Topic: College Completion

Overview

College Completion

Creating jobs is a top priority in Southern states, and a better-educated workforce is an important strategy. Helping states with policy and practice to improve postsecondary completion is central to SREB’s mission. 

The goal: a higher percentage of state residents who hold college degrees or certificates

Publication September 2019 | 8 pages
report  cover

Workforce-Driven Financial Aid: Policies and Strategies
Essential Elements of State Policy For College Completion

The rapidly evolving workplace has created a shortage of skilled and educated workers in many fields, leaving essential jobs unfilled and millions of adults unqualified for them. This policy brief summarizes statewide strategies to support financial assistance for students in programs designed to address workforce needs. It includes suggestions for states that are evaluating, or considering creating, workforce-driven financial aid policies.

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Resources

Good Jobs Without a BA
Change, 1991 to 2015, in SREB states

Many good jobs require some postsecondary education or training with a certificate or associate degree but not a bachelor’s degree. Already, most states need more workers at this level. From 1991 to 2015, a loss in blue-collar non-bachelor’s degree good jobs in SREB states was often offset by an increase in skilled-services good jobs for workers without bachelor’s degrees.

Resources

Postsecondary Attainment Goals
in SREB States

 
State 2017
Attainment Level
Goal By
Alabama 40% Add 500,000
highly skilled
employees 
2025
Arkansas 41.5% 60% 2025
Delaware 42.4% none none
Florida 49% 55% 2025
Georgia 49.6% 60% 2025
Kentucky 45.5% 60% 2030
Louisiana 44.2% 60% 2030
Maryland 51.4% 55% 2025
Mississippi 40.9% Reach the national
attainment level
average
2025
North Carolina 49% 2 million North Carolinians
age 25 to 44 have earned
a degree or credential
2030
Oklahoma 42.8% 70% 2025
South Carolina 43.7% 60% 2025
Tennessee 42.7% 55% 2025
Texas 43% 60% of adults
ages 25-34
2030
Virginia 53.9% 70% 2030
West Virginia 36.4% 60% 2030

Publication February 201545 pages(15C02)
Report cover: Community Colleges in the South

Community Colleges in the South: Strengthening Readiness and Pathways
Report of the SREB Commission on Community Colleges

The full report of SREB’s Community College Commission offers 21 recommendations for states and community colleges. It presents findings on readiness, placement, math standards and structurally guided pathways to help students clearly see entry, exit and re-entry points to continue their education. Recommendations ask states to commit increased funding and hold colleges accountable for improving student services and completion. The goal: increase college access and success so more students earn postsecondary credentials and enter careers in demand in their communities.

 

FULL REPORT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Publication

Essential Elements of State Policy for College Completion:
Outcomes-Based Funding

Outcomes-based funding awards dollars to public colleges in part based on meeting goals, rather than on enrollment only, and is one strategy states are considering to increase postsecondary completion. Essential Elements of State Policy for College Completion: Outcomes-Based Funding details practices in states across the country, examines the questions policy-makers need to answer if they explore this strategy, and presents SREB’s recommendations for eight essential elements of an effective statewide outcomes-based funding policy aimed at improving completion.

Publication March 20138 pages

Statewide Transfer Policies
Essential Elements of State Policy for College Completion

College students face many barriers transferring from one institution to another  — which can increase cost and time for students and raise the likelihood they may drop out before graduation. This report details best practices in state policy across the SREB region, examines the questions policymakers need to answer when updating transfer policies, and presents SREB’s recommendations on the essential elements of a clear, seamless and comprehensive statewide transfer policy.

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Publication Dave Spence, Cheryl D. Blanco, Megan Root201022 pages(10E10)

No Time to Waste
Policy Recommendations for Increasing College Completion

States need to place a major focus on increasing the numbers of students who complete college degrees and career certificates toward the goal of having 60 percent of working-age adults earning some type of high-quality credential by the year 2025, a major new report and set of recommendations from the Southern Regional Education Board urges.

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Publication April 201052 pagesA. Paul Bradley Jr.of The Bradley Group, Cheryl D. Blanco

Promoting a Culture of Student Success: How Colleges and Universities Are Improving Degree Completion

Fewer than one-third of degree-seeking, full-time freshmen in the nation’s public four-year institutions graduate in four years. To help raise this rate, SREB examined many strategies that public institutions are using to help more students earn bachelor’s degrees, with particular attention to students in regional colleges and universities who often face academic and/or economic disadvantages. This report summarizes 15 institutions’ successful approaches to improving graduation rates, provides specific strategies that campus leaders can use and profiles each of the 15 institutions.

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Publication 201028 pages(10E13)

Measuring Success by Degrees: The Status of College Completion in SREB States

For the last two decades, college degree-attainment rates in both the SREB region and the nation have remained flat. This report, part of the Challenge to Lead education goals series, looks at where the SREB region stands on improving two- and four-year degree and certification completion rates. It shows what is at stake if SREB states do not raise these rates and challenges states to take action.Measuring Success by Degrees complements the recent SREB report No Time To Waste: Policy Recommendations for Increasing College Completion, which details how states can meet these challenges.

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Publication November 201116 pages(11E08)

New Measures, New Perspectives: Graduates’ Time- and Credits-to-Degree in SREB States

The SREB-State Data Exchange has designed new measures on college completion in recent years — and collected and reported data based on these measures. This Research Brief introduces the latest new measures, distinguishes them from graduation rate measures, and reports the first results on time-to-degree and credits-to-degree in the SREB region. It also provides information on the characteristics of graduates, focusing primarily on their beginning status at the institutions from which they graduated.

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