National Assistance Partners
We rely on several organizations and individuals with expertise in the full range of postsecondary education issues that affect completion, including faculty engagement, cost efficiency, and policy. We are currently working with the following partners:
Community College Research Center (CCRC)
CCRC is the leading independent authority on the nation’s 1,200 two-year colleges. CCRC’s mission is to conduct research on the major issues affecting community colleges in the United States and contribute to the development of practice and policy that expands access to higher education and promotes success for all students.
In Completion by Design, CCRC is partnering with JBL Associates and the RP Group of California to build the capacity of participating colleges to conduct analyses of student pathways, use the results to redesign policies and practices in ways that increase completion rates, and analyze the costs, efficiency, and productivity effects of such reforms. In collaboration with colleges and other national assistance partners, CCRC will develop workshops, tools, and other resources for evidence-based continuous improvement in community colleges. CCRC will also conduct in-depth quantitative analyses using student unit data provided by participating colleges to inform their efforts, as well as community colleges more generally, to strengthen pathways to completion.
DVP-PRAXIS LTD is a consulting firm focused on improving the postsecondary education and workforce development system in the United States. Services include strategy development, evaluation, research, and meeting facilitation, especially for philanthropic-led initiatives. DVP-PRAXIS specializes in moving from theory to practice so action-oriented organizations can successfully achieve their goals around improving postsecondary education and skills-development practices and public policies.
DVP-PRAXIS will serve as the management evaluator/documentarian for Completion by Design, addressing issues related to alignment of goals, clarity of roles and responsibilities, communication among the leadership team and between the leadership team and the cadres, and coordination and quality of technical assistance. Its work during the planning phase is two-fold:
- To provide an objective, independent assessment of Completion by Design's management structure, processes, and technical assistance; and
- To provide real-time, actionable feedback to the Foundation and the national assistance partners that affirms and/or provides insight for possible changes in the planning process and framework.
Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future's mission is doubling the number of low-income youth and adults achieving a postsecondary credential that puts them on a path to family-sustaining earnings. JFF's community college work focuses on state policy and capacity-building strategies to help low-income students succeed in education and the labor market. Individual initiatives address early college designs, adult basic skills, developmental education, career counseling, and continuous improvement networks.
JFF is focusing on the public policy environments that Completion by Design colleges and campuses operate in. JFF supports and leverages the work of the state policy leads in each state, helping them develop and implement a completion-focused policy agenda and build a continuous improvement network informed by data. JFF will engage policymakers and leaders from state agencies, Completion by Design colleges, and all community colleges in each state.
MDRC is a nonprofit education and social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve programs and policies that affect low-income people. Its Young Adults and Postsecondary Education policy area has developed and evaluated a number of interventions designed to improve student success at community colleges.
MDRC will perform an independent evaluation of Completion by Design. The evaluation will include an analysis of the planning, implementation, and scaling of the initiative at participating colleges. MDRC's evaluation research will also analyze the extent to which the initiative leads participating colleges to effect systems change and realize improved student outcomes. Finally, it will include an assessment of the cost-effectiveness of the changes that the colleges put into place.
Public Agenda strengthens our democracy by helping leaders and citizens collaborate on sustainable solutions to complex public problems. Public Agenda pursues this nonpartisan mission through innovative research, stakeholder engagement, creative communications, and strategic partnerships that increase its impacts. Public Agenda has worked with Achieving the Dream and the Lumina Foundation's productivity initiative, as well as conducted a substantial body of opinion research and stakeholder engagement work on many facets of education reform.
Public Agenda will work with Completion by Design in three areas:
- Collecting, conducting, and analyzing opinion research on the perceptions and values that stakeholders – with a special emphasis on faculty – have on college completion issues;
- Building the capacity of participating colleges to engage their key stakeholders by facilitating effective meetings and other engagements; and
- Helping ensure alignment between state policy activities and the work of colleges.
Pyramid Communications is a full service strategic communications and public affairs firm designed to create lasting, positive impact in the communities in which it works. Pyramid’s education practice helps fuel the innovation and capacity for change for K-12 and higher education to ensure every student is successful.
Pyramid is helping develop communications strategies and tools for Completion by Design. Pyramid is leading the development of the collaborative interactive strategy to support peer learning and knowledge development with colleges and campuses. It is also assessing, designing, and providing ongoing communications support to the national technical assistance providers and participating colleges and campuses.
WestEd is a nonprofit research, development, and service organization that works to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning. Within WestEd, the Postsecondary and Career Readiness and Success team focuses on the needs of traditionally underserved students as they transition from high school to postsecondary education, and from postsecondary into the workforce.
With Completion by Design, WestEd provides resources to support the work of the participating colleges and campuses. For the planning year, WestEd wrote a planning guide and companion planning tool and developed an online Knowledge Center. The Knowledge Center provides research, tools, and multimedia resources geared primarily toward helping colleges develop and implement their improvement plans. During the first year of the initiative, WestEd will conduct research about students’ experiences in community college; write an implementation guide focused on a set of issues raised by colleges; and write fast response memos for colleges, addressing key questions that arise during the initial planning phase.
News and Events
March 21st, 2013Thank you for your interest in Completion by Design! We release this newsletter every two months or so to share what we’re...
February 25th, 2013Thank you for your interest in...
June 27th, 2012Inside Higher Ed reported today that the Senate has agreed to keep the interest rate on federally subsidized student loans at 3.4 percent for another...