Postsecondary Success - Crossroads

Patrick Methvin
Blog Post

Colleagues, It’s graduation season, and like many of you, I am often transported back to my own cap-and-gown days, remembering the excitement of being done with studying and tests mixed with the butterflies in my stomach about what was to come. My path to a degree and into a career was pretty smooth and straightforward (much to the relief of my parents). For too many of today’s students, that is not the reality. They have the talent and the will to succeed, but get caught up in a maze of policies, course options, and financial hurdles that leaves them short of the finish line – or abandoning their quest for a certificate or degree before they even get to the starting line. As a field, we can change that. And change is already happening. This month we are pleased to announce a new portfolio of investments from our Education Pathways colleagues at the foundation called Accelerate ED, designed to scale proven pathways from high school into postsecondary education and the workforce. Keep reading for more on this exciting new initiative. We are also seeing more evidence that strong student supports such as advising are providing real return on investment, keeping more students on the path to a certificate or degree for a relatively modest investment. Efforts like these are a great illustration of equitable value in action. Every student deserves a clear path to achieving their educational goals, regardless of race, ethnicity, or income. Working together, we can make that aspiration a reality. Regards,


From the Foundation

Introducing Accelerate ED

Over the past 20 years, K-12 schools and colleges and universities have made significant progress in creating opportunities for students to identify and get on paths to postsecondary education and gain work-based learning experience while still in high school, but these opportunities are not widespread or equitably distributed.

The foundation, working with partners, will address this through Accelerate ED, a new initiative designed to expand proven policies and practices – such as dual enrollment, career and technical education, and other work-based learning opportunities – for helping students start their postsecondary journeys while still in high school. The initiative features investments in 12 community-based teams from across the nation to develop approaches that span high school and college programs of study, linked to a credential valued in the local labor market.

Learn more here

Quick Takes

The 101: Evidence-Based Completion Programs

Over the past several years, a number of programs have sprung up around the nation to help students keep moving forward to a certificate or degree, ranging from childcare services to tutoring and coaching to assistance with transportation and unplanned expenses. So what do we know about the effectiveness of these programs? Our partners at Third Way recently put together a quick explainer on what we know about several efforts to help today’s students.

Proven Strategies to Boost Completion

MDRC, State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), The Education Trust, and The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) have launched a new series of research briefs that capture proven strategies for increasing student completion rates. The first three briefs in the series cover strategies such as high intensity advising, financial aid, and data and include a focus on Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs).MDRC has also released a new interactive tool that allows administrators at community colleges to calculate the costs and revenues associated with implementing different student success interventions. The tool covers 20 different interventions, ranging from advising to developmental education redesign to communications and mentoring programs.