Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success

January 29, 2020

Postsecondary Success Notes | Announcing our Intermediaries for Scale


Happy New Year! I hope your 2020 is off to a good start.

We started the new year with some news – the announcement of our Intermediaries for Scale. These 13 organizations will dig into the hard but essential work of dramatically expanding the number of colleges and universities transforming themselves to become more student-centered.

For me, this work reflects the growth and evolution of the higher education transformation movement. A decade ago, we responded to bold attainment goals by launching initiatives like Completion by Design. And while the nation has not quite achieved those ambitious goals, institutions like Lorain County Community College are well on their way to meeting their student success targets because they met their initial benchmarks three years ahead of schedule.

It’s also a test of just how far the appetite and capacity for change extends. Yes, a growing number of colleges and universities are using the language of transformation. But according to a recent survey from the American Council on Education, only about one in 10 college presidents surveyed said they are very confident in their institution’s ability to adapt to key trends like changes in student demographics.

Will 2020 be a year for evolution or revolution for higher education? Our work suggests that the answer may be “both.”


Patrick Methvin