In spring 2012, after a year of intensive data analysis and planning, the colleges participating in Completion by Design announced strategies for creating clear, structured routes through college for more students, often referred to as accelerated, structured pathways to completion. These strategies contain elements unique to each college, but all drive toward helping students enroll early in program streams that lead to a major, and keeping students engaged and progressing until they complete credentials with labor market value. To that end, the strategies include interventions such as strategic dual enrollment, mandatory orientation, improved advising, acceleration of developmental education, early enrollment in programs of study, and close monitoring of student progress.
Completion by Design, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a partnership between participating colleges and state-level policy organizations. The initiative’s strong policy component seeks both to change policies in ways that support the colleges’ change strategies and to spread the learning and ideas stemming from Completion by Design to the other community colleges in each state.