The Statewide Scaling Toolkit for Completion by Design

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

The Statewide Scaling Toolkit for Completion by Design

The Statewide Scaling Toolkit

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5

Completion Focused Transformation Toolkit

Visit Completion by Design: Our Approach to see the Completion Focused Transformation toolkit for institutions.

DesignForScale: State Innovation Series 

The DesignForScale: State Innovation Series highlights innovative efforts to scale structured pathways reforms across all the community colleges in a state. North Carolina took a unique approach to faculty engagement. Ohio dove into examining state and institutional policies. Texas established a bold cross-sector advisory board. Florida leveraged legislation to spread the principles of structured pathways. Other states seeking to scale reforms will find these approaches instructive.


Beginning in 2011, nine community colleges across three states set out to redesign the college experience in an initiative called Completion by Design. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Completion by Design is a partnership between participating colleges and policy organizations in each of the three states. Jobs for the Future’s Postsecondary State Policy Team manages the CBD state policy effort, and in that role provides technical assistance to the state lead organizations:

Many state-level policymakers have noted their interest in the redesign principles of Completion by Design and its emphasis on building structured pathways that guide students through the four phases of the Preventing Loss, Creating Momentum Framework. The Loss/Momentum Framework shines a light on college practices and policies that maintain a student’s momentum toward completion throughout her college career, from her first connection to a community college to the choices she makes every semester, every day until completion.

To facilitate the adoption of structured pathways design principles to colleges and states around the country, JFF has developed this Statewide Scaling Toolkit to make visible and tangible the learning process experienced by the three CBD states. We encourage you to follow this clear, five-step process for how your state can embrace and implement the principles of CBD across its colleges.

Step 1: Agree on Completion Goals and Reform Principles

Step 2: Systematically Engage Key Audiences

Step 3: Assess the Policy Environment for Completion

Step 4: Consider Evidence-based Policy Options

Step 5: Create a Completion Workplan

If you would like to talk with someone at Jobs for the Future about how to use these materials and receive technical assistance, please email Michael Collins,