Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching Joins Others to Expand College Access at White House Event

December 5, 2014

Today, Bernadine Chuck Fong, the senior partner in Carnegie’s Community College Pathways initiative, joined President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.

Achieving the Dream, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Jobs for the Future committed to creating a Breakthrough Collaborative to reclaim the mathematical lives of 250,000 students over the next five years. The goal of the Collaborative is to help students needing remediation in math complete their developmental math instruction and their first college level math course in one year. By doing so, the Collaborative expects more students to persist in college and earn credentials as currently only 28 percent of students who start college in remedial courses earn a credential in 8 years. Using the principles of improvement science and convening annually to compare progress, colleges will learn from each other and accelerate student success.

The three collaborating national organizations are designing a structure to support the Collaborative and raising funds for an early 2015 launch. Institutions that have expressed interest in being in the first wave of colleges committing to the Collaborative goals are Alamo Colleges, Austin Community College, Bay de Noc Community College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Central Piedmont Community College, Ferris University, Harper College, Lee College, Los Rios Community College District, McComb Community College, Miami Dade College, Northern Virginia Community College, and the Virginia Community College System. Colleges who are already a part of Carnegie’s Community College Pathways initiative are automatically eligible to join in the Collaborative.

The Breakthrough Collaborative is a strategy that has proven to be a powerful structure for broad-scale quality improvement in healthcare and has the potential, with appropriate modifications, for turning the same power loose for educational improvement. In this case, it will join colleges willing to collect common data and progress markers to learn together as they implement and improve promising practices that accelerate progression through remediation and gateway courses.

President Obama announced new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college. Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.