Complete College America
Complete College America (CCA) is the most comprehensive and ambitious higher education initiative ever undertaken by the state of Oklahoma. The goal is to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned in Oklahoma by an average of 1,700 per year, from 30,500 annually in 2011 to 50,900 annually by 2023, a 67 percent increase. This must be done to meet the projected need for additional college-educated workers to keep Oklahoma competitive in a global economy.
Gov. Mary Fallin is a strong advocate for the initiative, saying at the kickoff press conference in September 2011, "We can and must do better in producing a highly skilled and educated workforce in our state. This is part of our agenda – developing the Complete College America program."
More attention must be placed on college completion because Oklahoma’s community and economic development depends on developing human capital and preparing citizens for innovation and flexibility in an ever-changing economy.
Oklahoma's five-point plan to increase degree and certificate completion has led CCA to name Oklahoma the national model for degree completion. Our state plan focuses on promoting college readiness, transforming remediation, strengthening pathways to certificates and degrees, expanding adult degree completion efforts, and rewarding performance and completion.
Significant progress is being made toward these goals. In year one of CCA deployment, our public and private colleges and universities reported 2,945 additional graduates than in the previous year, significantly exceeding our annual goal of 1,700. Additionally, in April 2012, the State Regents, with cooperation and input from our college and university presidents, adopted a new approach to make the higher education funding formula a performance-driven model. In year two of our CCA initiative, Oklahoma's public and private higher education institutions and career technology centers again surpassed the annual goal, conferring 3,577 additional degrees and certificates.
Five national foundations are providing multiyear support to Complete College America: the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Lumina Foundation for Education.