STEP 3: Diagnose the Issues
The Completion by Design (CBD) initiative is designed to help community colleges increase completion rates for large numbers of students while holding down college costs and maintaining the quality of programs and services. To achieve this goal, CBD helps community colleges engage faculty and staff in a systematic process of inquiry that is based on data analysis, and a set of principles for institutional redesign.
In this step, colleges work to unpack the high-level goals that were established in Step 1. This involves asking key research questions about student progression, with the goal of identifying key stumbling blocks that create potential loss points as well as identifying catalytic structures and processes that can serve as momentum points for students. Two inquiry guides from the CBD series should be particularly useful in visualizing this step – the NCII Inquiry Guides on Building a Culture of Inquiry & Understanding the Student Experience through the Loss Momentum Framework.
Step 3: Diagnose the Issues will be tailored depending on the goal.
- Determine and gather full set of available inputs
- Conduct data analysis
- Identify major gaps
- Begin stakeholder engagement plan implementation
- Prioritize major gaps
- Flag any issues or outside support needs
- 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 Preventing Loss, Creating Momentum Framework.
- CBD Pathway Analyses Toolkit
This Toolkit describes the process and model analyses that CBD colleges use to analyze students’ pathways, and develop and assess their reforms. The Toolkit includes interactive templates, data definitions, and programming guidelines so colleges can conduct these model analyses with their own data. Sample analyses and case studies are provided throughout to illustrate the uses of these analytics.
- Applied Inquiry Framework for Student Completion
This framework presents a multi-stage process for developing a culture of inquiry within community colleges and catalyzing institutional change to increase student completion.
- Step 3: How to Use Data to Diagnose Your Loss and Momentum Points