The system redesign envisioned by Completion by Design is sweeping. Colleges will create pathways of integrated policies, practices, and programs intentionally designed to maximize the chances for student credential completion. These pathways will address the full continuum of the student experience, from first contact to credential completion, as well as the full spectrum of organizational and administrative factors.
Colleges will base their redesign on an analysis of common barriers, proven and promising practices, linkages among the systems that touch the lives of the students, and clear accountability for student success and completion. Through a comprehensive, data-driven approach, colleges will systematically use the lessons of prior reforms and demonstration projects to support students’ progress throughout their community college experience.
The evaluation of Completion by Design, in addition to providing an independent assessment of the initiative, will have broader implications for the field of community college reform. The evaluation seeks to build highly credible knowledge regarding the key elements of a cost-effective, completion-focused, end-to-end pathway; the change process needed for implementation of such an approach; and the potential of scaling up this approach or replicating it at a wide variety of institutions.