Will the Complete College Act create change?

While the new funding formula rewards outcomes (and doesn't reward cooperation among institutions), enrollment still is important as a funding resource.  Only about 40% of our overall funding comes from the state so we need to creatively raise the remaining 60%.  Tuition dollars is one path.  But things are changing as we examine ways to exploit (and I use the term in a good way) the new formula.  We are talking about three-year degrees, new sessions, new ways to attract adult students, and other options to maximize our state funding.  So, it appears, is everyone else.  From Jennifer Brooks writing in the Tennessean.

TN colleges get creative to increase graduation rate
The state of Tennessee gave colleges their marching orders: Raise your graduation rates, or else.

If graduation rates decline, so does state support for that institution. So state colleges and universities are getting creative in their efforts to make sure the students they enroll leave with diplomas in hand.

Campuses are bringing on extra advisers, bulking up tutoring and remedial classes, fast-tracking majors and cramming extra-credit courses into the gaps between semesters, all in an attempt to lock students on track to a degree.

Last week, the Obama administration set ambitious state-by-state goals to increase college graduation rates. Tennessee was challenged to see 49 to 60 percent of its adult residents with college degrees by 2020. Right now, 32 percent have degrees. . . .

The White House's college completion report singles out Tennessee for what it calls one of the nation's most comprehensive approaches to improving the graduation rate.

The report also suggests several "low-cost or no-cost" strategies — with specific examples of how each is already being used in some places — to improve college completion. These include setting higher high school academic standards, reducing the cost and the time it takes to achieve a degree and targeting nontraditional adult learners who have some college credits already, but no degree.


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