Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success

As colleges and universities face the challenge of transforming themselves to better serve today’s college students, they are being supported by a wide range of organizations committed to providing knowledge, expertise, and connections with peers that will help them in their efforts. These include:

Achieving the Dream. Founded in 2004, this network of more than 200 community colleges across 39 states promotes evidence-based, student-centered reform designed to improve outcomes for all students, especially low-income students and students of color.

American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Through its Pathways Project, AACC is engaging 30 community colleges across 17 states to design and implement structured academic and career pathways for students to increase their chance of achieving a credential and decrease their likelihood of dropping out.

American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). In addition to supporting the work of member institutions participating in the Frontier Set, AASCU is promoting institutional redesign efforts through Re-Imagining the First Year of College, an initiative involving 44 public colleges and universities working to change policies and practices to help students successfully navigate their first year of college, which research has shown to be a common barrier to completion.

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). Also a Frontier Set partner, APLU has launched a Center for Public University Transformation that seeks to identify 100 public universities to develop, refine, and scale innovative practices to award hundreds of thousands of additional credentials and close attainment gaps by 2025.

Complete College America (CCA). CCA is a national organization that works with states and colleges and universities through research, advocacy, and technical assistance to promote completion of college degrees and credentials of purpose and value and eliminate achievement gaps. Areas of focus for this work include student momentum (credit accumulation, academic mapping), math pathways, remedial education redesign, and support for returning adult students.

Excelencia in Education. Founded in 2004, Excelencia focuses on the acceleration of Latino student success through data-driven analysis, promotion of evidence-backed policies and practices, and organizing and supporting a network of professionals committed to improving student outcomes. Its work with colleges and universities includes the recently announced Seal of Excelencia, which is designed to recognize and support institutions making significant strides in effectively serving Latino students.

Jobs for the Future (JFF). A longtime foundation partner, JFF currently manages a 15-state network of Student Success Centers, organizations that work across colleges and universities in participating states to share knowledge and resources on practices shown to positively impact student outcomes. In that role, JFF advises individual state centers and convenes and connects centers across states to promote peer learning and access subject matter expertise.

Strong Start to Finish (SSTF). This network, an initiative of Education Commission of the States, provides support to Frontier Set sites and colleges and universities in Georgia, New York, and Ohio to significantly increase the number and proportion of low-income students, students of color, and returning adults who succeed in college math and English and enter a program of study in their first year of college. SSTF does this by promoting evidence-based reforms in policy and practice, focusing on the redesign of remedial education.

The Aspen Institute. Through its College Excellence Program, The Aspen Institute provides guidance and support for community colleges participating in the Frontier Set, and offers a number of other opportunities for development and recognition, including the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, recognized as the “gold standard” in the two-year sector.

University Innovation Alliance. This coalition of 11 public research universities is working to increase enrollment, persistence, and graduation of low-income students and students of color through shared strategies in areas such as the use of predictive analytics. In its first three years, Alliance member institutions increased the number of low-income graduates by 25 percent.

WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). WCET, part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), promotes advances in policy, practice, and advocacy in the area of technology-enhanced education. Its Every Learner Everywhere network is working with the Frontier Set to strengthen digital learning programs at colleges and universities, with a focus on improving outcomes for groups most at-risk of not persisting in or completing certificate or degree programs.