Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that student success measures are put in place nationally, including leaders at colleges, universities, and other education providers; local community and businesses leaders; and federal, state, and local government officials. Our understanding of how we can help people finish what they start has grown—and today we have a better idea of what it takes to reduce unfair outcomes among people who are Black, Hispanic, and Native American.
The agenda should focus on:
Helping people identify affordable academic pathways that lead to marketable credentials and opportunities for further education;
Targeting academic, social, and financial support in ways shown to ensure people finish on time; and,
Tracking people’s progress using real-time data that can help surface problems immediately to quickly addressing these problems.
Colleges and universities that have done well by students across all racial, ethnic, and income groups have gone further than implementing just a program or two: They have taken a holistic approach and created academic cultures focused on promoting program completion, racial equity, and quality learning opportunities. This level of commitment included a relentless focus on making education more accessible through wise use of available resources and changes in how education was offered that reduced the expense of educating students. Education providers also respond to cues from policymakers, which places a burden on policymakers to ensure they create finance and policy incentives that prioritize serving today’s student.