the default placement for the vast majority of students. In plain English, Principle 2 states that most students should be placed in credit-bearing college courses rather than developmental education course sequences, even when their placement scores indicate that they will need additional supports to succeed in college-level courses. This practice is referred to as acceleration because it shortens or eliminates entirely the time a student spends in...
Tags: Credentials, Developmental Education, Dropout Recovery
Tuesday April 5, 2016
College students taking a test
The first of the Core Principles states: Every student’s postsecondary education begins with an intake process to choose an academic direction and identify the support needed to pass relevant credit-bearing gateway courses in the first-year. This dry, bureaucratic statement conceals a call for radical transformation of the entire intake and advisement process at community colleges across the nation. Historically, the intake process was designed to weed out students deemed “not ready” for college-level work. Such students were directed into developmental education courses that could take...
Tags: Credentials, Developmental Education, Dropout Recovery
Monday April 4, 2016
Two-thirds of students in community colleges are assessed as underprepared to successfully enter and complete college-level programs of study. For too many of these students, especially low-income, first-generation, and students of color, underpreparation stands between them and economic opportunity. Without a college credential, most people born into the lowest quintile of the national income distribution will remain stuck there throughout their lifetimes. For example, half of all black Americans born in the lowest income quintile remain there as adults. Black Americans who earn bachelor’s...
Tags: Credentials, Career Pathways, Developmental Education, Opportunity Youth