Student Success Policy Action Agenda

The following Policy Action Agenda was issued in 2012 following a convening of more than 150 community college trustees, CEOs and experts from nationally representative organizations, as part of a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Many college boards have adopted this agenda as part of their own board guidelines, or adapted it as useful to meet their needs.

Strategic Goals

 1. Reaffirm the mission of the college and its commitment to ensure access, success, and equity for all students, while affirming that quality must undergird all credentials granted by the institution.

2. Ensure that the institutional strategic plan gives priority to student success and equity, and aligns the institutional budget with student success goals.

3. Request and endorse a completion agenda framework for your institution, including consistent and comparable definitions for completion and student success such as those included in the Voluntary Framework of Accountability, to ensure uniformity and quality.


4. Strengthen partnerships with colleges, universities and PreK-12 systems, particularly in the areas of articulation, assessment, placement and college readiness.

5. Engage employers, workforce boards, and community organizations to ensure the value of associate degrees and certificates and their relevance to local and regional labor markets.

Measurements and Metrics

6. Commit to track all entering student cohorts for at least five years and examine cohort data to determine the effectiveness of developmental education and other programs.

7. Ensure that metrics for institutional performance and student success incorporate employment and wage data for college graduates.

8. Require that measures of student success be prominently featured in periodic institutional reports to the board.

9. Invest in building institutional capacity for data- and evidence-informed work, including development of data systems and institutional research.

10. Align board self-evaluation and president/CEO evaluation with defined student success measures.

Board Priorities

11. Ensure that the institutional budget clearly reflects priority placed on improvement in student success and college completion.

12. Through Board policy and strategic direction, provide support for the CEO to lead courageous and transformational work focused on student success.

13. Establish regular opportunities for the board to engage in meaningful, data-informed discussions about priorities and progress on the college’s student success agenda.

14. Invest in implementation of evidence-based educational pathways for students, regardless of their level of college readiness upon entry.

15. Upon recommendation by the CEO, adopt student success policies and support practices at scale, including practices that can lead to transformational change in college orientation, academic skills assessment, course placement, educational planning, early academic alert systems, and other evidence-based interventions.

16. Commit to ongoing professional development for the board.

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