Key Center Functions

Postsecondary State Policy

Strengthening State Policies to Advance Postsecondary Success and Careers

Advising states and community college systems on developing accelerated pathways through community college and strengthening policies to help more students graduate with a high-value credential.

Michael Lawrence Collins
Vice President, Building Educational Pathways
617.728.4446 x190

Key Center Functions

Centers help colleges plan strategically and implement effectively. To support colleges and their students, Centers:

Provide coherence

  • Create a statewide framework of action, or a lens through which colleges focus their work and integrate their student success efforts.
  • Unify efforts across the state so colleges can collectively meet their state’s completion goals.
  • Provide strategic guidance to the state’s colleges.
  • Identify effective policies and practices and then provide support (technical assistance, professional development) to help scale them statewide.
  • Build partnerships with K–12 and four-year institutions.


  • Create time and space for faculty and staff to connect and to discuss strategy and implementation.
  • Identify problems common to multiple colleges and help colleges work together to address them.
  • Develop economies of scale in training, professional development, and technical assistance.
  • Encourage engagement at every level of the college (administration, faculty, and staff), particularly with regard to overcoming barriers to change.

Connect policy and practice

  • Represent the collective voice of practitioners in state-level policy discussions.
  • Identify and pursue state and system policy changes that support the institutional changes necessary to increase student completion.

Improve data capacity

  • Improve data sharing among community colleges and with K–12 and four-year institutions.
  • Establish common data metrics throughout the state.
  • Support deeper use of education and labor market data by practitioners and policymakers.

Promote research and knowledge development

  • Support research projects with colleges (and often with university partners) to evaluate the impact of interventions and identify obstacles to student success. 
  • Give colleges strategic guidance that builds on lessons learned in the field, including innovative and effective policies and practices.
  • Provide access to additional resources through the Student Success Center Network.